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Naperville Smart Grid Initiative: A New Partner - U.S. Department of Energy

In the fall of 2009, the City of Naperville Smart Grid Initiative received an $11 million grant from the Smart Grid Investment Grant Program, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Naperville was the only Illinois project, and one of only a handful of communities, to receive funding. This served as a testament to all that the city has accomplished over the past 17 years. Subsequently, in December of 2009, the Naperville City Council endorsed Naperville’s Smart Grid Initiative and committed financial support for the city to match the grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to install the smart grid. This action allows the city to move forward with negotiating and finalizing the award for final City Council approval in early 2010. An inspiration to other municipal utilities, the Naperville Smart Grid Initiative received funding because it was shovel-ready and those driving the project had thoroughly demonstrated through 17 years of work that they were committed to the success of this project.

This next phase of Naperville’s smart grid project will include:

  • Complete automation of the city’s electric grid, by integrating automatic, computerized meter readings. This will enhance system efficiency and reliability, streamline customer billing and increase billing accuracy. The addition of more than 57,000 smart meters will allow residents and businesses to analyze and adjust their energy usage patterns, thus conserving energy and controlling consumption and costs.
  • Implement time of use pricing structures that more accurately reflect the actual cost of what it costs for Naperville to buy power for its residents. Most residents don’t know that power is much more expensive during the day, than at night.
  • Provide consumers with secure wireless access to real time electricity usage data so that they can better understand how they use electricity and seek ways to lower costs.
  • Pay consumers to help Naperville reduce peak demand, which increases overall electricity costs for all residents.
  • Educate consumers and introduce them to emerging technologies that will assist with managing energy costs
  • Based on the availability of real-time feedback, the Department of Public Utilities will increase utility reliability and support two-way communication flow between the customer and the utility.
  • Through a better understanding of utility demand and usage, pricing can be lowered accordingly.
  • The smart grid will also serve as the initial infrastructure to support electric car usage for the average household.

Naperville Smart Grid Initiative Case Study

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