Governor Pritzker recently signed into law a sweeping energy bill. The almost 1,000 page bill has several key aspects important to Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative (EIEC).
First and foremost, EIEC has, and will continue to be focused on providing safe and reliable electricity for our members.
The legislation creates a pathway for the Prairie State Generating Campus (our main source of electricity, owned by not-for-profits and municipal utilities across eight states) to operate through December 31, 2045. This is important, because EIEC's debt on that power plant will be paid through 2042. The legislation requires a carbon emissions reduction of 45% by June 30, 2038, and has a target of zero emissions (plant closure) by the end of 2045.
This legislation provides an essential transition period to a lower carbon generation mix. Electricity produced by renewable energy resources vary with the wind and sunshine making electricity storage technology essential to maintaining reliable service. Mass utility-scale electricity storage is not yet economically available.
In the short-term, this legislation should not have a noticeable impact on members' bills. We will continue to work with our wholesale power provider to make sure we are well positioned into the future.
The legislation also directs cooperatives like EIEC to recognize and implement policies to provide the opportunity to their residential and small commercial customers who wish to self-generate electricity and to offer reasonable credits to members for excess electricity, balanced against the rights of the other non-self-generating customers.
EIEC has long been a champion of our members' ability to self-generate electricity to help offset their electric use and power bill. In fact, we've maxed out our net-metering program due to its popularity. Our priority with our renewable energy program has, and will remain, carefully balancing the needs of members that choose to self generate, with the overall needs of cooperative members as a whole.
Please let us know if you have any questions about how this recent legislation will impact the cooperative by contacting us at 800-824-5102 or email@example.com.