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ComEd Seeks to Accelerate 'Smart Meter' Installation -- at a Cost to Customers

They say aggressive plan to upgrade to a smart meter will cost customers in short term, but save money in long term.
ROCKFORD -- Electricity provider ComEd says they are ahead of schedule when it comes to installing a 'Smart Grid' to its customers, but it is going to cost them.  ComEd’s delivery service charges under a rate hike request would increase by about $3 on the average monthly residential bill starting in January 2015.  They say part of the $275 million request is to accelerate the installation of smart meters in homes and businesses.  The Illinois Commerce Commission has eight months to act on the rate hike request.

The utility says the rate hike will pay off in better reliability.  “ComEd continues to make strong progress on our 10-year initiative to transform the electric grid for the benefit of all our customers,” said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO in a news release. “Grid modernization is already bearing fruit with the best reliability in ComEd history for our customers in 2013 ..."

ComEd also notes that Illinois had the lowest residential electricity rates in the Midwest in 2013, and the 12th lowest rate in the U.S.  They also say the estimated $2 billion saved over 20 years by upgrading to a smart grid will be passed onto customers, and that smart meters will also allow customers to lower their energy own consumption during peak periods and save money.
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