Chamber Shares Smart Grid Importance with other Chambers of Commerce
On Thursday August 2nd, Christopher Johnson, Manager of Government Relations for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, participated on a panel “Seizing the Clean Energy Opportunity” at the 2012 American Chamber of Commerce Executives Convention.
Johnson shared the experiences and lessons learned during the Chicagoland Chamber’s support of the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA) legislation authorizing the build out of a modern smart grid electricity delivery system in Illinois.
“Our message focused on the need for a reliable and efficient system,” Johnson told the audience that included chamber of commerce executives from around the county. “Businesses of all sizes cannot afford to lose power for any length of time, especially the high tech firms that rely on electricity for their core business operations. The Chicagoland region is home to a growing base of technology companies from the large CME Group to successful start-ups such as GrubHub and Groupon.”
The Chicagoland Chamber was instrumental putting together a broad coalition of business members and modern energy stakeholders to advocate on behalf of the EIMA legislation and continues to support ComEd’s efforts to begin construction of the smart grid as their plans go through the regulatory approval process at the Illinois Commerce Commission.
The electricity grid in Illinois is still very similar in design and technology as it was when the Commonwealth Edison company directed by Thomas Edison installed it in the Chicago market over 100 years ago.
“You wouldn’t drive a brand new Lamborghini on a dirt road today. So why are we plugging our businesses and homes into a 100 year old grid,” Johnson asked the audience to comparing infrastructure upgrades made to the county’s transportation system to the electricity system.