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Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl traveled to Springfield on Oct. 26 as part of a delegation of northwest suburban Mayors and Council Members from the Northwest Municipal Conference. The Conference is the Council of Governments representing forty-two cities and villages in northwest Illinois. The conference and ComEd finally came to an agreement.
The primary focus of the trip was to advocate for improved storm response and other services from ComEd as it works to secure broader legislation for the implementation of “smart grid” technologies in the ComEd service area. The Northwest Municipal Conference had been opposed to SB 1652, a “trailer bill” introduced to address these concerns, but the conference believed the legislation did not go far enough to offer tangible, long term solutions.
Tthe bill passed, but State Senator Jeff Schoenberg opposed the bill as not being sufficient to address concerns of his constituents. In the house, Representatives Robyn Gabel and Daniel Biss opposed a similar bill on similsr grounds. Later that day, the Conference and ComEd jointly announced an agreement to develop operating protocols to address future storm related power disruptions throughout ComEd’s service area. These protocols would be developed and filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) within 45 days of enactment of SB 1652. The protocols would be fully enforceable through the ICC. With this agreement, the Conference withdrew its opposition to SB 1652.
In a joint statement of ComEd and the Northwest Municipal Conference regarding the improved storm-response agreement, ComEd President and COO Anne Pramaggiore said the agreement with the NWMC is a reflection of the utility’s desire to improve service to customers not only during storms but at all times.
“ComEd appreciates the opportunity to work collaboratively with the municipalities during this process and is committed to filing formal operating protocols that are fully enforceable. The company is further committed to working collaboratively and continuously with the municipalities on service and reliability issues. We believe community engagement is a critical feature of the new utility business model,” Ms. Pramaggiore said.
Separately, ComEd previously announced that it has established a Storm Response Process Improvement Task Force to develop and implement improvements in its storm restoration process and reliability performance. The Task Force is evaluating the company’s entire storm restoration efforts and assessing how it communicates with customers in those situations. The company says a number of improvements are currently underway.