Illinois Lays Out Metrics For Ameren, ComEd Smart Meters
The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) along with Citizens Utility Board (CUB) of Illinois has officially reached an agreement with two major regulated utilities in Illinois, ComEd and Ameren Illinois to lay out plans for smart meter metrics in order to gauge the impact on customers, the environment, and other benefits from smart meter deployment in the state.
Each utility will be required to provide a timeline of how they each intent to continue to upgrade their smart grid, including smart meter deployment and the development of a set of new tracking mechanisms used to determine how upgrade to the state’s electric grid are delivering benefits to electric customers. The metrics include performance issues ranging from reductions in peak energy demands to executions of renewable energy efforts to the reductions in carbon (CO2) emissions and more.
ComEd has already provided its first report of 20 tracking metrics to the Illinois Commerce Commission on April 1 in its annual smart grid plan update. On the same date, Ameren submitted 19 new tracking metrics in its annual filings. ComEd and Ameren Illinois will continue working with the EDF and CUB to improve smart grid metrics and performance and to ensure that all requirements are being met.
ComEd Sued Over Smart Meter Deployment
In a class action lawsuit filed in Cook County, ComEd is currently being sued for the delay of its smart meter deployment to homes and businesses that have already imposed rate increases of $182 on its customers, which were supposed to be used for the deployment of smart meters beginning in 2012. In retaliation, ComEd has countersued the Illinois Commerce Commission for cutting funding that the utility expected to receive that supposedly will delay the deployment until 2015. The delay is expected to cost ComEd’s 3.8 million customers an estimated $209 million.
“[ComEd’s] conduct constitutes non-compliance with the Commission’s Order,” the Illinois Commerce Commission stated after it approved ComEd’s delay but stated that it had no choice given the deadline to begin installing the meters had already passed.
Earlier this month, the utility filed for a $2.6 billion increase in customer electric distribution rates, a move that was approved by the Illinois Senate but has yet to be approved by the Illinois Commerce Commission.