All Systems Go: Engineering Sustainable Utility Solutions

November 18, 2011

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Kara Olson Teasley, president of Illinois American Water

When we crank up heaters, fire up ovens, and turn on taps, we don’t normally consider how the resources powering our lives are delivered to our homes, businesses, and institutions—until, of course, something stops working. That’s when we realize what utility providers already know: Assessing, repairing, and modernizing the infrastructure responsible for providing electricity, gas, and water is absolutely critical to a strong economy, healthy environment, and good quality of life.

As pipes and plants age and as consumers react to economic conditions and environmental concerns, taking care of this infrastructure is no small feat. At "All Systems Go: Engineering Sustainable Utility Solutions," the third and final event in Metropolitan Planning Council’s infrastructure roundtable series, executives from ComEd, People’s Gas, and Illinois American Water discuss the challenges of providing high-quality utility services at a reasonable cost to consumers. The topics include:

  • The current state of the region’s utility infrastructure, including the costs and performance issues associated with aging systems, repair/modernization needs, and financing challenges and opportunities.
  • Opportunities to implement smart infrastructure systems, including real time pricing and advanced metering, to achieve more sustainable operations.
  • Revenue structures that encourage conservation and efficiency by users, while recouping sufficient revenue to cover utility costs.
  • Potential to create new jobs for the region by bringing these systems up to good condition.
  • The role customer engagement and education plays in encouraging more efficient consumption.

Panelists include: J. Tyler Anthony, ComEd's senior vice president of distribution operations; Mark Radtke, Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (People’s Gas), executive vice president—chief strategy officer; and Karla Olson Teasley, president of Illinois American Water.

Recorded Thursday, November 17, 2011 at the Metropolitan Planning Council.