Illinois lags in energy efficiency despite new law
Despite passing a groundbreaking environmental law called CEJA last year, Illinois still lags behind many other states on energy efficiency policies, according to a new scorecard by climate advocacy organization ACEEE.
- Illinois ranked 16th best this year, slipping from 15th and 11th in two previous years.
Why it matters: Policies can drive real change, and Gov. JB Pritzker has vowed to make the state a climate leader.
Highs and lows: Top scores went to California and Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Maine; Kansas and Wyoming ranked worst.
Zoom in: Illinois got props for passing CEJA (the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act) but lost points for piling on new licensing and registration fees for electric-vehicle owners.
- Our state also got dinged for not joining 17 other states in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that calls for all new sales of trucks and buses to be zero emission by 2050.
- But Illinois got its biggest demerits because our utilities allow big commercial and industrial facilities to opt out of energy efficiency programs.
- Scorecard researcher Sagarika Subramanian noted to the Tribune those facilities have "the potential to really bring about a lot of savings."
Yes but: Subramanian also predicted that our score will improve in coming years as we implement more CEJA provisions.
What you can do: If you have opinions on those new fees for EV users, you can contact state legislators and the Secretary of State’s Office.
- And if you want to sound off on Illinois' position on that emission reduction MOU you can give Governor Pritzker your opinion here.
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