Crain’s Chicago Business: ComEd fell below outage standard in 2012

CUB’s eager to see ComEd launch “smart grid” improvements that benefit consumers, but the latest headlines show that tackling Illinois’ power grid problems won’t be easy.

In 2011, the General Assembly allowed ComEd to increase its delivery rates over the next decade to pay for $2.6 billion in “smart grid” improvements to the power grid. As part of the legislation, ComEd must meet certain yearly standards.  

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Recently, ComEd reported to state regulators that it failed to meet a key standard in 2012. It’s supposed to restore power after an outage within 91.5 minutes on average. But in 2012, even with storm exemptions that it’s allowed, ComEd took 95 minutes on average to restore power. (The standard is not enforceable until this year, so ComEd won’t suffer a financial penalty–a rate decrease–for missing the mark in 2012.)

CUB Executive Director David Kolata told Crain’s that this shows “it won’t be a cinch” for ComEd to make the new smart grid standards. As for improving storm response, “there’s certainly a lot more that needs to be done,” he said.

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