ComEd, or Commonwealth Edison, is the largest electricity provider in Illinois. In 1881, the Isolated Lighting Company was founded as a subsidiary of one of Thomas Edison’s companies. The next year, the company was absorbed by the Western Edison Light Company. Then, in 1887, this company was taken over by the newly-formed Chicago Edison Company, which merged with Commonwealth Electric to form ComEd in 1907.
ComEd had a complete monopoly on electricity in the Chicago area until the 1990s. As a result of deregulation, the company began allowing customers to purchase their electricity from other suppliers. They also sold their coal and nuclear stations in the early 2000s to separate the generation from the distribution of energy.
ComEd is now a part of the Exelon Corporation, one of the largest utility companies in the country. Today, ComEd has about 3.8 million customers throughout Chicago and Northern Illinois. Their service area spans from Iroquois County to the Wisconsin border on the north, and from Iowa to Indiana on the east. Currently Commonwealth Edison provides power to about 70 percent of the Illinois population.
ComEd customers can receive renewable energy from alternative suppliers. The electricity will still be delivered by ComEd, and the residents and businesses will still pay directly to the utility, but their power will now come from a supplier of their choice. ComEd supports solar a rebate program, effectively reducing up-front costs of solar installations. Additionally, the company has instituted a net metering program, allowing solar customers to sell excess electricity they produce.
In recent years, ComEd has invested more than $2 billion into their Smart Grid, a project geared towards modernization of the electric grid. The company has installed over 3 million smart meters to date, helping regulate power consumption, reduce outages, and save more than $1 billion in service costs.
Source: Comed Fact Sheet
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