The Illinois Senate has passed a resolution calling on the Illinois Commerce Commission to follow the rules set by legislation to implement the smart grid. At issue are ICC-forced rate cuts on Ameren and ComEd. Some who voted in favor of the Senate resolution, like Sen. Tony Munoz (D-Chicago), say a cut in funds to the utilities means a cut of jobs for those working on the smart grid project.
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“They’re not getting any of the funding, the ICC stopped it. Well guess what? There’s no more jobs, the people that did get hired are possibly going to lose their jobs and it’s a shame. It shouldn’t be that way,” Munoz said. Leigh Morris, spokesman for Ameren Illinois, says because of the ICC decision, Ameren will fall $55 million short next year in recovering costs - including costs related to work on the smart grid plan, also called the Modernization Action Plan by Ameren. Morris says the ICC is required to follow the rate filing mechanism as outlined in the smart grid legislation that passed last year. He says by not recovering costs, work to the smart grid would slow down.
Meanwhile, the Citizens Utility Board says the utilities have ample funds to deliver the smart grid plan. They back the ICC action. The House passed a similar resolution this summer.