4/17/15 – Two separate reports verify that the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill saves Illinois energy customers billions of dollars

For Immediate Release: Contact:
April 17, 2015

David Jakubiak, ELPC

Emily Rosenwasser,
Sierra Club, 312-251-
1680 x119

Josh Mogerman, NRDC

Two separate reports verify that the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill saves Illinois energy customers billions of dollars
Both the Citizens Utility Board and the Union of Concerned Scientists conclude: Illinois customers would enjoy huge savings with passage of SB1485/HB2607

Twice in the same week, two leading organizations independently concluded that the bipartisan Illinois Clean Jobs Bill (SB1485/HB2607) would save customers billions of dollars, in stark contrast to two other pieces of energy-related legislation now pending in Springfield. Indeed, as the state’s leading utility watchdog said this week, the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill is “the only” piece of legislation that would lead to customer savings.

On Thursday, the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) unveiled its study which found that Illinois customers would save $1.6 billion by 2030 under energy efficiency measures called for under the legislation. For the average residential consumer, that would translate into savings of more than $98 per year, or 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. (Read CUB’s full modeling and analysis here.)

The CUB report followed the release of a separate analysis Wednesday by 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. (See UCS’s press release and study here.) 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.

Currently, two other pieces of energy-related legislation are pending in the General Assembly: one introduced by Com Ed, and another its parent company, Exelon. 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); Exelon imposes an annual surcharge of $300 million on customers (source: multiple press reports).

“The numbers prove that the Illinois Clean Jobs bill is the only energy legislation in Springfield that would actually spark customer savings,” said CUB Executive Director David Kolata. (Read CUB’s full press release here.)

The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill “gives Illinoisans a clear path to cut their electric bills,” Kolata added.

Among the key differences between the Illinois Clean Energy Bill and the other two energy is its call to 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 have already saved consumers more than one billion since 2007. The Illinois Clean Jobs Bill is the only energy-related legislation that expands on those savings.

The new independent findings on the bill’s potential cost savings represent the latest arguments in favor of the Illinois Clean Jobs bill, highlighted by the estimated 32,000 new jobs per year that would be created by the legislation. The bill, introduced by Sen. Don Harmon and Rep. Elaine Nekritz, is co-sponsored by 41 House members and 21 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.