COLLINSVILLE, Ill., Dec. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Ameren Illinois was pleased with yesterday's Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) decision that approves the utility's advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) initiative to benefit customers. "We view this as a positive step toward implementation of the Energy Infrastructure Modernization Act (EIMA)," said Ameren Illinois President & CEO Richard J. Mark. "This approval is confirmation from the ICC that advanced meters benefit our customers." The advanced meter infrastructure initiative is a key element of the Ameren Illinois Modernization Action Plan (MAP). Customers will benefit through improved service reliability and a greater potential for energy savings by allowing them to better manage their energy use. Funding for these significant upgrades is still a point of dispute with the ICC. Last week the Illinois Senate passed Senate Resolution 821 that called on the ICC to comply with the EIMA, landmark legislation enacted in 2011 which provides incentives for investor-owned utilities to make significant upgrades and investments to the electric distribution grid while meeting performance metrics and creating 450 new jobs. The Illinois House passed a similar resolution in support of EIMA last summer. Until the dispute is resolved, funding for these capital investments is in jeopardy. "We will be proceeding cautiously until Illinois utilities have the financial certainty needed to move forward with much-needed enhancements to the state's electric grid," Mark added. "As the ICC continues to disregard the important requirements of EIMA, utilities will not have the resources to fully implement these necessary system improvements. We applaud the Senate's actions for giving a high level of attention to this matter." Ameren Illinois will use advanced meters to bolster system reliability. Working in tandem with a new advanced electricity distribution system management, the advanced meters can help identify distribution line and transformer overload issues that can be corrected before an outage occurs. Furthermore, advanced meters will enable electric dispatchers to better pinpoint the location of outages without the need for customers to report outages. This will help reduce the duration of outages.