“Smart” Meter Rollout At Halfway Mark; ComEd To Take Another Swipe
Anne Pramaggiore told an audience at the City Club of Chicago Monday that a 2011 so-called “smart grid” law has led to savings and a more reliable power network. The controversial law passed hiked the price for the delivery of electricity; Ameren and ComEd were to use the money for infrastructure upgrades, like the installation of so-called “smart meters,” digital devices that measure electricity use, and send that information back to the utilities.
“And I think the biggest boon for these smart meters is just the access they give customers to information and control and pricing programs,” Pramaggiore said.
She says so far ComEd company has put in about 2 million smart meters throughout its norhtern Illinois territory; when all is said and done, that number will nearly double.
“In some cases we can pinpoint damage on the system, without having to send people out to figure out what’s going on,” she said, which means ComEd can respond faster to power outages.
She says they can save consumers money. “When you get a smart meter, you also get the opportunityt to join a rebate pricing program,” she said.
But some residents think the “smart” meters are just the opposite, and have rejected them. Critics cite studies questioning the supposed savings, and raise health and privacy concerns.