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On Tuesday, the Illinois House Public Utilities Committee unanimously passed H.B.2529, which Chicago-based utility Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) says clarifies existing language in the state's Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA) and helps get the company's smart grid efforts back on track.

This vote comes a month after the Illinois Senate Executive Committee passed S.B.9, which contained a similar ruling. Under the EIMA, ComEd committed to spend $2.6 billion over 10 years to modernize the electric grid in northern Illinois. However, the utility announced in December 2012 that it was halting smart meter installations following a decision from the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) to deny ComEd certain cost-recovery requests.

According to ComEd, the ICC’s interpretation of the law reduced funding by nearly $100 million per year beginning in 2014 and beyond. If H.B.2529 is enacted this spring session, the utility says it will be able to accelerate its meter installations to begin this year.

"House Bill 2529 will give the Illinois economy a boost, provide better service for customers and maintain our state's competitiveness in the new digital economy," says State Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, who sponsored the bill. "This legislation resolves the issues that have threatened to delay smart grid. It's time to get it back on track."

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