Learning the New Electric System

Residents recently got the chance to learn about Naperville’s new electric system. The city held the first of 14 Naperville Smart Grid Initiative open houses at Washington Junior High School.

It was a chance for residents to meet smart grid ambassadors and learn why the city is modernizing the electric grid.

“If they have a certain question they can have it answered right away,” said Kate Houlihan, Community Relations Specialist for the City of Naperville. “They can stay as long as they want or they can leave as soon as they want. It’s really just a way to give them the information that they’re looking for.”

A main part of the smart grid is a system of digital electric meters, which offers a flat–rate method of payment or a time-of-use method.
The time-of-use method gives customers a chance to run their appliances during off-peak hours which could potentially save them as much as $35 a month.

Not everyone is happy with the new meters. The Naperville Smart Meter Awareness group stood inside and outside the open house to present their views. They’re worried about the cost, safety, personal privacy, and health issues related to new meters.

“The simple fact it is so multi-faceted, different people look at different issues differently,” said Jennifer Stahl, Member of Naperville Smart Meter Awareness. “Some people have no concerns over health whatsoever and others are very concerned about the financial impact, whether this project is actually truly worthwhile to the city and all of the residents.”

The next open house will be on January 11th at Kendall Elementary School.

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