St. Louis, MO, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- August 12, 2008 - More than 670 000 meters have been installed by Ameren Illinois utilities – Ameren IP, AmerenCIPS and AmerenCILCO – representing more than half the goal of 1.1 million meters, in a program started in 2006.

The meters, which have been provided by Landis+Gyr, are paving the way for the next generation of distribution networking – smart grids which use precise monitoring and communication to enhance the effectiveness of the distribution system.

According to Bruce Hollibaugh, the managing supervisor for smart grid and meter reading services, the new meters "position us for smart grid applications."

However any plans for a smart grid "was still down the road" with no immediate plans to install what is likely to be an expensive exercise.

The Citizens Utility Board, a consumer watchdog group, said that, done right, a smart grid system could add up to significant savings for consumers. It wants the utilities to move ahead with the project, using guidelines worked out carefully by lawmakers and the state's power system regulators.

Says David Kolata, the utility boards executive director: "If the smart grid is done right, we're very much in favor of it.  But we all need to make sure Ameren does it right."