One million down, three million to go. Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) has installed the one millionth smart meter in its service territory since 2013, and is scheduled to install three million more by 2018, three years ahead of the original 2021 end date.
Michael McMahan, ComEd’s vice president of automated metering infrastructure implementation, says, “We’re committed to enabling our customers to take full advantage of the new technologies, transforming the way electricity is distributed and used by our customers. One million smart meters means one million customers now have access to tools and information that will help them better control and manage their energy use.”
ComEd recently reported to the Illinois Commerce Commission that during 2014 the utility had surpassed targets in several categories including reduction of estimated bills, uncollected expenses, and consumption on inactive meters. In addition, smart grid investments have helped to strengthen reliability of the electric system by helping to avoid more than 3.3 million customer interruptions since 2012, including 1.2 million in 2014 due largely to digital smart switches that automatically route power around potential problem areas. According to ComEd, outage avoidance has saved customers an estimated $175 million.
In addition to the smart meters, ComEd is looking for other opportunities to use the communications network it is establishing with Silver Spring Networks. To that end, earlier this year, ComEd introduced a pilot program to deploy smart, energy-efficient LED streetlights in two of its service municipalities, which will be able to control the daily light schedule and will receive immediate notification of any lamp needing maintenance.
McMahan adds: “The advanced technology we are putting into place is creating a platform by which new innovation can be brought to the grid and create greater value for our customers. We’re committed to enabling our customers to take full advantage of the new technologies, transforming the way electricity is distributed and used by our customers.”
ComEd provides service to approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, representing 70 percent of the state’s population.