Energy Exchange

Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act will improve the state’s economic climate

The Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act is one of the most ambitious climate bills in the country, but it is also a jobs and economic improvement bill. Most legislation gets mired down in talk of price tags, but with CEJA the better question is — how much will the Illinois economy benefit from its passage?

A recent study developed by The Accelerate Group measured the economic impact of CEJA and found the answer — it’s tens of billions of dollars. The new economic impact report released by the Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition shines a light on just how much CEJA would contribute to the state’s economy. Here’s the bottom line: the legislation, if enacted, would result in $39 billion in new private investment in Illinois through 2030.

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Also posted in CEJA, Clean Energy / Comments are closed

Illinois PUC decision may signal changing tide for natural gas utilities

While economic and environmental concerns have driven significant electric sector improvements, climate impacts of continued reliance on natural gas for heating and cooking has gone largely unchecked. A recent decision by the Illinois Commerce Commission sends a signal that natural gas utilities will not be permitted to invest customer dollars unchecked.

State public utilities commissions regulate natural gas distribution utilities and set their rates of return, one component of which is “return on equity.” These regulators thus have a tremendous influence on the long-term profitability of utilities and their investment decisions. Higher rates of return incentivize greater system buildout — the more the utility builds, the greater their profit.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Methane, Natural Gas / Comments are closed

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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Also posted in Clean Energy, 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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Also posted in CEJA, Clean Energy / 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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Also posted in CEJA, Clean Energy / Comments are closed

Equity, innovation can be part of Illinois’ efforts to electrify transportation

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau 

This post is the third in our CEJA series

As Illinoisans consider ways to drive down pollution and the costs of energy, one place to look is what they drive.

The transportation sector has now overtaken the power sector as the leading source of carbon pollution in Illinois, responsible for nearly one-third of all carbon emissions. Any state-level climate action must address transportation emissions.

That is why electrification of the transportation sector is one of the four key pillars of the newly-introduced Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA). By incentivizing electric vehicles (EVs), mass transit and other transportation alternatives, we can remove the equivalent of a million gas and diesel-powered vehicles from the road. Doing so will have immediate air quality benefits, especially in low-income communities and communities of color that bear the biggest burden of this pollution.

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Also posted in CEJA, Clean Energy, Electric Vehicles / Comments are closed