ComEd details infrastructure upgrades for Shorewood
By Clare Walters For The Herald-News April 26, 2012 7:50AM
Updated: June 4, 2012 10:27AM
SHOREWOOD — Residents can expect “a big change” as ComEd modernizes its infrastructure over the next 10 years.
That is what Jeff Hettrick of ComEd told village officials during a presentation articulating the company’s plan for infrastructure improvements under the Electric Infrastructure Maintenance Act.
Before embarking on the overhaul, Hettrick said the company assessed its system and determined that not much had changed in recent years despite the drastically changing technologies.
“We’re still dealing with a dial-up system in an iPhone world,” he said.
Modernization for the electric infrastructure is expected to result in enhanced customer service as the company will be able to quickly pinpoint, assess and restore outages after the installation of “smart meters” for its customers.
The meters allow for wireless two-way communication, Hettrick said.
ComEd plans to install nearly 6,400 automatic meters in Shorewood, one for every residential and business customer in the village. Within the village boundaries, the company also will install nine automated switch systems, place two fuse taps and re-insulate more than 100,000 feet of underground cable, he said.
“We’re going to make sure everything is safe and operational,” Hettrick said.
Some cable likely will have to be manually replaced, he said, and ComEd will work to inform residents via telephone or mail of when they might be digging in their neighborhoods or utility easement.
Trustee Gary Fitzgerald said he’d like to see the village add information about the upgrades to the village website so residents can readily learn the status of improvements.
In other business, the board unanimously approved the appointment of Mayor Richard Chapman as a member of the Will Electric Aggregation Group, which is leading the effort for electrical aggregation among the Will County communities whose residents voted in favor of the effort.
Village Administrator Jeff Fiegenschuh will serve as the alternate.