News and Events Involving Environmental Law, Published by Chicago Environmental Attorney Dave Scriven-Young
of Peckar & Abramson, P.C. -- (312) 881-6309

Naperville Awarded $11 Million for Digital Electricity Meters

According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the City of Naperville has been awarded $11 million of federal stimulus money for digital electricity meters.  The award is subject to the city coming up with matching funds.

“Digital electricity meters, called smart meters, permit consumers to monitor their energy use in near-real time, allowing them to reduce their carbon footprint and power bills by setting certain household appliances to run during low-demand hours, when electricity is cheaper.  They are one component of smart grid technology that would also make it easier to incorporate renewable energy into the overall electricity production process and avoid massive blackouts by making the power grid more transparent.”

It is expected that the city will save about $80 million through lower power rates and reduce 180,000 tons of carbon emissions over the next 15 years.

According to the city’s website, Naperville’s smart grid project includes:

• Complete automation of the city’s electric grid, which will provide automatic, computerized meter readings in real-time. This will streamline customer billing and increasing billing accuracy.

• The addition of more than 57,000 smart meters will allow residents and businesses to analyze and adjust their energy usage patterns, thus conserving energy and controlling consumption and costs.

• Based on the availability of real-time feedback, the Department of Public Utilities will increase utility reliability and support two-way communication flow between the customer and the utility.

• Through a better understanding of utility demand and usage, pricing can be lowered accordingly.

• The smart grid will also serve as the initial infrastructure to support electric car usage for the average household.

Stay tuned to the Illinois Environmental Law Blog for more news and developments.

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