Illinois Electricity Customers Forced to Get ‘Smart Meters’ or Pay Fine

Note:  With elections around the corner, here is the history of how Smart Meters were forced on Illinois… 

When the ‘Smart Meter’ installers show up at your door,  you can pay the $21.53 per month not to have one installed.  Your rates will be going up anyway thanks to Illinois legislators who KNOWINGLY voted for it.    

 And people want to know why there’s a tea party movement??

Here is how it went down back in 2011

Here’s an email Illinois Tea Party sent out on 10/25/11

The Tea Party movement arose out of the realization that neither political party represented the interests of the great majority of the people.  We in Illinois had back stage preview passes to this notion as long ago both Democrats and Republicans sold out the people of Illinois for their own craven interests.

This trait will be on display again as the legislature moves to pass the “Smart Grid” legislation with Republican help.  This legislation will do little more than double everyone’s electric bill with no real benefit to the consumer.  For many, this will be a greater cost than the recent income tax rate hike.

Once again we see Republican legislatures voting their own craven interests rather than the interests of their constituents.   I urge you to have all members of your organization contact their representatives and share with them their thoughts on having their electric bills double in the coming decade.

  Both Quinn and Lisa Madigan are on record to Vote “NO” BUT Lobbyists have hit Springfield and there’s a strong likelihood this will be overturned and Illinois electric bills will potentially double with no benefit to the consumer.    

Electric rates going up, thanks to Illinois Legislature  

 Well, they did it. Illinois legislators overrode Gov. Pat Quinn’s veto of ComEd’s and Ameren’s rate hike bill, so the two electric monopolies get increased rates each year for 10 years without asking permission from the Illinois Commerce Commission.

The Senate voted 36-19 to override.

The House then voted 74-42 to do the same thing.  (Only 3 more votes than were needed).

ComEd didn’t leave anything to chance. The utility has contributed $1.5 million to legislators’ campaign funds since January 2010, says the Better Government Association, an anti-corruption watchdog.

According to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, a fierce critic of the rate hike bill, the electric company “hired every possible lobbyist” in Springfield to press lawmakers to override Quinn’s veto of the measure that passed in May.  

ILLINOIS SENATE AGAIN MOVES ON SMART METER INSTALLATION DESPITE CITIZEN CONCERNS  

 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.

Here’s how they voted in the House

Here’s how they voted in the Senate

McHenry County blog reported: 

2011 Campaign Contributions from Those Interested in Allowing Com Ed & Ameren to Hike Electric Rates without ICC Approval

Christine Radogno – $38,000 – Senate Minority Leader

Kirk Dillard – $19,000 – Gubernatorial Candidate

Bill Brady – $9,500  – Gubernatorial Candidate

  

AND NOW BACK TO 2014

The Weekly Standard –

In the early days of the Obama administration, “smart power” was all the rage—and not just on the foreign policy scene. In April 2009, National Public Radio reported how one Allentown, Pennsylvania, mother was saving more than a hundred dollars each month on her electric bill. Tammy Yeakel’s power company, PPL Energy, had helpfully installed a “smart meter” on her home that could monitor her power usage in real time. The meter uploaded that information to PPL’s website, so she could identify peak usage times during the day.

“I love this site,” Yeakel told NPR. “I called PPL and said, ‘Did you design this for me?’ Because I’m one of these people who love to know where my dollars [are] going and how can I save.”

Thanks to her newfound knowledge made possible by the smart meter, Yeakel was finding all sorts of ways to save, like installing a storm door and switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs. And in the middle of the recession, those extra dollars saved were important.

The Obama administration wanted in on the action, too. From NPR:

President Obama wants to use stimulus money to help install 40 million smart meters nationwide to help Americans save electricity and money. Smart meters can track energy use daily, hourly, monthly and even instantaneously, and send that data to power companies. The advanced meters can save companies money, because they no longer need meter readers, and they can fix outages more efficiently.

 

Speaking in March at the American Enterprise Institute, Rowe said, “Smart grid we are reluctant to embrace because it costs too much and we’re not sure what good it will do. We have looked at most of the elements of smart grid for 20 years, and we have never been able to come up with estimates that make it pay. … In Illinois, we are doing pilot projects on smart grid, which I think is a better way to do it.”

Madigan told legislators in a letter, “ComEd and Ameren are asking you to require Illinois consumers to pay $2.6 billion more for their electricity while guaranteeing higher profits for utility shareholders and weakening regulatory oversight of utility spending.” She agreed with Rowe that smart grid technology is unproven. But when ComEd executives came to the Editorial Board earlier in October, “smart grid,” not rate hikes, was their mantra.

Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, voted for a separate trailer bill to change the original bill “because it adds $200 million on storm damage prevention and it also adds money for low-income family energy relief.” That trailer bill passed. Syverson voted against the override.

“Rebuilding infrastructure is necessary. My question is about how much of the cost is paid by the ratepayers and how much by the bondholders, and what role does the ICC play?” Syverson said.

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3 Responses to Illinois Electricity Customers Forced to Get ‘Smart Meters’ or Pay Fine

  1. Pingback: Champion News | Illinois Electricity Customers Forced to Get ‘Smart Meters’ or Pay Fine

  2. Joan keysor says:

    How do I opt out of getting a smart meter installed in my residence in springfield illinois?

    • iteap says:

      Generally, Smart meters are mandatory by law. You can check the website for your utility company for further information about any options that they are offering to consumers. Some local utilities may offer options. You may find this website useful. Notice the Ameren/ComEd tab for information about these companies (if these are your power company.) There is lots of activity and pushback efforts that you can get involved in.

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