Machesney Park Trustee Aaron Wilson said residents would have questions about Smart Meters.

By Bob Balgemann
Smart Meters are on their way to Machesney Park and Loves Park.
An official of Commonwealth Edison said told the Machesney Park Village Board Feb. 21 that installa-tion of meters, west of Illinois 251 (North Second Street), should happen this year. The balance will be put in during 2018.
So, what is a Smart Meter? It is UL certified equipment that stores electric usage, records the information and relays it to ComEd six times each day.
Mike McMahan, a vice president for ComEd, said the company receiving daily use readings has eliminated the need for meter readers. That was a safety issue and employees no longer will have to worry about customers’ dogs. Clients no longer “have to worry about the guy coming into your back yard once a month,” he said. “That really resonates with seniors.”
He added that ComEd is transitioning that segment of its workforce.
McMahan said changing to Smart Meters was authorized by the Illinois General Assembly in 2011. That now represents a $26-million investment in state infrastructure.
Nationally, 60 million Smart Meters have been deployed. In Illinois, that number has reached 3.2 million. The initiative started in the urban areas and now has reached rural portions of the state, such as northern Illinois.
There will be plenty of communication as it comes time for meters to be installed in this area.
Bill insert starts it
Initially, information about the changeover will appear as an insert in customers’ bills, McMahan explained. A postcard will be mailed 60 days in advance of the start of deployment. A letter will follow, 45 days ahead of time. At that point customers will be asked to leave their fence gates open on a certain date, while bringing their dogs inside.
A final reminder will come 10 days before installation, through a telephone call. Once again residents will be told about leaving gates open and bringing in their dogs.
On deployment day a

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