ComEd proposes smart meter pilot to test ‘full customer experience’


Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 2, 2009 – ComEd yesterday filed a petition with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) recommending communities to participate in the company’s one-year advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) pilot, claimed as the first designed to comprehensively assess how customers will interact with this technology.

ComEd’s AMI pilot will see approximately 141,000 smart meters deployed in 11 suburban communities and in the City of Chicago and will comprehensively tests the full customer experience, including how its use will change customers’ energy consumption.

During the pilot, some customers will receive real-time electricity usage data that will allow them to better manage their electricity bills and reduce energy consumption. And some customers will have the ability to align budgets with usage and even consider using electricity during non-peak hours when cost is lower.

“The pilot is unique because it will test various customer applications, including web interfaces, multiple in-home displays and programmable devices that can respond to a variety of pricing options and even allow customers to raise or lower the temperature in their homes remotely,” said Terence Donnelly, executive vice president, Operations, ComEd. “The ability to remotely read meters and monitor the health of the electric distribution grid eventually will allow ComEd to improve service by recognizing power outages faster and through increased operational efficiencies.”

In addition to the City of Chicago, communities reflecting the attributes of the entire ComEd service territory will be recommended to participate in the AMI pilot. In determining the pilot area, ComEd first ranked its operating centers utilizing demographic, customer operations and other operational criteria and then further analyzed each of the communities within the most optimum operating center service area to identify the recommended pilot communities. Based on this analysis, ComEd determined that the Interstate 290 Corridor communities and the City of Chicago locations were properly representative for the pilot and this recommendation is part of the filing.

The filing also asks the ICC to support ComEd in its proposal for receiving stimulus funds, which would help finance part of the pilot and future smart grid investments.

Following an approximately six-month approval docket, the ICC will make a final decision regarding implementation and timing. Although rollout plans still are under development, new meter installation could begin in November 2009, once approved. ComEd’s goal is to eventually deploy smart meters throughout its northern Illinois service territory as part of a full smart grid system.