ComEd proves smart grid means jobs, but governor may veto it anyway


Quick Take: I urge all utilities to emulate the excellent job ComEd has done to document the jobs created by its smart grid initiative. As you will read below, it just submitted data showing 2,400 new jobs in Illinois in 2012. Linking smart grid to jobs and economic growth is precisely the way to get the public and the regulators on your side.


Sadly, ComEd can't seem to get Illinois' governor on its side no matter what it does. Gov. Pat Quinn vetoed the smart grid law the first time around but was overridden by the legislature. Then regulators balked, forcing ComEd to revamp things. The new plan has the blessing of the legislature but observers predict the governor will try to kill it anyway. - Jesse Berst


Last month the Illinois House on an 86 to 28 vote passed legislation already approved by the state Senate that increases the amount of revenue ComEd can receive for its smart grid initiatives. But as the Chicago Tribune reports, Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to veto the bill just as he did back in 2011. And while the legislature did override the veto, the Illinois Commerce Commission and ComEd had different interpretations of the law when it came time to implement it. That dispute is still making its way through the court system. The bill just approved by the legislature addresses some of the issues in dispute.


With all of that going on, ComEd just released findings from a report it submitted to Illinois regulators detailing the 2,400 full-time equivalent jobs created in 2012 as a result of the 2011 Smart Grid law.