Naperville could potentially be the first community in Illinois to use the new energy efficient smart grid program. Officials from the U.S. Department of Energy is offering Naperville $11 million to install the smart grid. City officials need to match that $11 million dollars before moving forward with their proposed plan to use the smart grid system.
City Manager Doug Krieger says if the city does pass this initiative, it could save them more than $30 million over the next 15 years.
“This is really a twofold benefit efficiency stand point providing service and allowing us to improve on quality and reliability of service,” said Krieger.
Residents choosing to use the smart grid may have the option to control when their household appliances turn on and off, preferably during non-peak hours. The smart grid would be installed inside the city’s Public Works substation, and consumers can tap into it in their homes and offices.
“We are going to try and wean ourselves in this country from foreign source fossil fuels to more independent fuels like electric power made from nuclear, coal, natural gas and the smart grid,” said Councilman Robert Fiesler.
If installed the smart grid meters will allow residents and businesses to check and adjust their energy use patterns, and it will also serve as the initial infrastructure of support for hybrid cars.
Many residents like the fact that they could have more control on their energy bills.
“Giving residents the ability to control their electricity, more than anything monitor it is important,” said Naperville resident Dan Knotter.
City officials need to make up almost three million dollars more before the federal government releases the funds for the initiative.
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