Statement by CUB Executive Director David Kolata on passage of SB 2814

The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) is pleased that the Illinois General Assembly has passed Senate Bill 2814, the Future Energy Jobs Bill, and that Gov. Bruce Rauner has now signed the legislation.

This is a good day for Illinois electric customers because with this legislation the state’s biggest energy companies have agreed to historic improvements in energy efficiency standards that will reduce power bills for consumers by at least $4 billion.

As with any compromise bill, CUB is not pleased with every detail. However, after nearly two years of hard work, CUB and other consumer advocates have succeeded in our mission of negotiating a bill that is good for Illinois consumers and a big step towards a cheaper, cleaner and more reliable power grid.

The energy efficiency improvements coupled with a long-overdue repair of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) will spark lower electric bills, tens of thousands of jobs and up to $15 billion in private investment. This is a win for electric customers and a win for Illinois’ economy.

We thank all parties for working together to pass a bill with strong consumer protections. We particularly wish to thank Gov. Rauner, House Speaker Michael Madigan, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, Senate President John Cullerton, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, and the Illinois General Assembly. CUB thanks the Clean Jobs Coalition—including Faith in Place, Illinois Peoples’ Action, Sierra Club Illinois, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Environmental Defense Fund—for working to create strong legislation for Illinois consumers.

In conclusion, CUB owes a great debt to thousands of CUB Action Network members who sent messages and made phone calls to advocate for the money-saving energy efficiency standards in this bill. Your voices were a big help in securing a big win for energy efficiency and lower utility bills. Thank you!

Background

  • On Dec. 1, SB 2814 passed the Illinois House 63-38, and the Senate 32-18. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the legislation on Dec. 7.
  • The Citizens Utility Board (CUB) supported the bill mainly because it raised energy efficiency standards to historic levels. It will require Illinois’ biggest electric utilities to dramatically expand investment in efficiency, and CUB estimates it will lower power bills by at least $4 billion through 2030.
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About Jim Chilsen

Jim is director of communications for the Citizens Utility Board (CUB)
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