Illinois Approves Clean Energy and Efficiency Standards

The Illinois General Assembly has approved the Rate Relief and Reform Package, which will include a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) and an Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS) that are among the most aggressive in the nation.

The RPS will require Illinois utilities to supply 2% of their power from renewable energy sources by 2008, 10% by 2015, and 25% by 2025. It will put Illinois in a strong position to take advantage of the environmental benefits and economic potential that wind power and other forms of renewable energy offer the state.

The EEPS will require Illinois utilities to reduce their delivery load by increasing amounts ranging from 0.2% of demand in 2008 up to 2.0% by 2015. It will effectively stop electricity load growth in Illinois by 2013.

The Illinois Senate unanimously passed these renewable energy and efficiency provisions earlier this session as the Affordable, Clean Energy Standards Act (S.B. 1184), championed by State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park).

“These clean energy measures will help cut power bills long after we have spent this year’s rebates, and they will make deep cuts in the pollution that causes ozone action days and leads to global warming,” said Jack Darin, director of the Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter. “The agreement is truly a win-win for our wallets and our health, and sets an example for America to follow as Washington prepares to debate future energy policies for our nation.”

The RPS will ensure that Illinois develops renewable energy, such as wind power. Illinois has enough wind power capacity to be a national leader and wind generation is currently the world’s fastest growing energy source. There are now 5,500 megawatts (MW) of wind power in the development pipeline in Illinois, according to the Black and Veatch engineering firm’s analysis. That’s enough energy to power 1.7 million homes.

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