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updated: 4/16/2013 10:13 AM

ComEd urges Quinn to sign bill to help smart meter project

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  • Anne R. Pramaggiore

      Anne R. Pramaggiore

  • Rodney S. Craig, Village President in the Village of Hanover Park.

      Rodney S. Craig, Village President in the Village of Hanover Park.

 
 

ComEd executives and the Hanover Park village president Monday urged Gov. Pat Quinn to sign Senate Bill 9, which contains a $70 million rate hike the utility says would allow smart meter installation and system upgrades to proceed on course.

If Quinn vetoes the bill by the May 20 deadline, ComEd will push for an override, said Fidel Marquez Jr., senior vice president of governmental and external affairs at ComEd.

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In March, the Illinois House passed legislation, already approved by the state Senate, that could raise utility rates by roughly $70 million annually, or about 40 cents more per month on an $82 bill.

The Illinois Commerce Commission, which regulates utilities, last year denied the company about $100 million in rate increases it sought.

ComEd executives say the 10-year plan to install smart meters that would immediately detect outages and monitor power usage, along with upgrades for underground cable and aboveground equipment, is aimed at the future for growing businesses and expanding residential customers.

ComEd CEO Anne Pramaggiore said ComEd has shown its dedication to improving customer service and storm outage reaction and seeks to continue that momentum.

"Right now, we're installing a new system and maintaining the old system," she said. "It doesn't make sense to keep two systems going."

Hanover Park President Rodney S. Craig, joining ComEd in lobbying for the bill, said the potential new law could help pave the way for the future development of his town.

"I hope he signs the bill," Craig said of Quinn. "The future growth of Hanover Park is dependent on it. I want to make it state-of-the-art so we can attract more businesses."

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