Smart Grid Modernization Act passes Senate

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

Plan to create jobs, improve Illinois' economy, and provide for energy conservation now and for future generations has been passed by Senator Mike Jacobs (D-Moline).

"The Infrastructure Modernization Act will pave the way for an upgraded energy infrastructure that will ensure better reliability and while creating more jobs within Illinois," stated Senator Jacobs, Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.  "The proposed smart grid is an automated power system that monitors and controls grid activities, ensuring a two-way flow of power and information between utility companies and consumers."  

Senate Bill 1652 will allow for electric grid modernization, it will reform the traditional regulatory structure of utility rates, and will create the framework to ensure that the utility companies deliver on the benefits promised to consumers.

Under this proposal, electric rates will now be set according to a formula instead of the traditional ratemaking method and require the companies to invest in modernizing their grid and implementing smart grid technologies. In addition, ComEd and Ameren are required to make certain investments to modernize their infrastructure. This legislation also allows ComEd and Ameren to offer an opt-in rebate program that is designed to provide rebates to residential customers who reduce their use of electricity.  

"The energy infrastructure in Illinois is decades old, however, our need for electricity grows every day," stated Jacobs.  "These Smart Grid improvements will allow us to meet these demands by implementing modern technologies and upgraded equipment."

Senate Bill 1652 has passed both the Senate and the House of Representatives and now goes to the Governor for his consideration.