illinois

US energy provider ComEd has filed a proposal to reduce energy tariffs for its customers in Illinois.

The utility has asked the Illinois Commerce Commission to reduce its annual revenue from consumer bills by $23 million, compared to the approved rates in effect in January of this year.

If approved, the proposal reduces the average residential electricity delivery bill by about $0.50.

ComEd claims investments made in smart grid infrastructure and technologies are resulting in lower operational costs and improved reliability of grid network hence consumer bills need to remain stable.

In September 2008, residential consumers paid an average of $85 which rose to $86 in January this year. Despite the $1 increase, ComEd’s energy tariffs are 14% below energy prices in the top 20 most populated cities in the US and 19% below the top 10 US cities.

This is the eighth time the energy provider has filed proposals for the energy regulator to review tariffs since the Energy Infrastructure Modernisation Act (EIMA) or “Smart Grid Law”.

EIMA was enacted in 2011 and has paved the way for $12 billion in investments towards smart grid development in Illinois.

Since 2012, ComEd says it has reduced the duration and occurrence of outages by 50%.

Between 2012 and 2017, the utility has avoided 7.7 million customer interruptions including 1.5 million in 2017, owing to smart grid investments. This resulted in $1.5 billion in societal savings.

Annie Pramaggiore, CEO at ComEd, said the development of a smart grid has created more than 4,000 jobs in Illinois since 2011.

The news comes at a time when the utility is expecting to complete a roll out of smart meters in its service territory in October this year, three years ahead of the original schedule.

ComEd also has plans to increase its customer data and distribution centers and implement system reliability programmes and new technologies including Voltage Optimisation, to improve consumer energy efficiency and reduce energy distribution losses.