Illinois's 1997 electric-industry restructuring legislation created separate public benefits funds that support renewable energy and residential energy efficiency. The efficiency fund is known as the Energy Efficiency Trust Fund. Electric utilities and alternative retail electric suppliers contribute annually a pro-rata share of a total amount of $3 million, based on the number of kilowatt-hours sold during the previous year. The funding mechanism was established for 10 years in January 1998 and was renewed until December 12, 2015 in August 2007.
The 2007 Illinois Power Agency Act (IPAA) requires both electric and natural gas utilities establish annual energy-savings goals and reduce energy delivered and peak demand. Utilities are required to file an energy efficiency and demand-response plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) every three years, beginning in 2007.
The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) provides grants through the Energy Efficient Affordable Housing Construction Program. Under this program, grants are provided to Illinois based non-profit and for-profit housing developers to include energy efficient building practices in the rehab or new construction of affordable housing units. This grant helps offset the incremental cost of going from typical construction to energy-efficient construction. Applications are available on the program web site above.
Energy Impact Illinois partners with local banks and credit unions to provide low-interest loans to help reduce the upfront costs associated with energy efficiency improvements. Loans can be used for whole house improvements, boiler or furnace upgrades, and Energy Star appliance and equipment if combined with a boiler or furnace project. Whole house improvements must result in energy savings of 15% or more as determined by a certified energy auditor. Terms, rates, and loan amounts vary with each lender, and lenders vary by region.
The Energy Impact Illinois program offers rebates for implementing energy efficient measures. Homeowners and businesses can use the "Find Energy Savings Actions" tool to see all the programs they qualify for based on their location and home or business type. If the applicant is a Peoples, North Shore Gas, Nicor Gas, or ComEd residential customer they will most likely qualify for rebate up to $1,750 for air sealing and building insulation installation. City of Rockford homeowners can receive rebates up to $2,000 depending on improvement of energy efficiency.
ComEd offers the Business Instant Lighting Discounts program to businesses, multi-family properties and private schools. Incentives are available on a variety of reduced wattage lamps which can be installed as a direct replacement for standard lamps without having to rewire the fixture. Eligible lamps include screw-in CFLs, reduced wattage T8 and T5 linear fluorescents, screw-in LED lamps and LED trim kits and reduced wattage ceramic metal halide lamps. All incentives are provided through participating electrical distributor Trade Allies.
ComEd, Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas, and North Shore Gas fund the Small Business Energy Savings program in which an energy advisor conducts a free on-site energy assessment and provides free installation of energy saving products as well as recommendations for further improvements with rebates of up to 70%.
Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) offers its non-residential Illinois customers a wide range of incentives for the installation of energy efficiency improvements. To participate, customers must be a delivery service customer of ComEd with a valid account number on an eligible ComEd non-residential rate. Electricity can be supplied by a retail electric supplier (RES) as long as the electricity is delivered by ComEd. The account must be in the customer’s name. Customers of municipal utilities in such towns as Naperville, St.
Commonwealth Edison's (ComEd) New Construction Service program element, in coordination with Nicor Gas, provides cash incentives and technical assistance to encourage building owners, designers and architects to surpass standard practices. The New Construction program’s goal is to achieve energy savings through technical assistance early in the design phase of a new building. Technical assistance can take many forms ranging from plan review to whole building energy modeling. Customers must be located in the ComEd service territory to receive electric incentives.
Commonwealth Edison (ComEd) offers residential customers and building owners (or managers) incentives for certain energy efficiency upgrades and improvements. Increased incentives are available to residential homeowners, building owners and property managers for certain efficiency upgrades where electricity is used for both water heating and space heating. The lighting incentive is administered as an off-the-shelf discount program where purchasers receive a discount on compact fluorescent light bulbs from participating retailers (see web site for listing).