$1.5 billion in savings for ComEd customers


US energy provider to 4 million customers, ComEd, has in 2017 reduced customer outages by 10% from 2016 levels.

The frequency of outages has reduced by 46% and the duration of outages lowered by 47% since 2012.

More than 7.7 million customer interruptions, including 1.5 million in 2017 alone, have been avoided between 2012 and 2017. Such developments have resulted in $1.5 billion in societal savings.

ComEd says the reliability of its grid network is a result of investments made in smart grid technologies and system improvements initiatives since 2012. The utility has been installing distribution automation technologies and smart switches to remotely reroute power around faulty areas within the distribution network.

ComEd credits the reliability of its grid to efforts implemented by the utility to meet recommendations set under the 2016 Future Jobs Act.

Enacted by the Illinois General Assembly, the Act aims to expand the state’s clean energy market through increases in renewable energy jobs and renewable energy and energy efficiency investments. The law has set a target to achieve $4 billion in consumer savings and reduce the emission of carbon equivalent to removing 18 million cars from the road.

Anne Pramaggiore, CEO at ComEd, said: “Our work to modernise the grid continues to deliver sustainable benefits for our customers and the state’s economy, as promised.

“We are building off the foundation of this work to move Illinois toward a clean, lean and ultra-resilient energy future giving our customers greater access to renewables, more energy efficiency programs and control over their energy costs, while also helping to create jobs within our communities.”

“… We look forward to continuing to deliver on the value of smart grid for our customers and helping them and our state reap the benefits,” added Terence R, Donnelly, COO at ComEd.

Customer outages

The news follows an announcement made by US-based smart grid solutions firm S&C Electric Company that it has helped utilities across the globe to avoid more than 2.4 billion customer-outage minutes in 2017.

Mike Edmonds, S&C president in the US, said: “2017 has shined a spotlight on the impact power outages have on customers of all sizes. When we help a utility avoid a power outage or get the lights back on faster, we are helping people around the world avoid a bad day and get back to business. Read more…

Less customer-interruptions signaled 2017 the most reliable year for PPL Electric. The utility reduced customer outages by 550,000 in 2017 compared to the number of interruptions witnessed in 2007. This is partly a result of smart grid devices installed at more than 4,600 locations within the utility’s distribution network. Read more…

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.