ICC says ComEd can delay rollout of smart meters

December 5, 2012

Lewis Wallace and the Associated Press

The Illinois Commerce Commission has agreed to let Commonwealth Edison delay the rollout of so-called "smart" meters.

The digital devices record electricity consumption in greater detail than older meters. They will be installed on homes in ComEd's service area as part of a program to modernize the electrical grid to prevent outages and help consumers save money. 

The ICC voted Wednesday to grant the company's request to postpone.

But the commission said it did not think ComEd's claim of insufficient funding for the project was valid.

"The rates that were approved by the commission allow them to recover all of their expenses associated with this project as well as to earn a return on their investment in it," said Beth Bosch, spokesperson for the commission.

ComEd disagrees with the ICC on 12 technical issues in the commission's proposed rate formula. The company said the ICC's formulas will decrease its revenues by at least $100 million per year and make the smart meter project unsustainable.

"We are not going to be able to embark on a billion-dollar investment program without assurance of having adequate funding," said Judy Rader of ComEd.

ComEd wants to delay installation until 2015; the ICC said it will revisit the issue in April.