Recently, ComEd and Exelon introduced a new amendment that they are calling the “Next Generation Energy Plan.” This bill includes demand rate charges for ComEd and a proposal for keeping Exelon’s nuclear plants open. There are some steps towards energy efficiency and renewable energy in the bill, but ultimately the legislation does not come close to the job creation, energy savings, and environmental benefits of the Illinois Clean Jobs bill.
Specifically, the Exelon/ComEd approach has serious flaws in the following areas:
- Lacks downstate investment: Ameren is left out of the energy efficiency programs that ComEd would offer, which means that Central and Southern Illinois residents are left out of these jobs and consumer savings.
- Includes confusing and overly complex policies for solar customers: The bill would create a rebate for solar customers and remove net metering. Coupled with demand charges, solar customers are likely to be hurt by this proposal.
- Does not fully fix the RPS: The bill includes some adjustment to the RPS, but does not fix our renewable standard. This bill would send Illinois dollars out to out-of-state projects, instead of investing in new development here.
- Backtracks on de-regulation: Illinois’ electricity market is deregulated for consumer demand and ComEd does not currently own any generation. The bill contains provision that would allow ComEd to build, own, and operate new generation such as gas turbines and diesel generators.
For all these reasons, the Illinois Clean Jobs bill remains the best approach for Illinois and the best step lawmakers can take, saving customers $1.6 billion, improving public health and creating more than 32,000 jobs.