SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Oct. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- After reaching agreement with ComEd on a conceptual framework for improved operating and communications protocols during storm response and other emergency situations, the Northwest Municipal Conference is withdrawing its opposition to SB 1652 and taking a neutral position on the legislation.
Following the severe storms across northeastern Illinois this summer, the Northwest Municipal Conference (NWMC) held a series of internal meetings resulting in a white paper that created a framework for improving ComEd's reliability as well as storm restoration and communications procedures. The Conference and ComEd subsequently convened a series of working sessions on the Conference recommendations that resulted in the agreement announced today.
ComEd and the municipalities share the goal of developing enforceable operating protocols to address these storm-related issues across ComEd's entire service territory. The precise protocols, to be developed in coming days, would be filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission within 45 days after enactment of Senate Bill 1652. Utility operating protocols similar to these are periodically filed by utilities with the ICC and are fully enforceable by the ICC.
ComEd President and COO Anne Pramaggiore said the agreement with the NWMC is a reflection of the utility's desire to improve service to customers not only during storms but at all times.
"ComEd appreciates the opportunity to work collaboratively with the municipalities during this process and is committed to filing formal operating protocols that are fully enforceable. The company is further committed to working collaboratively and continuously with the municipalities on service and reliability issues. We believe community engagement is a critical feature of the new utility business model," Pramaggiore said.
Christopher S. Canning, President of the Northwest Municipal Conference and President of the Village of Wilmette, said, "The agreement with ComEd addresses systematic shortfalls in storm response and in communication with municipalities that the Conference had identified in its white paper and presented to ComEd. The Conference is committed to ensuring that the agreement results in better electric service for all residents of its 42 member communities, as well as ComEd's entire service territory."
Separately, ComEd previously announced that it has established a Storm Response Process Improvement Task Force to develop and implement improvements in its storm restoration process and reliability performance. The Task Force is evaluating the company's entire storm restoration efforts and assessing how it communicates with customers in those situations. A number of improvements are currently underway.
SOURCE ComEd; NWMC