New smart grid metrics to track customer benefits for Illinois utilities


Chicago, IL, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 9, 2013 – Illinois utilities ComEd and Ameren Illinois are to report annually on a set of new smart grid tracking mechanisms and metrics that have been developed in conjunction with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the Citizens Utility Board (CUB).

The aim is to help determine how upgrades to Illinois’ electric grid are delivering benefits to consumers by focusing on where they are realizing the benefits of the improvements and the extent of their participation in these opportunities.

The new metrics and tracking measures are:

  • Customers enrolled in peak time rebate, real time pricing, and other dynamic/time variant prices
  • Customer-side-of-the-meter devices sending or receiving grid related signals
  • AMI meter failures
  • AMI meters replaced before the end of their expected useful life
  • Customers with net metering
  • Customer premises capable of receiving information from the grid
  • Peak load reductions enabled by demand response program
  • Customer complaints
  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions enabled by smart grid
  • Distributed generation projects
  • Load served by distributed resources
  • System load factor and load factor by customer class
  • Products with end-to-end interoperability certification
  • Network nodes and customer interfaces monitored in “real time”
  • Grid connected energy storage interconnected to utility facilities at the transmission or distribution system level
  • Time required to connect distributed resources to grid
  • Voltage and VAR controls
  • Grid assets that are monitored, controlled, or automated
  • Customers connected per automated circuit segment
  • Improvement in line loss reductions enabled by smart grid technology.

ComEd provided initial reporting of these new tracking metrics in its annual smart grid deployment plan update filed on April 1 with the Illinois Commerce Commission. ComEd’s new tracking metrics will be tracked alongside the metrics used by ComEd as required by the Illinois Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act of 2011. The other metrics focus on measures such as overall energy savings, utility-led efforts to conduct customer outreach and enrollment in energy conservation rebate programs.

Ameren provided notice to the Illinois Commerce Commission in its annual smart grid deployment plan update on April 1 that it will begin voluntarily reporting on a similar set of 19 new tracking mechanisms in its annual filings.  Currently, Ameren Illinois tracks performance in areas such as reliability, outage restoration, system safety, and satisfaction of customers with on-premise services.

In addition, through stakeholder workshops later this year, ComEd and Ameren have agreed to continue to work with EDF and CUB to work towards the development of new and improved ways to measure how smart grid technology can help reduce GHG emissions and electrical line losses – measures that are integral to unlocking the environmental and economic benefits of smart grid technologies.
“These new tracking mechanisms and metrics will help ComEd and Ameren ensure that their smart grid investments deliver environmental and economic benefits to customers in the form of cleaner air and reduced energy costs,” said EDF senior regulatory attorney Raya Salter. “EDF hopes that these tracking mechanisms and metrics will serve as models for other utilities around the country looking to modernize their aging energy infrastructure and realize the full potential of a smart, ‘green’ electric grid.”

EDF previously worked with the California IOUs to develop a smart grid scorecard to evaluate the efficacy of their smart grid deployment plans.