ComEd Smart Meter Pilot Approved by Illinois Commerce Commission

Wed Oct 14, 2009 4:45pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

131,000 customers to receive new smart meters that will provide more
information, enable better service and lay the foundation for a future Smart
Grid

CHICAGO, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- ComEd today received unanimous approval from
the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) for its recommended one-year Advanced
Metering Infrastructure (AMI) pilot. One of the most comprehensive tests of
smart meter technology in the nation, this pilot will assess how technology
can improve service, help customers make more informed decisions about energy
use and contribute to lower energy costs and reduced carbon emissions.


"This pilot could help place Illinois in the forefront of states transitioning
their electrical grids to meet customers' needs," said Anne Pramaggiore,
president and chief operating officer, ComEd. "Our customers' needs are
evolving, and we have an opportunity to meet and exceed their expectations
through smart technologies."


ComEd customers will start receiving their new meters as early as November. If
ComEd's application for $175 million in federal matching funds from the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) is approved, the number
of customers that receive new smart meters could more than double from 131,000
to 310,000 customers.


A smart meter is a digital electric meter that collects usage information
every 30 minutes and sends that information to ComEd through a secure network.


When the pilot is fully implemented in early summer 2010, this new technology
will:
    --  Provide customers with daily usage information, accessible through the
        Internet, to help monitor their energy use and manage energy costs.
    --  Enable ComEd to access important account information on demand, so
        customer service representatives can provide more complete
information,
        more quickly.

    --  Allow ComEd to begin assessing the potential operational,
environmental
        and other benefits of smart meters for all ComEd customers.





"This means more informed energy consumption for customers included in the
pilot," Pramaggiore added. "Customers can take control of their electricity
bills by accessing information about how much energy they use and how much it
costs before they receive a bill at the end of the month."


The pilot also will test customer interaction with a variety of energy
management features and technologies including alternative pricing plans, Web
interfaces, in-home displays, home area networks and programmable thermostats.


ComEd plans to install the meters between November 2009 and May 2010 in nine
towns serviced by its Maywood operating center including Bellwood, Berwyn,
Broadview, Forest Park, Hillside, Maywood, Melrose Park, Oak Park and River
Forest, the Humboldt Park area in Chicago, and Tinley Park. These areas were
selected because they are representative of the entire ComEd service territory
and are a good test bed for technologies that may someday be deployed
throughout the ComEd service territory.


The cost of the pilot is approximately $69 million. During 2010, this will
increase the average residential customer's bill by less than $5.00 a year.


In August, ComEd submitted an application to the DOE for $175 million in
federal matching funds from ARRA, which is designed to accelerate the
modernization of the nation's electric system and promote economic recovery
through job creation.


ComEd also submitted a petition to the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) in
September to approve the utility's request to allow ComEd to recover remaining
costs of the stimulus projects after receiving the 50 percent match from the
DOE.


The DOE stimulus funding also would significantly expand investment in other
advanced automation technology to make the transmission and distribution
systems "smarter" and more reliable.


"Expansion of smart grid technologies will provide additional information to
the ICC and other stakeholders as policies for statewide Smart Grid deployment
are developed," said Terry Donnelly, executive vice president, Operations,
ComEd. "This will play an important role in building a more energy efficient
and independent future for Illinois by delivering higher levels of reliability
and providing customers unprecedented choices and control."


To ensure customers understand the new meters and the benefits they can
provide, ComEd will conduct outreach to customers in the pilot footprint, and
provide services including customer care representatives trained to answer
customer questions about the meters and the pilot.


"One of our goals for this pilot is to ensure that customers receive the
information they need," said Fidel Marquez, senior vice president, Customer
Operations, ComEd. "We will provide customers with information throughout the
pilot phase, from when their meter is installed, to when their energy usage
data is available on the Internet, and to use this information and other tools
to help manage their electricity usage and costs." 


Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon
Corporation (NYSE: EXC), one of the nation's largest electric utilities with
approximately 5.4 million customers. ComEd provides service to approximately
3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of the state's
population.






SOURCE  Commonwealth Edison Company

ComEd Media Relations, +1-312-394-3500
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