ComEd smart meter pilot approved by ICC


Anne Pramaggiore,
President & COO,
Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — October 16, 2009 – ComEd has received unanimous approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) for its recommended one-year advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) pilot, which will assess how the technology can improve service, help customers make more informed decisions about energy use and contribute to lower energy costs and reduced carbon emissions.

“This pilot could help place Illinois in the forefront of states transitioning their electrical grids to meet customers’ needs,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and chief operating officer of ComEd. “Our customers’ needs are evolving, and we have an opportunity to meet and exceed their expectations through smart technologies.”

ComEd customers will start receiving their new meters as early as November. If ComEd’s application for $175 million in federal matching funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is approved, the number of customers that receive new smart meters could more than double from 131,000 to 310,000.

When the pilot is fully implemented in early summer 2010, this new technology will provide customers with daily usage information, accessible through the internet, to help monitor their energy use and manage energy costs. It also will enable ComEd to access important account information on demand, so customer service representatives can provide more complete information more quickly, and allow the company to begin assessing the potential operational, environmental and other benefits of smart meters for its customers.

The pilot also will test customer interaction with a variety of energy management features and technologies including alternative pricing plans, web interfaces, in-home displays, home area networks and programmable thermostats.

ComEd plans to install the meters between November 2009 and May 2010 in nine towns serviced by its Maywood operating center including Bellwood, Berwyn, Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Melrose Park, Oak Park and River Forest, the Humboldt Park area in Chicago, and Tinley Park. These areas were selected because they are representative of the entire ComEd service territory.

The cost of the pilot is approximately $69 million. During 2010, this will increase the average residential customer’s bill by less than $5 a year.

Last week the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced that ComEd could receive up to $5 million in stimulus funding for the utility’s smart grid solar pilot. This one-year project would examine customer responses from approximately 200 customers to pricing signals, the impact of renewable distributed energy system, and how they can best be integrated into a future smart grid system.

Partners on the ComEd pilot include the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, which will survey participants to assess attitudes toward adopting new/emerging technologies; Argonne National Lab for data gathering and analysis; and GridPoint for battery storage systems and photovoltaic and energy monitoring.