ComEd: Smart grid help reduce outages by 10 percent

ComEd customers experienced a 10 percent reduction in the frequency of outages last year compared to 2016, resulting in the best on record performance for the fifth year in a row, according to documents the utility submitted to the Illinois Commerce Commission.

"The investments we've made to strengthen and modernize the grid across our system are enabling us to deliver strong results for our customers," said Terence R. Donnelly, ComEd president and chief operating officer. "Since the smart grid program was launched in 2012, the frequency and duration of outages has been reduced by nearly 50 percent. We are now focused on sustaining this new higher standard and making additional investments."

The 2017 report showed there were fewer customers affected per storm outage and fewer lengthy outages during storms. Customers experiencing an interruption lasting 12 or more hours during storms has decreased 81 percent compared to the five-year average prior to the smart grid program.

An overall residential customer satisfaction score, as measured by J.D. Power & Associates, rose again in 2017, the fifth consecutive high ComEd has achieved on a full-year basis. Improvements are also recognized among ComEd commercial customers.

"The smart grid investments made by ComEd are helping us better manage energy usage and costs for 23 facilities throughout one of the largest school districts in Illinois," said Colin Wilkie, energy and operations manager of Wheaton School District 200. "Utilities can't prevent storms but they can fortify their systems to be less vulnerable and use technology to expedite the restoration process and improve communications, and that's what ComEd is doing. A more modern grid will also increase access to renewable energy, which is of great interest to school administrators and to our students."

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