ComEd Created 2,400 Jobs through Grid Modernization Programs in 2012

     ComEd Created 2,400 Jobs through Grid Modernization Programs in 2012

Grid modernization proves to be a powerful job engine that boosts area economy

PR Newswire

CHICAGO, April 1, 2013

CHICAGO, April 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- ComEd submitted today to the Illinois
Commerce Commission data showing that the 2011 Smart Grid law created more
than 2,400 full-time equivalent jobs in Illinois in 2012. These include
direct jobs at ComEd, contractors and induced full-time equivalent positions
representing a broad range of functions required to build a 21st century
electric grid, from construction, engineering and system design to
manufacturing and administration.

ComEd's Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act Annual Jobs Creation Report,
one of two reports ComEd filed today, shows that the grid modernization
programs authorized by the 2011 Smart Grid law created 785 direct and
contractor full-time equivalent jobs, including positions at the utility and
outside contractors, along with an estimated 1,700 induced jobs created from
the ripple effect of the $165 million in capital spending on grid
modernization programs last year. The ripple effect is particularly strong in
the Chicago area and provides benefits beyond the direct spend. Induced jobs
were calculated by the Regional Economic Applications Laboratory (REAL) at the
University of Illinois. REAL uses a model for the Chicago area economy that
shows for every direct and contractor job added, an additional two jobs are
created elsewhere in the economy.

"Our work to bring the electric grid into the 21^st century created more new
jobs than we anticipated in the first year of the program," said Anne
Pramaggiore, president and CEO, ComEd. "As the legislature intended, ComEd is
making a positive economic impact as we improve service to our customers and
modernize our grid to help keep Illinois competitive."

Under the Smart Grid law, ComEd committed to spend $2.6 billion over 10 years
to modernize the electric grid in Northern Illinois, over $1.3 billion of
which is earmarked to deploy a Smart Grid system and install smart meters in 4
million homes and businesses. In ComEd's first rate case under the law, the
ICC's interpretation of the law reduced funding by nearly $100 million per
year beginning in 2014 and beyond. As a result, ComEd had to postpone
deployment of key initiatives, including the installation of smart meters,
until 2015. Both the Illinois House and Senate passed legislation to get the
Smart Grid back on track. If this legislation is enacted in the spring
legislative session, ComEd will be able to accelerate its meter installations
to begin later in 2013. ComEd reiterated that commitment in the 2013 Annual
Implementation Progress Report covering advanced meters, also filed today. 

"The grid modernization programs are putting many linemen, electricians and
specialists who work on our electric grid back to work in well-paying, skilled
jobs. This helps the Illinois economy and boosts other local industries, too,"
said Michael Carrigan, president, Illinois AFL-CIO. "Getting the programs back
on track will protect and increase jobs for Illinois workers."

ComEd's grid modernization investments have provided an important boost to
Illinois manufacturers, suppliers and service providers with the expertise
necessary to support the electrical system upgrade. Last year, ComEd awarded
grid modernization contracts worth a total of $118 million, including 71
percent to Illinois companies providing services and products from engineering
to cable to smart switches. Of the total, $54 million, or 46 percent, was
spent with diverse suppliers. 

ComEd is partnering with a number of established Chicago-area companies and
attracting new businesses to the region. Local partners include Meade
Electric, S&C Electric, G&W Electric, Intren and Aldridge. Growing
Chicago-based entrepreneurial firms, such as PMI Energy Solutions and
electrical contractor MZI Group, are expanding their Illinois operations as a
result of the grid modernization program. Choctaw-Kaul, a Native
American-owned distributor of safety products, opened a new distribution
center near Midway airport to support the program.

Getting the full smart meter deployment back on track will provide the needed
incentive for major companies to proceed with previously announced expansion
plans, including General Electric, which would manufacture smart meters in
Chicago. Silver Spring Networks, a Silicon Valley-based provider of
communications equipment for smart grid systems, also plans on establishing
operations in Chicago to support the smart meter deployment. Both companies
have put their local expansion plans on hold pending a resolution on the smart
meter installation timeline.

The 2013 Annual Implementation Progress Report also addresses potential ways
to accelerate the smart meter deployment, as the Illinois Commerce Commission
requested. ComEd evaluated two options, both of which would begin smart meter
rollout in 2013. The preferred option would significantly accelerate the
smart meter rollout from the original plan that would have delayed smart meter
installations until 2015. Both proposals would require significant additional
capital expenditures in the near term above and beyond the funding available
for that purpose. The new legislation, if enacted this spring, would provide
that funding.

Commonwealth Edison Company (ComEd) is a unit of Chicago-based Exelon
Corporation (NYSE: EXC), the nation's leading competitive energy provider,
with approximately 6.6 million customers. ComEd provides service to
approximately 3.8 million customers across northern Illinois, or 70 percent of
the state's population.


Contact: ComEd Media Relations, (312) 394-3500
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