HB2607/SB1485 to advance energy efficiency and clean energy in Illinois
The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill (HB2607/SB1485) looks to achieve a 20% reduction in energy demand through energy efficiency; elevate the RPS from the current goal of 25% by 2025 to 35% by 2030; and create a market mechanism to reduce carbon pollution – while creating 32,000 jobs per year.
According to an analysis done by the Citizen’s Utility Board, the Clean Jobs bill would cut power bills by $1.6 Billion and another study from the Union of Concerned Scientists found the bill would spur $23B in new clean energy investment in Illinois.
The bill has three main components:
- 1) Strengthen Illinois’ energy efficiency policies: The bill would use efficiency improvements in homes and workplaces to reduce electricity demand by 20 percent by 2025, a 50 percent increase in savings compared to what would otherwise occur based on current policies. The bill also improves on-bill financing and real-time pricing programs to help more customers save money.
- 2) Update and expand the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS): In order for solar and wind energy projects to flourish in Illinois, the bill would revise the current RPS to increase the share of power coming from renewable sources to 35 percent by 2030, up from the state’s current standard of 25 percent by 2025. The bill also makes technical fixes to the RPS that energy experts say have become necessary since more customers and municipalities have started purchasing energy from alternative suppliers rather than from utilities.
- 3) Create a market-based strategy to cut carbon pollution: The bill directs Illinois EPA to develop a market-based approach to meet new standards for reducing pollution from power plants called for under the U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan. The bill establishes a framework for emissions coupled with an auction of carbon dioxide emission allowances. The revenues generated by the auction would then be invested in areas such as workforce development, new renewable energy projects and low-income bill assistance.