The Clean Energy Jobs Act
Aligning Electric Utility Regulation with State and Customer Priorities
Illinois’ current approach to utility regulation is outdated and piecemeal. It incentivizes utilities to spend more money, disincentivizes clean energy investments, and restricts public access to crucial information and decision-making. The result is a regulatory system that fails to provide clean, equitable, affordable electricity to Illinois customers.
By aligning regulation with state and customer priorities, CEJA ensures that electric utilities truly serve the public interest, operate transparently, and are held accountable to Illinois customers and communities. It gives the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) new authority to oversee utility investments and rates, and it opens opportunities for diverse public stakeholders to guide these decisions.
Smart Planning for a Modern Electric Grid
Directs the ICC to only approve utility investments, programs, and rates that are cost-effective and contribute to a cleaner, more equitable, and more reliable electric grid.
Replaces Illinois’ outdated approach to utility regulation with an Integrated Grid Plan (IGP)-- a holistic, customer-focused, long-term planning process that coordinates investments in clean energy, efficiency, and electrification.
Rates Based on Performance, Not Spending
Requires utilities to pursue goals like affordability and equity and adjusts their compensation up or down based on whether they meet these goals. This way, utilities only make more profit when they achieve state and customer priorities.
Sets goals for utility performance and creates a process for the ICC to set future goals, with the eventual intention of moving Illinois utilities to a fully performance-based compensation model.
Public Participation and Transparency
Increases diverse public participation in utility planning and requires performance goals to be based on public input.
Includes resources for community groups to participate in utility planning processes.
Creates transparent, publicly-accessible reports on utilities’ performance and spending, vetted by an independent evaluator.
How is it paid for?
The ICC’s increased oversight and public engagement duties will require an expanded agency budget to pay for staff that the ICC doesn’t currently have. However, a small investment in staff time to evaluate and vet billions of dollars in spending will create significant savings for customers. ComEd and Ameren Illinois would pay for community groups’ participation.
Why is it urgent?
Under Illinois’ current regulations, utilities have inflated their profits and overspent on traditional infrastructure without advancing clean energy, and they propose to spend billions of dollars more over the next decade. Some of these regulations are set to expire soon, presenting an opportunity for Illinois to create a new regulatory system that truly puts customers first. CEJA does just that. Rather than continue outdated incentives, CEJA aligns profits with performance, expands oversight, and requires utility investments to make our grid more affordable, clean, and equitable.