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Illinois Commerce Commission Approves Ameren Illinois Advanced Electric Meter Plan

By WJBD News

The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) has approved Ameren Illinois' advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) initiative to benefit customers.  Ameren spokesman Leigh Morris calls it a positive step towards implementing the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA).  

He states his customers will sustain significant benefits with the implementation of new advanced meters, which are much different from the types of meters used today.  "It provides usage information electronically back to the company.  So rather than sending a meter reader out, the company will be able to get that information directly from the meter.  That's going to assure the most accurate bill.  That's going to mean no more estimated bills", said Morris.  He says those terminating service will also benefit by receiving a bill the same day they move out of their home or apartment.  

Ameren announced in April they were deploying 780,000 advanced electric meters over the next ten-years. The advanced meters will be used to bolster system reliability.  The meters can help identify overload problems before a power outage occurs and will help repair crews locate outages better to help reduce the time power is out.

Morris says the AMI is a key element in their modernization plan.  However he state funding for all the upgrades is still up for dispute with the ICC and could still be in jeopardy.  He says the ICC is not implementing all the provisions of the EIMA law.  "The Illinois Senate has called upon the commission to take that action no later than December 31st of this year.  If they do that, then that will mean that we will have the full and adequate cost recovery financial certainty needed to move forward with all of these much needed enhancements to the electric distribution grid", said Morris.  

Morris says if the commission does not implement the provisions of EIMA as required by law, then they will have to adjust the time schedule of the plan when it comes to creating jobs and implementing aspects of the plan.  Last week the Illinois Senate passed Senate Resolution 821 that called on the ICC to comply with all EIMA provisions.  The Illinois House passed a similar resolution in support of EIMA last summer.  

For more information about the Ameren Illinois Modernization Action Plan, visit the Ameren Illinois website at AmerenIllinois.com.

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