The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved a smart meter collaboration that enables Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas to securely transmit natural gas meter data via ComEd’s smart grid communications network.
Electric and power supply meters. Courtesy 123rf
The partnership between the three is hoped to create new efficiencies and cost savings for gas customers and reduce carbon emissions. Together, the two natural gas providers serve more than one million customers, and the majority receive their electricity service from ComEd.
Up to now, Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas have read their customers’ meters by driving a vehicle down every street and transmitting data from each meter via radio signal.
Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) will remove that fleet of vehicles from the street, eliminating more than 580,000 driving miles per year and 626 tons of carbon emissions per year. In addition to helping the environment, the cost savings from the reduced driving and other efficiencies are expected to offset the cost of AMI. Operational savings for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas will total an estimated $5.5 million per year.
Smart meter data insights
Connecting to ComEd’s AMI network also will enable Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas customers to view analytics that detail their energy usage and help them control costs. Fewer in-person appointments will be needed as more tasks can be completed remotely.
“Using AMI will reduce costs for customers and enhance our level of service,” said Torrence Hinton, president of Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas. “Combined with the environmental benefits, this is a great step forward for everyone we serve, and across the Chicago region.”
“Our smart grid investments offer value not only for ComEd customers but for other Illinois utilities,” said Terence Donnelly, ComEd president and COO. “We are eager to demonstrate the benefits of this innovative solution to the customers we share with Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.”
North Shore Gas expects to complete the implementation of AMI by the end of 2023. Peoples Gas expects to finish implementation by the end of 2024.
Installation of any new equipment required will occur in unison with other maintenance work, such as routine safety inspections.