Since 2012, ComEd has been implementing smart grid and other system improvements across its territory to strengthen and modernize the grid – and those investments are paying off for customers with record reliability.
In 2015, ComEd customers experienced a 12 percent reduction in the frequency of outages compared to 2014 and nearly 25 percent since investments began. During that same time, the duration of outages has been reduced by 42 percent.
The smart grid law passed by the Illinois General Assembly in 2011 opened the doors for ComEd to modernize its 100-year old system, improving reliability while enhancing economic development in Illinois and building smart infrastructure for the future.
Advanced technology like smart switches that reroute power around potential problem areas, new storm hardening solutions and cable replacement have contributed to more than 5.9 million avoided customer interruptions since 2012 – resulting in $1.1 billion in societal savings. Additionally, more than 3 million ComEd customers experienced zero or only 1 outage last year.
ComEd’s grid modernization work resulted in its recent ranking of 2nd nationally in the 2015 Grid Modernization Index, a national report produced by the GridWise Alliance and the Smart Grid Policy Center. The report evaluates and ranks states based on their progress in modernizing their electric systems with smart grid technologies, with three key areas assessed: policy, customer engagement and grid operations.
In addition, in 2015, Site Selection Magazine, an industry-leading economic development publication, recognized ComEd as a Top 10 Utility Economic Development Practice, as measured against utilities across the country. In addition to improving reliability, smart grid work has supported 4,800 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs in Illinois, including about 1,800 FTE jobs at the utility and its contractors.
In 2015, focused on expanding the benefits of the Smart Grid Law, ComEd introduced its Future Energy Plan, which will grow energy efficiency programs, increase access to renewable energy sources, and set policy to provide affordability amidst clean energy innovation. This Future Energy Plan legislation also aims to continue the state’s economic development via a boost to the state’s emerging green economy.