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Commonwealth Edison Co. (ComEd), a unit of Chicago-based Exelon Corp., has selected the town of Elgin, Ill., to participate in the company's proposed advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) pilot - the largest test of smart-grid technologies in the Midwest - rewarding town officials for creating a customer-focused plan to integrate smart meters in the community as part of the pilot.

Elgin is one of 10 municipalities participating in ComEd's Community Energy Challenge (CEC), a program designed to generate creative, locally driven approaches to help communities meet their environmental-sustainability objectives. For its efforts to develop a grassroots education plan regarding the capabilities of smart-meter technology, the town has been chosen from among the CEC communities to receive 10,000 meters as part of ComEd's one-year AMI pilot, subject to Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) approval.

ComEd filed a petition June 1 with the ICC recommending communities to participate in the pilot. If approved, approximately 141,000 smart meters will be deployed in Chicago, 11 suburban communities and Elgin in the pilot to comprehensively assess how customers will interact with this innovative technology.

Elgin's plan for a customer-focused, community education approach will help ensure ComEd residential and business customers understand the new smart-meter technology and ultimately realize energy savings through access to new tools and information. The town's winning recommendation, which includes customer satisfaction and user-feedback surveys, will help ComEd examine how customers respond to and use the technology.

The CEC-recommended plans were evaluated on their potential to meet energy and sustainability requirements, including reducing municipal building energy consumption; reducing community energy consumption; addressing community education surrounding energy efficiency and sustainability; meeting regulatory cost-effectiveness requirements; and leveraging resources to meet a sustainability objective.

Following an approximately six-month approval docket, the ICC will make a final decision regarding implementation and timing of the AMI pilot. Although rollout plans are still under development, new meter installation could begin in November, once approved. ComEd's goal is to eventually deploy smart meters throughout the company's service territory as part of a full smart-grid system.

SOURCE: Commonwealth Edison Co.



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