By: Terence R. Donnelly, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, ComEd
Providing safe, reliable, affordable electricity to more than 4 million customers across northern Illinois is our core mission. And we know how important it is that we continue to deliver on our promise – to drive cost-savings, provide reliable power and maximize value for our customers through the smart grid.
With the flip of a switch, each and every customer relies on us to deliver power in the most efficient and effective manner possible. And each and every day, our employees work hard to come through for our customers, improving their service and experience.
Our commitment to delivering for customers is why we are making significant investments in our delivery system, and why we strive to be at forefront of making both our grid and our region “smarter.” These investments are dramatically changing the energy landscape. As a result, power is more reliable than ever with a 30 percent reduction in storm related customer interruptions and more money-saving opportunities for our customers.
One important part of this equation is cost management. Always a bedrock principle, strong financial management is never more important than when undertaking a historic, $2.6 billion investment to modernize the grid.
Thanks to our investments in the system, since 2012 there have been more than 7.0 million avoided customer interruptions. That has not only kept businesses and homes humming, but has resulted in $1.3 billion in societal economic savings. Additionally, the Smart Grid program has supported 4,569 full-time equivalent jobs in Illinois – at ComEd, at our contractors and suppliers and others resulting from the ripple effect of ComEd’s capital expenditures. ComEd originally promised the smart grid work would result in 2,000 full time positions and we are very proud to have exceeded these expectations.
Behind these improvements has been a steady buildup of digital infrastructure. ComEd has installed 2.5 million smart meters throughout the region, with 1.5 million more set to be installed by 2018. That means in just under 2 short years, everyone in our territory will have access to the smart grid and all the benefits it brings.
We call it Smart Ideas®, and it has helped customers save more than $2 billion on their electric bills, eliminated 23.4 billion pounds of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere – the equivalent of removing 2.4 million cars from the road – and reduced energy usage by more than 16.9 million megawatt-hours – enough energy to power more than 1.8 million homes for a year. You can find out more by visiting www.comed.com/smartideas.
We are proud to be delivering value for our customers – from improved reliability, to cost savings, to more choices and a premier customer experience. They can count on ComEd not just to deliver power but to be a trusted energy partner.
Terence R. Donnelly is Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for ComEd and in this role, leads ComEd’s day-to-day operations. He is responsible for performance in operations, safety, service reliability, customer satisfaction, financial management and smart grid development.