The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved Ameren Illinois' voltage optimization plan.
The plan is supposed to reduce energy consumption and system losses by operating the grid at lower voltages. This is made possible with new cost-effective sensors, controls, and communication systems that allow utilities to maintain lower voltage levels than they previously could. Citizen's Utility Board Executive Director Dave Kolata says a lot of machines run better when voltage is optimized.
The decision has been applauded by a number of consumer advocates, which have pursued assurances the utility would prioritize its optimization efforts in low-income communities to reduce monthly bills.