ComEd and Illinois utility collaborate on smart water meter pilot

US water utility Illinois American Water last week announced its collaboration with power utility ComEd for the rollout of a smart water meter pilot.

Under the agreement, American Water is looking forward to better manage its distribution network by utilising ComEd’s smart grid network to transmit water data.

In a press statement, ComEd said the main aim of the project is to test the use of smart water meters on its network.

The development follows ComEd’s lab test of its network’s ability to connect smart water meters.

The test was carried out at the Illinois Technology Centre for Smart Grid Application, Research and Technology (CSMART).

[quote]However, with American Water, the power utility serving 3,8m power consumers in Illinois will test network’s capability to transmit meter data of some 500 smart water meters.

Commenting on the partnership, Anne Pramaggiore, CEO of ComEd added: “Illinois is developing a powerful innovation ecosystem…”

Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission, Brien Sheahan said:  “To develop innovative energy policy, regulators must be forward-thinking and aware of the critical issues facing cities, and utilities must address such issues head on by delivering programs that seek to increase customer value through advancements in smart grid technology.”

The chairman reiterated that the program will potentially optimize operational efficiency in the long term and create progress toward the delivery of additional benefits to customers and communities alike.

Smart meters adoption

The news follows the announcement in mid March by ComEd that it selected 6,500 customers with smart meters to participate in a pilot that will help them to manage and reduce their energy use.

The utility said the 6,500 ComEd customers were randomly selected for the pilot and were given use of web and mobile energy-cutting tools and gift card rewards.

The pilot falls under the utility’s partnership with start-up company MeterGenius, which focuses on customer engagement solutions for energy providers.

Val Jensen, ComEd’s senior vice president of Customer Operations, said: “Innovative smart meter solutions benefit our customers by giving them control to monitor their energy use, lower their consumption and reduce their monthly electric costs.”

Participants in the smart meter pilot can take advantage of MeterGenius’ web and mobile applications, allowing them to monitor their energy usage by hour, day, week or month. They will also receive tailored information on how to reduce their energy bills.