On Thursday, lawmakers in Illinois introduced legislation that would dramatically improve energy efficiency, bolster the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, and create a market-based strategy for cutting carbon emissions. Endorsed by the newly-formed Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition, a broad swath of 26 organizations and 33 businesses, the bill’s supporters also state that the law would create around 32,000 clean energy jobs per year.
Sponsored by state Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) and state Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) the bill, which has bipartisan support, contains three primary elements. For one, it extends and increases the state’s RPS by requiring 35 percent of energy to come from renewable sources by 2030; the current standard calls for 25 percent by 2025. The bill would also increase Illinois’ efficiency policies for homes and businesses by 50 percent, with an aim of achieving a 20 percent demand reduction by 2025.