We are at a crossroads for energy policy in Illinois. As your representative in Springfield, I’d like to know how you think we ought to proceed with major legislation that will not only define the path we take as a state, but the size of the electricity bills Naperville residents pay each month.
The legislation in question is called the Clean Energy Jobs Act, or CEJA. I support every one of CEJA’s ambitious goals--to avert a climate crisis by embracing renewable energy, to address issues of environmental injustice, and to create good-paying jobs for hard-working families.
I believe our community does, too. I’ve heard that message loud and clear from the many of you I’ve spoken with at front doors, over the phone, and in virtual meetings.
I’ve also been asked why I haven’t yet signed on as a co-sponsor of this bill.
The reason is because as presently written, the City of Naperville estimates that CEJA could raise Naperville residents’ electricity bills by 20% or more. For the typical Naperville household, that’s about $250 or more per year. The rest of Illinois faces an expected 1% rate increase.
Why the disconnect? Because Naperville sources about 90% of its electricity from coal, while that figure stands at about 30% for most of the rest of Illinois.
I already know that many of us are willing to pay more for renewable energy. Thousands of Naperville residents have already been voluntarily participating in Naperville’s Renewable Energy Program, which adds charges onto participants’ monthly bills so they can source some of their power from renewable sources. But I really need to know how much our community values and is willing to pay for a transition to cleaner energy.
We’re in the midst of negotiations in Springfield. I’ve set up a survey to better understand how best to represent our community’s will in these talks. Please take the survey and pass it on to others in Naperville.
As always, thank you for your time and thank you for your engagement.