The Illinois Commerce Commission has rejected Ameren Illinois’ plan to install so-called “advanced meters” on concerns it won’t save any money. Ameren Illinois wanted to use a new state law that allows companies to upgrade their power grids and recoup the costs from customers. The ICC still has oversight of the process, and said Ameren’s advanced meter plan didn’t detail how money would be saved or how much would be saved.
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“SmartGrid is something that I think we expect is going to come to Illinois,” says I.C.C. spokesman Beth Bosch. “There’s been a pilot project in Commonwealth Edison for several years now. But Ameren has failed to meet the primary criteria, which is to show a cost benefit to customers.” The agency called Ameren Illinois’ plan vague and incomplete, bordering on more of a “vision statement” than an actual plan. Company spokesman Leigh Morris says the ICC decision is under review, and he’s not sure how the company will react just yet. “The action that was taken by the ICC is only one step in what’s going to be a very long process,” he says. “Commissioners did make it clear that they want to see AMI benefits for all of our customers.”