ComEd smart grid program supports 2,800 jobs

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Work related to Commonwealth Edison Co.'s Smart Grid program resulted in 2,872 full-time equivalent jobs in the third quarter of 2013. These include more than 900 direct full-time equivalent jobs at the utility and its contractors as submitted in a report to the Illinois Commerce Commission, plus more than 1,900 induced full-time equivalent positions.

The report showed that the grid modernization program supported 954 full-time equivalent positions, including 282 at the utility and 671 with its contractors.  In addition, based on the proportion of direct to induced jobs created by the program in 2012, ComEd estimates that 1,908 indirect jobs were generated in the third quarter as a result of the ripple effect of capital spending.

The utility launched this power grid modernization program in January 2012.  ComEd began installing smart meters in September of this year in the near-west suburbs where the company conducted the smart meter pilot project in 2010.  A smart meter uses a digital electric meter that provides customers with information that makes it possible to better manage energy consumption and costs.

The company will install 60,000 smart meters this year. Current plans call for installing more than 800,000 meters through 2015. All of ComEd's 4 million customers will receive a smart meter by 2021. 

ComEd is investing $1.3 billion in smart grid technology, including digital meters and technology that automatically reroutes power around problem areas, reducing the frequency and duration of power outages. It's also investing $1.3 billion in infrastructure improvements over 10 years.

ComEd is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corp. ComEd provides service to about 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's population.

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