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ComEd's Smart Grid Starts to Pay Dividends in Northern Illinois

Jan. 29, 2019
Smart-grid and system improvements help avoid more than 11 million outages and produce US$2.1 billion in societal savings

ComEd’s smart-grid investments are delivering consistent reliability for northern Illinois residents and businesses. In 2018, ComEd customers experienced power outages as infrequently as they did in 2017, the company’s best year on record. Since ComEd started its smart-grid investments in 2012, customers have enjoyed 45% less outages and overall reliability improvement of more than 60%. Additionally, customers saw record reliability in the city of Chicago, where the frequency of outages has been reduced by nearly 60% since 2012.

“Everything we do starts with providing excellent service to the families and businesses that rely on us,” said Joe Dominguez, the CEO of ComEd. “Our investments in the smart grid, along with the talented women and men who work hard every day to serve our customers, continue to provide more reliable power. They also serve as the foundation for programs that will enable more clean energy on the system, increase energy-efficiency opportunities for our customers and grow the energy workforce of the future.”

Since 2012, ComEd has avoided more than 11-million customer interruptions, partly because of smart-grid and system improvements, including distribution automation or digital “smart switches” that automatically reroute power around potential problem areas. The avoided outages have resulted in US$2.1 billion in societal savings.

“As a result of smart-grid and other system improvements, ComEd customers are continuing to experience fewer and shorter outages. This was the promise of the smart grid. We are continuing to invest in our system to bring greater reliability to residents and businesses,” said Terrence R. Donnelly, ComEd president and chief operating officer.

Strong power reliability and Illinois’s competitive electricity-supply market help attract businesses to ComEd’s northern Illinois service territory. Illinois was recently recognized as the No. 2 state in the nation for grid modernization by the GridWise Alliance.

“Businesses today demand and depend on reliable electric infrastructure. ComEd’s track record of providing strong reliability is a key component to attracting and retaining businesses in Will County,” said John Greuling, the president and CEO of the Will County Center for Economic Development. "We are pleased to see continued, strong utility-reliability performance, which provides businesses the assurance that Illinois is the right place for their continued growth and investment."

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