Yesterday, the Illinois House Public Utilities Committee passed House Bill 2529 by a vote of 21 to 0. The legislation makes clear existing language in the Smart Grid law enacted in 2011 to get Illinois’ electric grid modernization efforts back on track, and ensures the state’s economy and consumers reap the full benefits of improved reliability, job creation and investment in the state’s infrastructure, while maintaining strong consumer protections. The vote comes after the Senate Executive Committee’s 14-0 passage of Senate Bill 9 last month.
Under the Smart Grid law, ComEd committed to spend $2.6 billion over 10 years to modernize the electric grid in Northern Illinois. In its first Smart Grid law rate case, the ICC’s interpretation of the law reduced funding by nearly $100 million per year beginning in 2014 and beyond. This funding is essential to investing in the modernization program required by law. As a result, ComEd had to postpone deployment of key initiatives, including the installation of smart meters, until 2015. However, if HB 2529 is enacted this Spring session, ComEd will be able to accelerate its meter installations to begin in 2013.
“House Bill 2529 will give the Illinois economy a boost, provide better service for customers, and maintain our state’s competitiveness in the new digital economy,” said Representative Lou Lang, who sponsored the bill. “This legislation resolves the issues that have threatened to delay Smart Grid. It’s time to get it back on track.”
March 13, 2013