The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved Ameren’s proposed advanced meters, but the company is partaking in only a metered celebration. Spokesman Leigh Morris says the new meters will report usage levels automatically, allow customers to track their energy usage, and tell whether problems are present that may cause an outage.
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“It can also, in the event of an outage, one, it tells us instantly who’s without power,” says Morris. “And two, by working in conjunction with other automated equipment, it can isolate an outage and prevent it from spreading.” The meters are one component of Ameren’s grid modernization plan. The ICC approved them, but reduced the utility’s revenue further than expected. The legislature, in response, passed resolutions telling the ICC to follow rate-setting formulas outlined by state laws. Morris says the company will still move forward with the electric meters, just slowly and cautiously.