Tag Archives: ComEd
ComEd wants to rewire Illinois in two important ways. First, it wants to upgrade its power system, which has a century-old design, into a “smart grid” that uses new technology to increase efficiency. Second, it wants to revise the century-old way that Illinois regulates electricity bills.
Everyone agrees that a smart grid is the wave of the future. It’s the second part of a bill passed by the General Assembly late last month — the part that would change the regulatory process — that troubles ComEd’s critics. Gov. Pat Quinn has threatened to veto the bill, saying it does too little to protect ComEd ratepayers from unnecessarily high electric bills down the road.
If Quinn does reject the bill, which already reflects a good deal of last-minute compromise on ComEd’s part, we urge him to do so with an amendatory veto that resolves the remaining issues in dispute. Protecting ratepayers shouldn’t come at the cost of missing out on a digital-era upgrade that could benefit consumers and businesses by making the entire electrical grid more efficient.
SPRINGFIELD — House lawmakers today approved ComEd’s proposal for a sophisticated power grid that customers would help pay for upfront in the hopes the new technology would assist in reducing their energy consumption.
The House approval on a 67-47 vote came over the objections of Gov. Pat Quinn and Atty. General Lisa Madigan, who have both called for more consumer protections as part of the plan. Next up is the Senate.
Under the plan, the utility would install new smart meters that could cut down on the estimated bills that many people get one month only to get smacked with a big catch-up bill later. Customers also could choose to lower their bills by running laundry machines, dishwashers and other appliances during off-peak periods, such as at night rather than in the early afternoon of a sweltering summer day.
Under proposal, customers would pay more now, with the promise of saving later
— Illinois may be on the verge of allowing ComEd to launch a sophisticated smart-grid program that would give consumers a chance to cut their electric costs over the long haul but require them to open their wallets now to pay for the power company’s upgrade.
The measure could mean significant changes for folks who have come to expect their daily interaction with the power company to involve little more than flipping a light switch.
Everyone can agree on one thing: Illinois needs to update its energy grid. But the Energy Modernization Act, also known as House Bill 14, would allow $2.6 billion worth of upgrades. It sounds like a good thing but the proposal is meeting resounding opposition from critics.
What is long and spindly, weighs only slightly more than a feather, has scorched bark and is blamed for casting a thousand or so Elmhurst residents into darkness?
In the case of a power outage that took place Sunday in Elmhurst, it is a twig — not a big, heavy branch — a twig.