Ameren Illinois was pleased with the December 5 Illinois Commerce Commission decision that approves the utility's advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) initiative to benefit customers.
The advanced meter infrastructure initiative is a key element of the Ameren Illinois Modernization Action Plan. Customers will benefit through improved service reliability and a greater potential for energy savings by allowing them to better manage their energy use, according to Ameren.
Funding for these upgrades is still a point of dispute with the ICC. Last week the Illinois Senate passed Senate Resolution 821 that called on the ICC to comply with the EIMA, landmark legislation enacted in 2011 which provides incentives for investor-owned utilities to make upgrades and investments to the electric distribution grid while meeting performance metrics and creating 450 new jobs. The Illinois House passed a similar resolution in support of EIMA last summer. Until the dispute is resolved, funding for these capital investments is in jeopardy.
Ameren Illinois will use advanced meters to bolster system reliability. Working in tandem with a new advanced electricity distribution system management, the advanced meters can help identify distribution line and transformer overload issues that can be corrected before an outage occurs.
Furthermore, advanced meters will enable electric dispatchers to better pinpoint the location of outages without the need for customers to report outages. This will help reduce the duration of outages.
Ameren Illinois delivers energy to 1.2 million electric and 813,000 natural gas customers in downstate Illinois. The company's service area covers more than 1,200 communities and 43,700 square miles.