ComEd applauds passage of Illinois grid modernization bill

SB 1652, if enacted into law, would authorize ComEd to invest about $2.6 billion to modernize the electric infrastructure and provide a digital smart meter for every residential customer

Springfield, Ill., June 1, 2011 ComEd and other proponents of grid modernization applauded the General Assembly's passage of SB 1652. The bill now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn, who can enact the most comprehensive electric utility-based job creation and capital investment program in generations.

SB 1652, if enacted into law, would authorize ComEd to invest about $2.6 billion to modernize the electric infrastructure and provide a digital smart meter for every residential customer. The program would create thousands of jobs, and give every customer access to money-saving programs and technologies.

A peak-time rebate program, enabled by smart meters, would give customers a rebate on their bill for reducing usage during high demand hours. The bill also directs the utilities to provide $20 million to establish a Science and Energy Innovation Trust to support innovative high-growth, energy related Illinois companies.

"We are enormously encouraged by the support of the General Assembly this week as it shows the deep commitment of legislators to create jobs and make the investment necessary to propel Illinois' economic future," said Anne Pramaggiore, president and chief operating officer, ComEd. "Today, Illinois is emerging as a leader in creating a modern grid that can compete in the 21st century digital economy."

First introduced in January, the bill was modified over the months leading up to the vote, with a number of added consumer protections and benefits. Among the more than 20 modifications was a profitability ceiling, spending ceiling, a rate test in 2014 and a complete sunset of the legislation in 2017.

The legislation also includes strong utility performance standards on reliability, customer service and job creation with penalties to utilities that fail to meet them. It retains ICC authority to review and set rates. The utility's burden to justify rates does not change.

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