In 2008 Illinois passed legislation that requires utilities to buy electricity from renewable sources and pass those costs directly to consumers. Although the original intent was to grow the Illinois advanced energy economy, the result has been a mass defection to other energy suppliers that purchase power on the open market. Overall, more than 60 percent of Illinois electric customers are paying into a renewable energy fund that is sitting stagnant. The Chicago Tribune reports:
"This is a problem that needs to be fixed to protect consumers. Consumers are paying money into this fund for the purpose of procuring renewable energy. And if the fund is used as intended, that will clearly save money for consumers," said Natalie Bauer, a spokeswoman for the state's attorney general's office.
Several members of the Illinois legislature are working to find a legislative fix for the issue. State Senator Michael Frerichs from Champaign has proposed Senate Bill 103, which proposes "channeling all money for renewable energy into a single utility-controlled account with the Illinois Power Agency procuring all renewable energy on behalf of all Illinois electricity customers." Illinois Governor Pat Quinn supports the bill.
AEE's Illinois state partner Clean Energy Trust conducted a poll finding that 86.5 percent of Illinois voters believe that the state should bring more renewable energy to Illinois, and 77 percent support SB 107. Read more about the survey here.