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Illinois power companies arguing in favor of smart grid development

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Tuesday, April 12, 2011

According to a recent report from a local Illinois news station, several of the state's largest power and utility companies are urging lawmakers to pass a bill that would lead to the development of new smart grids.

The bill has been met with opposition from consumer groups, however, as they claim the new grid would increase annual rates.

Lawmakers are currently weighing both sides of the argument. The state's power companies have reiterated that now is the time to move toward new technology, as waiting any longer could result in missing the chance to upgrade.

"We will lose the opportunity to modernize critical infrastructure, on which businesses - new and old - depend," said Anne Pramaggiore, the president of one of the major local power companies.

"If the smart grid is done right, it could be something that's good for consumers," said David Kolata, executive director of the Citizens Utility Board. "You have to be very careful about it; you have to define it in legislation and provide guarantees."

Smart grid technologies have become increasingly popular across the country, as they allow consumers and companies to keep better track of their energy usage. As a result, these parties are able to control their spending better, despite the initial raise in utility rates. 

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