Readers by now have figured out that I think Com Ed’s and Ameren’s electricity rate hike “Smart Grid” bill is dumb.
Let me tell you why.
The Illinois Commerce Commission has granted monopoly status to electric utilities.
In return for these monopolies, the electric utilities were charged with delivering electricity.
Creating and maintaining an infrastructure, in other words.
Also being promoted are electric meters that don’t require meter readers to walk through your yard. They can be remotely read.
Algonquin has these for its water system.
If a utility finds they will save money, by all means install them.
Do the analysis and figure out how many years it will take to pay for them out of the meter readers’ salaries that will not have to be paid.
And, for goodness sake, don’t use the absurd argument that your customers will not call to tell you that they have no electricity. The current system gets repairmen where they need to go.
Now Commonwealth Edison and Ameren, which has taken over pretty much all of Downstate Illinois’ electric companies, except those rural ones created with Federal subsidy, come moaning to the Illinois General Assembly that their infrastructure is inadequate.
The reason the ICC was created, according to an old man (to me in my 30’s) I met on the train to Springfield was that utility magnate Sam Insull, whose secretary this fellow rider said he was, decided it would be easier to bribe a majority of a regulatory commission than a majority of the Illinois General Assembly.
It appears the ICC Commissioners can no longer be bribed.
So, it’s off to the Illinois General Assembly.
Yesterday, the Illinois Senate passed a bill (House Bill 3036) which supposedly makes the electric rate hike bill better.
Jack Franks, switching from opposing the rate increase to supporting it, flipped on the so-called “trailer bill.”
Maybe the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, just to name one of his union contributors, got through to him.
But he wasn’t the only local legislator to vote for the rate hike. Mike Tryon did, too.
Interestingly, the only local State Representative to vote against the measure is the only one with a primary election opponent–Kent Gaffney.
Yesterday, McHenry County Blog reproduced the Senate roll call on the trailer bill. Senator Pam Althoff supported the bill, Senator Dan Duffy did not.
Below is the House roll call on the first Senate amendment to House Bill 3036:
The second amendment passed by the same 91-24 vote.
Next comes the vote on the main event, the override of Governor Pat Quinn’s Senate Bill 1652, first in the Senate and, then, assuming the override passes, which pretty much every observer thinks it will, in the House.