Illinois' Newly-Adopted Sustainable Energy Plan Addresses Renewable Portfolios and Energy Efficiency

The Illinois Commerce Commission ("ICC") has adopted a sustainable energy plan modeled largely after the plan that Governor Rod Blagojevich proposed last February.  Illinois joins a growing list of states whose regulatory agencies have implemented Renewable Portfolio Standards ("RPSs"), including neighbors Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.  In addition to the RPS outlined in the Plan, the new measure also contains a complementary Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard ("EEPS"). 

The voluntary RPS asks that utility companies obtain two percent of their energy needs from renewable sources by 2006, and then increase this percentage in annual one percent increments to eight percent by 2012.  Wind energy is expected to account for the majority of this growth in renewable energy use.  Under the EEPS, utilities are encouraged to create initiatives intended to reduce the state's rising demand for electricity by 10 percent by 2007.  These initiatives will involve utilities facilitating their customers' investments in energy saving technology and equipment.  The ICC estimates that these strategies will reduce Illinois' increasing energy demands by 25 percent by 2015.  Electric utilities are to submit proposals for executing the Plan to the ICC by August 18, 2005. [NEW MATTER]