The Illinois Senate Executive Committee quietly passed Senate Bill 9 out of committee by a vote of 14 to 0 yesterday. ComEd celebrated, stating that the bill gets their Smart Grid program "back on track." Under the Smart Grid law, ComEd is allowed to raise customer rates every year for 10 years in order to pay for their $2.6 billion grid in Northern Illinois.
We commend Senate President Cullerton (D) for moving this legislation early in the new session," said Anne Pramaggiore, ComEd president and CEO. Dean Apple, president of IBEW Local 15, which will be paid to install the meters said, "On behalf of the men and women of Northern Illinois who make up IBEW Local 15, we enthusiastically support this legislation."
The Smart Meter program is not without controversy. Along with questions about the politics of the legislation, smart meters themselves have become a hotbutton issue for property rights advocates and individuals concerned about the health risks the meters themselves. Recently a video (below) of Naperville police forceably installing the meters and arresting homeowners went viral.