Written by Carol Kania Morency
ComEd has had a lot of explaining to do to Elmhurst officials in the last few years. But in the utility's latest update to Elmhurst City Council Tuesday, representatives noted that reliability has increased on the 47 circuits that provide power to residents.
George Gaulrapp, an external affairs manager for ComEd, told aldermen that average system interruptions are improving.
“I’m pleased to report that this is the best record in years,” he said.
Residents experienced on average less than one interruption last year. Gaulrapp described an interruption as a power loss lasting less than one minute.
In the last two years, the utility has been working to make system components more resistant to storm damage on 11 circuits and trimming trees on 27 circuits. Areas that have seen improvement include North Avenue and Route 83, First Street and Winthrop Avenue, Fullerton Avenue and Elm Street, and Elm and Riverside Drive.
Overhead cable was buried near near York Woods, and wildlife protection devices were installed in the 300 block of Ridge Avenue.
“Smart” switches, which automatically reroute power when problems occur, were installed at Monterey and Fairfield avenues, Highland and Villa avenues and St. Charles Road and Villa.
The new switches are just the start of the utilities’ much-talked-about Smart Grid, which will upgrade infrastructure and home meters to ideally make the system more reliable. Gaulrapp told the council smart meters already have been installed in areas east of Interstate 294.
According to a ComEd timetable, Smart Meters should come to York and Addison townships beginning in 2015.