Future Energy Jobs Act Continues Paving the Way to a Brighter Future For Illinois One Year After Becoming a Law
It’s bright because one year ago today, the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), which was passed by the Illinois General Assembly, was signed into law by Governor Bruce Rauner. This landmark bi-partisan legislation took more than two years to finalize but represents an exciting and significant step toward growing renewables like solar energy in Illinois. While implementation of the new law didn’t actually begin until June, considerable progress has already been made and more is planned in 2018.
Accomplishments include the following:
- Our first four-year energy efficiency plan was approved which includes investing $1.4 billion in energy efficiency programs and services designed to help customers save an additional 9.2 billion kWh which is the equivalent energy needed to power one million homes for one year.
- Refunds totaling $80 million were issued to ComEd customers in October.
- Energy efficiency budgets were increased by 40 percent, to $352 million, so program offerings can now be expanded to include more options for customers, businesses, public housing and income eligible residents.
- Voltage optimization activities have begun which will enhance ComEd’s grid and enable us to more precisely and efficiently manage the energy our customers need.
- Multicultural and Craft Apprenticeship training partners have received initial grants totaling $7 million.
- And, a new infusion of $50 million will be made to extend our CARE financial assistance program through 2022.
Additionally, on today’s one-year FEJA anniversary, ComEd is pleased to announce who will be receiving a total of $3 million in grants to develop and deliver Solar Pipeline training targeting those from disadvantaged and environmental justice communities, Returning Citizens (people with a criminal record) and/or individuals who were foster children.
The Chicago Community Trust, and industry experts they engaged, reviewed and evaluated all grant proposals, selecting these four organizations to receive funding: Elevate Energy, Illinois Central College, OAI, Inc. and Safer Foundation. Grantees were selected based on geographic reach, experience delivering workforce training programs and alignment with the goals of the FEJA legislation, including successful recruitment, training, and placement of trainees.
ComEd will distribute this initial $3 million in support of the Solar Pipeline training by the end of December and will disperse additional funds in 2021 and again in 2025 for a total investment of $9 million.
We, at ComEd, are thrilled to be part of this clean energy revolution and know Illinois’ future is bright. We will continue to report on FEJA progress made in 2018 and beyond! For more information, visit http://www.futureenergyjobsact.com/.