From the office of Ill. State Senator Kirk Dillard (24th District)…
In a Friday, October 14, 2011 interview on WLS radio’s Don Wade and Roma Show, Illinois State Senator Kirk Dillard (R-Westmont) outlined his concerns about the SmartGrid legislation being pushed by Commonwealth Edison.
Voicing concerns relayed to him by local citizens and elected officials, Dillard said on the radio station that the SmartGrid legislation needs improvement. “The status quo is not enough,” Dillard said. “Cities like Elmhurst, which is right in my area, have had severe power outages. We need reliability. We’ve got to do something and we need to look at our electrical grid. In some places it’s old and decaying, so the status quo is not acceptable.”
In response to a question about how Quinn thinks raising electric rates are bad for businesses but thinks a 66% increase in income tax is okay, Dillard said, “I don’t believe in guaranteed rate increases [for utilities] by the Commerce Commission.”
Dillard elaborated on the impact in both cost and reliability of ComEd’s frequent outages, “Most of the businesses are for improving the grid. As a manufacturer, you must have reliable electrical power. If you are a senior citizen and your tired of your food going bad when your without power for a couple of days, we need reliability.”
When asked why, if SmartGrid is supposed to pay for itself, are rate increases necessary, Dillard said, “That is the question, and that is one that all of us are asking and going to ask. If you use the SG, and I want to see this proven, ComEd claims that you will actually save money. I want to see it as a break even proposition.”
Dillard described the ongoing process to improve the legislation. “Senator Harmon from Oak Park has been put in charge to come up with more changes that might appease Governor Quinn.” Dillard added, “We’ve got to do something about improving our grid and electric reliability. So our sleeves are rolled up and we’re going to do something for sure this fall.”