Energy Exchange

New time-of-use program empowers Illinois consumers to lower bills, reduce carbon footprint

In early October, the Illinois Commerce Commission approved a new electricity rate that holds tremendous opportunity — a time-of-use rate option for customers of Commonwealth Edison Company, the largest utility in the state. This new pricing structure has the potential to lower bills for consumers, while reducing our reliance on dirty sources of power.

After five years of fighting for a TOU rate in Illinois, EDF and the Citizens Utility Board helped design the voluntary new option for customers, which includes three pricing periods for residential customers: Super Peak (2pm-7pm), Off Peak (10pm-6am) and Peak (all other times), with prices being highest during the Super Peak, and lowest during Off Peak. The pilot will serve residential customers and target electric vehicle owners, whose usage is typically higher but more flexible. The time-of-use option is similar to real-time pricing currently available (also on a voluntary basis) in Illinois, but with distinct, pre-determined pricing periods rather than fluctuating hour by hour as real-time prices do.

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Posted in Clean Energy, Illinois, Time of Use / Comments are closed

Illinois must take immediate action on the Clean Energy Jobs Act

The Clean Energy Jobs Act is one of Illinois’ biggest opportunities to become a national clean energy leader, but with the fall veto session just four weeks away, its future could be in jeopardy if legislators don’t understand what’s at stake.

The economic, environmental and health benefits of CEJA are innumerable: workforce hubs for clean energy job training; tremendous investments in renewable energy (including in low-income and environmental justice communities); expanded energy efficiency programs; and transportation electrification — to name a few.

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Posted in CEJA, Clean Energy, Illinois / Comments are closed

Despite federal rollbacks, Illinois can write its own climate, clean energy future

State leaders, including many in Illinois, are embracing action to promote clean energy and address climate change despite the Trump administration’s efforts to roll back common sense limits on pollution.

In Illinois we have an opportunity to act as a bulwark against wrong-headed policies promulgated in Washington. Indeed, state leaders are currently considering legislation that would make Illinois a clean energy leader, with benefits that communities across the state would share.

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Posted in CEJA, Clean Energy, Illinois / Comments are closed

New clean energy legislation in Illinois has customer and community needs at its core

Jobs. Equity. Savings. Economic development. Social justice. These are a few of the terms being used to describe the ground-breaking Clean Energy Jobs Act, a new bill in Illinois which Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) played a key role in developing and supporting.

Introduced by the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition and policymakers around the state, the Clean Energy Jobs Act (affectionately called CEJA or “see-juh”) has racked up almost 60 legislative sponsors in the weeks since its introduction.

Here are four reasons Illinois’ Clean Energy Jobs Act stands out as a nation-leading proposal.

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Posted in CEJA, Energy Equity, Illinois / Comments are closed

Dynegy wants to re-write the rules on pollution and pass the buck to its customers

For the last several years, Illinois’ largest coal-fired electricity generator has sought ways to saddle customers with the cost – and pollution – of propping up its old, dirty coal plants.

One of Dynegy’s tactics is to re-write pollution regulations and boost profits. At a public hearing next week, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and our partners will argue against the rule change and for cleaner, more affordable electricity.

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Illinois blazes new trail in anticipation of private microgrids using utility wires

On May 9, Andrew Barbeau, senior clean energy consultant for Environmental Defense Fund, will speak at the Microgrid 2018 conference. This year’s theme is Markets and Models for the Greater Good, and Andrew will discuss the effort to create a new microgrid tariff for third-party-managed microgrids as described in this post. You can register for the conference here.

Imagine you and your neighbors have solar panels on your roofs. You want to create a mini-power grid so that your neighborhood can operate solely on your panels’ electricity, even sending excess power from one home to another. And if there’s a storm that affects the main power grid, your homes can disconnect and stay powered.

This is the vision that microgrid proponents have promised for the past decade: small sections of the broader grid that incorporate rooftop solar and batteries, and can isolate from the grid as a whole when needed. Yet, this promise faces a major hurdle: The utility owns the wires that connect your homes and has an exclusive monopoly on that electrical infrastructure. This has driven most microgrid projects in the U.S. to either be completely “behind the meter” of a single customer, or owned and managed by the utility itself.

A new agreement with Illinois’ largest utility, ComEd, is poised to jump that hurdle. Working with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and the Citizens Utility Board (CUB), ComEd will begin a process this year to allow customers or third parties to develop and manage their own microgrid projects – working with the utility’s existing infrastructure rather than having to avoid it.

We have received lots of questions on how this will work. Here are your questions answered. Read More »

Posted in Clean Energy, Grid Modernization, Illinois / Tagged | Comments are closed