ComEd petitions ICC to keep smart grid pilot alive

By Julie Wernau
Posted Oct. 19, 2010 at 3:16 p.m.

In light of a court ruling this month that placed funding for Commonwealth Edison’s smart grid pilot project in jeopardy, the utility is petitioning the Illinois Commerce Commission to wrap an additional $11 million into its $396 million rate-increase case.

The utility asked the commission to decide by the end of the month whether it will hear that request as part of a proposed 7 percent rate hike — a sign of good faith that would allow the utility to finish the project with the expectation that there would be some way for them to recoup the costs at a later day.

ComEd recently began testing smart grid technology — meters that allow consumers to see electricity usage in real time, solar panels, batteries that store electricity to sell back to the grid, new pricing models and technology that would minimize outages through a “self-healing” electrical line — in nine communities along the Eisenhower Expressway and Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood.

The Second Appellate Court ruled this month that the commission overstepped its authority in 2008 when it allowed a $5 million rider to be tacked onto all customers’ bills to pay for the pilot program. ComEd has until Nov. 4 to appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court.

In its petition to the ICC, ComEd is asking that consumers pay for a scaled-down version of its smart grid pilot as part of its regular rate increase, instead of by way of a rider.

The total cost of the pilot is about $70 million, $50 million of which was used to purchase smart meters through the company’s capital investment process, said ComEd President Anne Pramaggiore. The $11 million would allow ComEd to finish the pilot, she said.

ComEd said the pilot — which was being used to decide where and how much to invest in smart grid initiatives in Illinois –- is on hold until the ICC decides how the project should be funded.

Forty-three states are conducting similar programs, Pramaggiore said, and without the pilot, Illinois would be one of only a handful of states with no active smart grid initiative in place.

“This temporary measure will enable ComEd to finish the study, it is not a long-term solution,” Pramaggiore said in a statement. “Nevertheless, we believe it is critical that the ICC indicates its direction to move forward, and keep the path to a future Smart Grid open.”

Pramaggiore said smart grid technology will be key to luring businesses to the state. The pilot, she said, is receiving heavy oversight from the ICC and was designed with the input of more than 50 stakeholders.

“The idea behind the pilot was to take a measured and appropriate approach to understanding smart grid,” she said. “We were attempting to be good stewards of our customers’ money by taking a study or a pilot approach to begin with.”

A spokesman for the ICC said the commission “will review this filing on its merits by developing a record based on the evidence presented by all parties to the case, and make a decision based on that record.”

Read more about the topics in this post: , , ,

Companies in this article


Read more about this company »


  1. 2hvlghtisabtch Oct. 19, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Since ComEd has made my home a smart home without my permission. I would like to ask the fecal heads to install solar panels on my home, if no more than for the inconvience of the installation without asking, what a company Exelon huh, how about UnExcusable.By the way my home is on the southside, and I do mean southside, no where near the Eisenhower, so tell me who’s telling stories to the Illinois Commerce Commission? OH WELL!

  2. film izle Oct. 24, 2010 at 7:05 a.m.

    cok tesekkur ederim bu filmi bi kere izlemek daha istiyorum

  3. film izleme siteleri Oct. 24, 2010 at 7:29 a.m.

    cok cok cok cok tesekkur admin arkadas