New initiative to explore smarter electric grid for Illinois


Bob Galvin,
founder of the
Galvin Electricity Initiative
Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — June 5, 2008 – A new public-private collaboration is exploring how smart grid technology can bring the people of Illinois more reliable electric service and a cleaner environment, while holding down costs of electric services. The Illinois Smart Grid Initiative — which held its first meeting recently — is funded by Illinois native Bob Galvin’s Galvin Electricity Initiative and led by the Center for Neighborhood Technology.

The Smart Grid Initiative is a voluntary group of state and local government, consumer, business, environmental, and utility stakeholders that will work together to examine how consumers can benefit from comprehensive grid modernization in Illinois. It comes at a critical time for Illinois’ electric power industry, which is faced with growing peak demand, soaring fossil fuel costs and rising concerns over carbon emissions, all of which threaten to significantly increase electricity costs.

In Illinois, power outages cost jobs and major losses for consumers and businesses. Modernizing the electricity system to incorporate smart grid technology has the potential to substantially reduce the costs of unreliable service.

A series of stakeholder meetings will be held in the coming months to engage policymakers and other influential leaders in the state in a discussion of the critical grid issues, opportunities, and costs, and to develop policies to improve performance of the electric power system.

"Through this initiative, Illinois has the opportunity to become a leader in advancing state policies to create an electric grid for the 21st century, and to have more reliable, efficient, secure and greener electricity," said Bob Galvin, founder of the Galvin Electricity Initiative and retired CEO and chairman of Motorola, Inc. "We are proud of this partnership of private and public stakeholders and look forward to it becoming the model for bringing quality power to states around the country."

The Galvin Electricity Initiative is leading a campaign to transform the U.S.’s obsolete electric power system into one that can truly meet consumers’ needs in this new century. The Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT) is a 30-year-old Chicago-based nonprofit that carries out research, policy advocacy and economic development projects in pursuit of building more livable and sustainable communities. CNT created and implemented the nation’s first residential hourly electricity pricing program, designed to save consumers money and reduce electricity demand.