Illinois Senate committee passes Bill to ‘get smart grid and job creation back on track’


Anne Pramaggiore,
President and CEO,
Springfield, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) —     February 15, 2013 – The Illinois Senate Executive Committee has passed Senate Bill 9, which “clarifies existing language in the Smart Grid law enacted in 2011 to get the smart grid program back on track, and ensures the state’s economy and consumers reap the full benefits of improved reliability, job creation and investment in the state’s infrastructure, while maintaining strong consumer protections.”

A statement from ComEd says that under the Smart Grid law, ComEd committed to spend $2.6 billion over 10 years to modernize the electric grid in Northern Illinois. However, the ICC’s interpretation of the law reduced the funding, such that ComEd faces a reduction of nearly $100 million per year in 2014 and beyond to complete the modernization program required by law.

The passage of SB 9 would help to restore ComEd’s funding to nearly the level it would have been if the Smart Grid law had been implemented as passed.

“We commend Senate President Cullerton for making jobs and grid modernization for the 21st century a key priority and moving this legislation early in the new session,” said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd president and CEO. “ComEd is proceeding with a portion of the core grid modernization programs, while postponing the deployment of the remainder and all smart meters until 2015. SB 9 would allow us to get the smart grid program – and the related job creation – back on track.”

Under the Smart Grid law, last year ComEd invested $165 million in grid modernization, created more than 700 jobs, built a new, state-of-the-art training center in Rockford, and enhanced storm hardening to minimize storm-related outages. The utility also installed over 470 smart switches, avoiding 82,000 customer outages.

Ultimately, ComEd’s modernization efforts are designed to reduce outages by 700,000 per year, saving customers an estimated $100 million in outage-related costs.

If it becomes law, SB 9 would have negligible impact on customers’ bills in 2013. It would increase the average residential customer bill of $82 per month by approximately 40 cents per month in 2014, increasing to approximately 80 cents per month in 2017, as part of the anticipated $3 per month that the grid modernization program will ultimately cost.