The Clean Energy Jobs Act
Transparency for Utilities and a Clean, Affordable Grid for Consumers
The laws that govern how Illinois’ utilities operate and make money are based on an outdated model more than a century old. The more money utilities spend, the more profits they make, and all the costs are passed directly to consumers. The results: our utilities spend more of our money than they should, but don’t invest enough in clean energy. On top of that, under the current “formula rate” system, our utility regulators don’t have all the tools they need to be effective watchdogs.
CEJA sets bold goals for utilities to make the grid more affordable, clean, and equitable - and ensures that utility profitability is contingent upon achieving those goals. It creates an open, transparent process for making big decisions about our electric grid, and empowers regulators to ensure our money is well-spent.
Smart Planning for a Modern Electric Grid
Replaces Illinois’ outdated “formula rate” process with a transparent, forward-looking planning process (i.e. an Integrated Grid Plan) that coordinates investments in the electric grid to enable an affordable clean energy future.
Rates Based on Performance, Not Spending
Requires utilities to pursue goals that serve Illinoisans - like making our grid more affordable, cleaner, and more equitable. Makes utilities’ profits more dependent on meeting those goals and less dependent on how much money they spend by requiring them to undergo Multi-Year Rate Cases.
Ethics and Restitution
Holds public utilities to the highest standards of ethical conduct by placing restrictions on lobbyists and new reporting requirements on utility communications with public officials, as well as new state oversight of utility ethics compliance.
As restitution for unethical and illegal activities, ComEd must give refunds to customers and make payments to equity-focused programs.
Public Participation and Transparency
Creates more opportunities for people to be involved in big decisions about Illinois’ electric grid and provides resources for community groups that participate in planning.
Creates publicly-accessible reports on utilities’ performance and spending, vetted by an independent evaluator.
How is it paid for?
The Illinois Commerce Commission’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.
Utilities 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.
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