For Immediate Release
ComEd Media Relations
Smart grid and system improvements help to reduce outages by nearly 50 percent and produce $1.5 billion in societal savings
CHICAGO (January 25, 2018) For the last five years, ComEd, a unit of Exelon, has worked on upgrading and modernizing its electrical grid to improve the reliability of its service to customers. The work has resulted in record-setting performance. In 2017, ComEd customers experienced a 10 percent reduction in the frequency of outages compared to 2016. Since investments began in 2012, frequency of outages has been reduced by nearly 46 percent and the duration of outages has decreased by 47 percent.
From 2012 through 2017, there have been more than 7.7 million avoided customer interruptions, including 1.5 million in 2017 due to additional investments in distribution automation or digital "smart switches" that automatically reroute power around potential problem areas. These 7.7 million avoided outages have resulted in $1.5 billion in societal savings.
"Our work to modernize the grid continues to deliver sustainable benefits for our customers and the state's economy, as promised" said Anne Pramaggiore, president and CEO of ComEd. "We are building off the foundation of this work to move Illinois toward a clean, lean and ultra-resilient energy future giving our customers greater access to renewables, more energy efficiency programs and control over their energy costs, while also helping to create jobs within our communities."
In 2016, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Future Energy Jobs Act, which pivots Illinois to the new clean energy economy, saving and creating thousands of clean energy jobs and providing job training for the future workforce, while also creating significant consumer and environmental benefits. This comprehensive, bipartisan legislation jumpstarts renewables in Illinois, setting the stage to grow enough solar and wind energy to power one million homes. It also significantly increases energy efficiency programs, creating more than $4 billion in consumer savings and reducing the CO2 equivalent to removing 18 million cars from the road. Further, FEJA contains significant programs for low-income communities and extends ComEd's customer assistance programs through 2021.
"As a result of smart grid and other system improvements, ComEd customers are experiencing another year of record reliability - with fewer and shorter outages and better service. We look forward to continuing to deliver on the value of smart grid for our customers and helping them and our state reap the benefits," said Terence R, Donnelly, ComEd executive vice-president and chief operating officer.
Strong power reliability and Illinois' competitive electricity supply market are key attributes why businesses continue to commit to building facilities in our northern Illinois service territory. This is evidenced in the recognition in Site Selection magazine naming ComEd to its annual list of Top 10 Utilities in Economic Development for 2017.
"ComEd's sustained reliability performance is helping set Illinois apart from other states, regions, and international locations we compete daily with for new business investment," said Mark Peterson, President and CEO of Intersect Illinois, a privately funded economic development organization. "We are thrilled to see record setting energy industry reliability performance which provides businesses the assurance that Illinois is the right place for their continued growth."