The Illinois Commerce Commission’s recent approval of Ameren Illinois’ four-year energy efficiency plan allows the company to move forward with what it calls a groundbreaking initiative to provide energy-saving benefits to more moderate-and low income customers.
The plan would also to be to develop new companies and create new local job opportunities in communities throughout Central and Southern Illinois.
“Ameren Illinois’ energy efficiency programs are ranked among the most effective in the United States,” Richard J. Mark, chairman and president of Ameren Illinois. “The plan approved by the ICC will give us an opportunity to build on this success while providing needed energy efficiency assistance to our moderate-to-low income customers. We will also equip community-based groups with the tools to train workers to provide services in the energy efficiency arena, providing an economic boost in local communities and ultimately benefitting the entire state.”
Here are the facts about Ameren Illinois’ energy efficiency plan as filed:
• The plan will invest $114 million per year for the next four years in electric and gas efficiency programs, the maximum allowed under the law.
• Nearly 9 percent, or 2,471,563 MWhs, in energy savings will be achieved by the end of 2021, with 16 percent in cumulative savings achieved by 2030.
• The plan provides $2.9 million per year to develop a diverse supplier workforce by providing critical workforce development and training programs.
• It invests $15 million per year in the moderate/low-income weatherization program – above the $8.3 million minimum required by law. With these funds, Ameren Illinois will launch a new deep-retro-fit weatherization program for low-income customers that will invest in measures including central air conditioning, insulation, furnaces, and funds for health/safety repairs.
• The plan will reduce Ameren Illinois customers’ utility costs by reducing their energy consumption.
Ameren Illinois will make a compliance filing, as required, that will change some aspects of the plan but will retain its commitment to serving moderate and low income customers and investing in diverse businesses and communities in central and southern Illinois. In its final order issued earlier this month, the Illinois Commerce Commission noted that it strongly supports Ameren Illinois’ emphasis on serving low income customers and developing new economic and energy efficiency opportunities for diverse individuals and communities.
“Our primary goal is to ensure all of our customers, regardless of income, have an opportunity to receive real and meaningful savings from the programs they are paying for,” Mark stated. “We are proud of the plan we have put forth. I would like to thank the members of the Commission for recognizing the tremendous potential of our program to uplift communities in central and southern Illinois.”
Under the Future Energy Jobs Act, which went into effect on June 1, Ameren Illinois was required to file an energy efficiency plan for the 2018-2021 timeframe. The plan was endorsed by a broad coalition of supporters, including the mayors of Illinois communities of all sizes, the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Illinois NAACP, Illinois AARP, the Illinois Black Chamber of Commerce, and dozens of legislators representing constituents throughout the state. The plan goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
— The Illinois Business Journal