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Illinois Commission Approves Charge to ComEd Customers Who Decline Smart Meter Installations

By: T&D World Magazine |

The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved a new tariff to be applied to bills of ComEd customers who either don’t provide the utility the necessary access to install new smart meters or who refuse the new smart meters.

The Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA) requires ComEd to install smart meters, for all customers over a 10-year period. ComEd has filed a deployment schedule with the ICC to meet the requirements of the EIMA. As part of the deployment plan, ComEd also provided its customer communication plan that ensures customers receive adequate notice before the smart meter refusal charge would appear on their bills.

The Commission set a monthly customer charge of US$21.53 for customers, which was at the low end of a range of potential fees submitted by the utility. The Commission determined that the charge is reasonable and reflects additional costs required to read or service the older model, analog meters. Smart meters are capable of sending customer usage data electronically, eliminating costs associated with reading meters manually.

ComEd is required to complete installation of the meters for all customers in its service territory by 2022. In its order the Commission stated, “If customers make the decision to refuse an AMI meter now and incur monthly charges associated with this choice it should be with full knowledge that this refusal is simply deferring the inevitable.”

The order directed ComEd to ensure customers know that if they decline a smart meter or fail to allow the utility access to their property for the meter installation, they will pay the additional charge for non-AMI service, but the smart meters ultimately will be installed as provided for in the law.