Illinois to build ‘smart grid’
The Illinois Commerce Commission on Wednesday approved a $270 million rate hike for Commonwealth Edison that encourages the utility to begin developing a "smart grid."
Illinois customers have no idea how much electricity they waste on a daily basis, as they see their electric bills only once each month.
And when an outage occurs, local electric utility Commonwealth Edison finds out only when customers call.
According to a Chicago Tribune report , these are the problems with having a 19th century power grid in the 21st century.
So Commonwealth Edison is going to start charging customers more to upgrade the power grid to a “ smart grid .”
With a smart grid , the utility would know when outages happen and could manage the output from multiple power plants. Customers would have real-time information about how much electricity costs. And the entire power system could be ready for a surge in use if plug-in hybrid vehicles find their way into American garages.