Energy Exchange

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

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau 

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

Jobs, equity and economic justice are at the core of new Illinois Clean Energy Jobs Act

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau 

Illinois has once again put itself at the forefront of the movement to promote a clean energy economy. In March, we wrote about the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), a groundbreaking bill that Environmental Defense Fund was proud to play a central role in developing.

Like its predecessor, the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), CEJA recognizes that growing the clean energy economy is not just a core solution for climate change. It can also be a vehicle for expanding equitable access to quality jobs, economic opportunity and wealth creation — especially in economically disadvantaged communities and communities of color that have borne the heaviest burden of dirty fossil fuel pollution.

Simply put: jobs, equity and economic justice are at the core of this legislation.

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Also posted in CEJA, Clean Energy / Comments are closed

This new bill is the next step on Illinois’ path to becoming a clean energy leader

By Christie Hicks and Andrew Barbeau

It’s been just over two years since Illinois enacted the groundbreaking Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), which set bold new goals for solar, wind and energy efficiency. Already, substantial gains from FEJA are being seen across the state.

But, a just-completed lottery for renewable energy credits demonstrates that there is a voracious demand for solar and wind energy in Illinois that far exceeds current capacity. Meanwhile, other states are poised to act on clean energy, threatening to catch up with – or pass – Illinois in the race for jobs and investments. This is the precise moment for Illinois to redouble its commitment to renewable energy and claim its spot as an undisputed clean energy leader.

The next important step for Illinois is passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act (CEJA), which will create more clean energy jobs, enhance equity and achieve more reductions in climate and air pollution. CEJA recognizes and addresses many of the challenges workers, customers and members of the community face as we transition away from old, dirty electricity.

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

With dynamic electricity pricing, more data can lead to more savings

By Kim Sha and Ben Liu, clean energy interns

Illinois’ largest utility, ComEd, is almost finished deploying advanced metering infrastructure to its customers. In fact, there are now more than 3.8 million installed smart meters in Illinois, feeding anonymized energy-use data – recorded in half-hourly kilowatt-hours – back from the grid.

How to make use of this unwieldy flood of data and enhance the efficiency of the grid? Our new paper, Modelling Marginal System Costs for the Commonwealth Edison Distribution Network, provides a framework for regulators, utilities and other researchers to begin to examine the insights provided by smart meter data, highlighting opportunities to save money for customers and utilities alike. Specifically, our study shows that under real-time electricity pricing, ComEd customers can save money not only by changing how much electricity they use, but by adjusting when they use it.

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Also posted in Time of Use / Comments are closed

This year’s Greenbuild works to make sustainable buildings accessible to everyone

This is my fifth year attending Greenbuild and I am excited that my hometown of Chicago will again host the green building conference. I have come to appreciate the educational value and community that Greenbuild provides more and more each year, and I’m delighted Chicago will get to add to the tradition once more.

Greenbuild’s theme this year, Humans by Nature: The Intersection of Humanity & the Built Environment, covers a wide array of topics that define how we relate to the world we live in. One of these topics is enhancing building efficiency and performance, an ongoing mission that is at the very core of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and Greenbuild.

Moreover, the mission statement highlights the importance of making sustainable buildings and environments accessible to everyone. As one of the founding cities of the BIT Building energy efficiency program, Chicago reflects these ideals, and the BIT Building program is a clear example of accessibility in action.

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