Grassroots Pursuit of Smart Grid for Illinois

In what is perhaps the first of its kind effort, a grassroots group in Illinois, called the Illinois Smart Grid Initiative, announced on June 4, 2008, that it is exploring how smart grid technology could bring the people of Illinois a cleaner environment while holding down electricity costs. The group has the support of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley and other community leaders and legislators, and will soon launch to promote the effort. The effort is being funded by the Bob Galvin Electricity Initiative. The group will conduct a collaborative, one-year study of the issue and will produce a report identifying steps for improving electricity service in Illinois. This unusual grassroots effort was likely spawned by the auction-based competitive electricity market in place in Illinois and the general feeling that electricity prices are too high and that the utilities could cut costs through implementation of smart grid technology.


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