Illinois regulators approve smart meter collaboration between ComEd, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas for data collection

Published on October 31, 2022 by Chris Galford

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With approval from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) last week, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas will begin securely transmitting natural gas meter data through ComEd’s smart grid communications network, eliminating the need for a physical vehicle fleet.

ComEd utilized an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) of smart meters, communications networks, and data management systems. Until now, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas have relied on more traditional methods to serve their more than 1 million customers by driving vehicles to and transmitting data from each meter by radio signal. Implementation of AMI would allow them to remove said vehicle fleet – something the companies noted would eliminate nearly 600,000 miles of driving per year and remove 626 tons of carbon emissions per year while saving their customers approximately $5.5 million annually.

“Our smart grid investments offer value not only for ComEd customers but for other Illinois utilities,” Terence Donnelly, ComEd president and COO, said. “We are eager to demonstrate the benefits of this innovative solution to the customers we share with Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.”

The changes will not be immediate, though in many cases, some of the necessary pieces are already in place. Many of the gas providers’ customers already receive electricity service from ComEd. North Shore expects to complete the transition to AMI by the end of next year, while Peoples Gas will follow suit by the end of 2024.