A bill to expand the time utility companies Ameren Illinois and Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) have to implement the state’s “smart grid” electrical improvement and modernization program was recently signed into law by Gov. Rauner.
The initial smart grid law, passed in 2011, was scheduled to expire in 2017; the new law extends the law by two years to allow utilities Ameren and ComEd to continue upgrading the state’s electrical system. Ameren requested an extension of the original smart grid law to give the company more time to implement improvements to the state’s electric system.
The smart grid program was initially passed to improve the state’s dated electrical system, including investments in new “smart” meters, new poles, substation upgrades, underground manholes and storm prevention upgrades. These improvements are intended to improve the quality and reliability of the state’s electric system, preventing widespread, lengthy power outages and allowing for future consumer growth throughout Illinois.