CHICAGO IL – May 9, 2011 Governor Pat Quinn today announced a comprehensive proposal that will protect Illinois’ consumers by stabilizing energy bills, while creating thousands of jobs and encouraging investment in clean, renewable and reliable energy. The plan moves Illinois towards ensuring that 25 percent of our energy comes from renewable sources by 2025, which is mandated by state law.
“A comprehensive approach is required to address the energy challenges of today and tomorrow,” said Governor Quinn. “This plan will protect Illinois consumers from high energy costs, while creating thousands of jobs by increasing energy efficiency, improving our state’s aging energy infrastructure and shifting to cleaner, renewable and reliable energy sources.”
The Governor’s comprehensive strategy modernizes our electric grid and energy infrastructure in a way that benefits Illinois’ consumers. The plan encourages investment in energy efficiency projects that shield consumers from high energy prices and supports renewable energy projects. It also creates a path for approval of clean coal projects, which will help us responsibly harness our significant coal reserves.
The proposal helps consumers invest in their own clean energy generation (i.e. solar), freeing them from the need to buy power and reducing capacity problems on our electric grid. It also guarantees that consumers benefit from grid upgrades, instead of the utility companies, by strictly defining those kinds of grid upgrades and ensuring that they create jobs.
Under the Governor’s proposal, the Illinois Power Agency (IPA) will be able to effectively broker long-term contracts for clean energy, which will lock in low rates for consumers, help lower energy prices overall and allow new projects to be built, which will create new jobs. The plan will stimulate investment in clean energy that is projected to create more than 6,000 jobs over six years.
The Governor’s plan also encourages energy efficiency, which reduces the amount of high-priced power consumers must buy. Every $1 spent on energy efficiency saves consumers $3 to $4. Each additional 1 percent of energy reductions gained through energy efficiency by the IPA is projected to create 4,000 jobs.
Governor Quinn today also expressed his strong opposition to House Bill 14, which would enable electric utilities to automatically raise rates annually without any prior approval by the Illinois Commerce Commission. While infrastructure upgrades are necessary, the Governor believes there are alternative proposals that will accomplish these goals and protect consumers.
Governor Quinn’s comprehensive energy plan will modernize Illinois’ energy policy and helps our state produce and use power more efficiently. It encourages the development of clean, renewable power sources and a reliable 21st-century power infrastructure, while ensuring effective regulation of our state’s energy providers.