ComEd laid out the general schedule for installation of smart meters throughout the city of Chicago recently. The city’s south side will start to receive the new meters in 2014 and will have the network fully in place by 2016. The north side will begin to receive the meters next and, by 2018, the city’s 1.3 million homes or businesses will be able to take advantage of the smart meter technology 97 percent of Illinois electric cooperative members already have.
Smart meters lay the foundation for the evolving smart grid that will improve reliability and efficiency. They can provide more information on energy use to consumers, and utility managers and engineers. They can help facilitate new rate and payment options, and improve energy efficiency efforts. Plus smart meters can help speed service restoration during outages and help identify power quality problems.