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Smart Meter Deployment & Transitions

By Phill Feltham

In the past 100 years, customer interaction with electric utilities has not changed significantly. However, with the introduction of smart meters, customers are now able to sign up for new programs and access their electricity usage data.

In early 2013, the Illinois Energy Infrastructure and Modernization Act authorized a $2.6 billion investment by Commonwealth Edison (ComEd), the largest electric utility in Illinois serving the Chicago and Northern Illinois area, to upgrade and modernize their electric grid, including the installation of approximately four million smart meters in homes and businesses across northern Illinois.

This move toward grid modernization is a major step in enabling the utility to improve reliability, reduce operating costs, and improve customer service.

This change will affect nearly all 3.8 million households and businesses throughout ComEd’s service territory and, just as importantly, over 6,000 employees; so it was imperative that the utility focus on the people aspect of this significant change.

ComEd collaborated with Deloitte Consulting LLP, a professional services company, to develop and implement a change management program to guide employees’ experience through what was initially a 10-year deployment plan.

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