5/1/15 – Leading consumer watchdog reiterates: IL customers would save $1.6 billion with Illinois Clean Jobs Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact:
May 1, 2015

David Jakubiak, ELPC
312-795-3713
DJakubiak@elpc.org

Emily Rosenwasser, Sierra Club,
312-251-1680 x119
emily.rosenwasser@sierraclub.org

Josh Mogerman, NRDC
312-651 7909
jmogerman@nrdc.org

Leading consumer watchdog reiterates: IL customers would save $1.6 billion with Illinois Clean Jobs Bill
Citizens Utility Board testifies before House Committee that SB1485/HB2607 promises average consumer savings of nearly $100 per year

The state’s leading utility watchdog told members of a House committee Wednesday that the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill would lead to substantial customer savings, allowing the average Illinois energy customer to pocket nearly a hundred dollars per year in savings on their electricity bills.

On Wednesday, the director of Citizens Utility Board (CUB) told lawmakers that customers would save $1.6 billion by 2030 under energy efficiency measures called for under SB1485 / HB2607. For the average residential consumer, that would translate into savings of $98 per year, a reduction of 7.86 percent off of their bills. The figure of $1.6 billion represented a mid-range estimate, with the savings reaching as high as $2.2 billion under some scenarios.

CUB’s executive director attributed the results to measures in the bill that capture more savings through energy efficiency.

“Energy efficiency is by far the best thing that we can do for consumers. Everyone agrees with that– including the utility companies. But, the Illinois Clean Jobs bill is the only legislation pending in Springfield that builds on Illinois’ successful energy efficiency programs,” said Dave Kolata, CUB’s executive director.

“The numbers prove that the Illinois Clean Jobs bill is the only energy legislation that would actually spark customer savings,” Kolata added.

Kolata added that the average savings of nearly $100 per year would be available to all customers, even if they don’t participate in efficiency programs. Those who do could save even more, he said.

Kolata testified Wednesday before members of the House Renewable Energy and Sustainability Committee in Springfield, chaired by Rep. Ann Williams.

“I was impressed by the analysis that the Illinois Clean Jobs bill would save the typical customer nearly $100 per year,” said Rep. Williams. “As lawmakers, we should embrace opportunities to help consumers keep more of their hard-earned dollars. As we have learned from these hearings, the Clean Jobs bill is the one piece of legislation that allows us to achieve those savings while at the same time creating thousands of jobs and helping the environment.”

The Illinois Clean Energy Bill would boost energy efficiency in Illinois by 20% by 2025 (a 50 percent increase over current standards), which shrinks the amount of electricity consumed, thereby lowering the bills consumers pay. Past energy efficiency measures enacted in 2007 have already saved consumers more than one billion dollars. The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill is the only energy-related legislation that expands on those savings.

CUB’s conclusions about the bipartisan Illinois Clean Jobs Bill stands in stark contrast to the two other pieces of energy-related legislation now pending in Springfield– one introduced by Com Ed, and another its parent company, Exelon– both of which would impose higher costs on customers:

  • Exelon imposes an annual surcharge of $300 million on customers (source: multiple press
    reports).
  • According to its own materials, the Com Ed bill raises monthly net costs on consumers
    beginning in 2019 (source: Com Ed briefing materials, 3/17/15).

CUB’s conclusion that Illinois customers would save money under the Illinois Clean Jobs bill is verified by separate analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), which estimated that the Illinois Clean Jobs bill would save consumers 11% (or $10 per month) in 2020, with the savings increasing to 23% (or $22 per month) by 2030. The cumulative savings to all Illinois energy consumers over that period would total $12 billion. The UCS study analyzed both the
impact of increasing the state’s energy efficiency standards to 20% and boosting the state’s renewable energy standards to 35%, both of which are called for under the bill.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Don Harmon and Rep. Elaine Nekritz, is co-sponsored by 45 House members and 24 Senators, making it the most widely supported energy-related bill under consideration in the General Assembly.

– 30 –

The Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition is made up of Illinois businesses and organizations representing the state’s environmental, business and faith communities. Currently, more than 70 businesses and 30 organizations have formally joined the coalition to promote steps to improve the Illinois environment, help consumers, improve public health, and create tens of thousands of new jobs across the state.