Springfield, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 10, 2013
ComEd’s proposal to accelerate the deployment of smart meters to customers starting in September 2013 has been approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) – this following the decision last month by the Illinois General Assembly to enact Senate Bill 9, getting the state’s smart grid program back on track.
The company is expected to add 60,000 new meters this year and an additional 160,000 next year, with installations continuing through 2021. ComEd had planned to delay deployment of smart meters until January 2015, but the new law required the company to begin installing the meters sooner, since the additional revenue would be available.
“We are grateful to the ICC for acting so quickly to accelerate our smart meter deployment,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd. “We are ramping up quickly to be ready to start smart meter deployment in September, including buying the new meters, training our employees, and increasing customer education and outreach.”
The ICC has also issued orders updating electric delivery rates for ComEd and Ameren Illinois, also in response to the statutory changes in Senate Bill 9 (now Public Act 98-0015). The law requires ComEd and Ameren Illinois to make the infrastructure investments over a ten year period and provides for annual rate updates and reconciliation of the prior year’s rate to reduce the lag in cost recovery that existed under more traditional rate case reviews.
For ComEd, the order reflects the impact of PA 98-0015 on the reconciliation of a previous year’s rates and will result in an approximate $14.5 million reduction in annual revenue, which will be refunded with interest to customers over six months beginning with the July 2013 billing cycle.
This revenue decrease results from the implementation of a year-end capital structure, a year-end rate base, and the weighted average cost of capital as the interest rate on the reconciliation amount in its previous case. The ICC previously allowed ComEd to earn a return on its pension asset in a manner consistent with the new law.
The order has no impact on current rates for Ameren Illinois since it has not undergone any reconciliation cases yet and did not identify a pension asset.
ComEd’s third annual formula rate update case is currently pending before the ICC. Ameren Illinois has also filed a formula rate update case. It is expected that rates customers pay and company revenue will increase, under the terms of the law, in current and future update cases.
ComEd and Ameren Illinois are obligated to invest $1.2 billion and $625 million respectively over ten years to upgrade their electric delivery systems and invest in smart grid improvements.