As part of a $2.6 billion grid modernization program, ComEd is set to begin the installation of more than 80,000 smart meters in Rockford.

According to a press release, smart meters provide customers with access to more information about energy use through online energy-management tools that can help customers manage their electric bills. Additionally, ComEd says they help eliminate estimated bills and reduce operating costs that become savings on customers’ electric bills. That's because smart meters automatically send meter readings to ComEd.

The smart meters are not without their critics. Some argue there might be health issues or privacy concerns involved. The Citzens Utility Board has a FAQ on the subject here. WGN-TV in Chicago recently aired a report on what's slowing some of the promised savings from the smart meters.

In 2015, ComEd plans to install nearly 9,800 smart meters in Rockford and another 70,000 in 2016.

Prior to installation, customers will receive a letter from ComEd with details on when their installation will take place.

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