Smart Grid Leading to a Smarter Chicago
Mayor Raum Emmanuel proposed for a Smart Grid system to be implemented by the end of 2017. He said,
“We’re modernizing Chicago’s electric infrastructure and building a Smart Grid that will bring significant economic opportunity for the City, adding jobs and creating new facilities that will train Chicagoans to contribute to Chicago’s growing green economy and help Chicago families save money on electricity.”
(1) The purpose of Smart Grid is to implement smart meters in homes which will help residents to be aware of how much energy they are using. The goal of these meters is to reduce the amount of energy and electricity that residents are using in their homes, which will save them money in the long run. These meters are also geared to better prepare people for dangerous climate situations, as it will be able to be used as a warning system. They are also set up to store energy as well, so if a household does not use a lot of energy one month it may be possible for that energy to carry over to the next month. Overall, the primary goal of the Smart Grid and smart meters is so reduce energy and electricity usage.
(4) It seems that urban and national politics intersect with environmental issues when they see an opportunity to save money, while making money as well. This is also the case for this project because residents will be saving money on their electricity bills, but also the government will be saving money as they will not have the need to continue to build more power plants. Urban politics tend to be more focused on sustainability which can cause national politics to focus on the issue as well if there is money and gain to be made. ComEd will be the company primarily in charge of installing the smart meters, and there will be a need for installers which will create more jobs, which benefits urban and national politics in terms on the economy.