Ameren efficiency targets get no reprieve in draft Illinois order
- A draft order at the Illinois Commerce Commission rejects Ameren's request to pull back on energy efficiency goals set last year by the Future Energy Jobs Bill (SB 2814).
- Ameren must meet efficiency targets of 13% by 2025 and 16% by 2030. But the utility is falling short of earlier targets, despite maxing out its annual budget.
- According to RTO Insider, Ameren must hit 9.8% efficiency savings by 2021, but the utility expects to reach only 8.24%.
Illinois lawmakers last year expanded energy efficiency targets for the state's largest investor-owned utilities. At least one utility claims it will be unable to meet the goal, but a draft order by ICC Administrative Law Judge Janis Von Qualen would decline to alter the targets.
In the draft order dated Aug. 29, Von Qualen wrote that the ICC will not modify the cumulative persisting annual savings goal "absent a showing that every attempt has been made to meet the goal and it cannot be met. Ameren Illinois’ request for approval of modified goals is denied."
The draft order directs Ameren to revise its plan to reduce overall cost/kWh, in order to achieve the cumulative statutory goals of SB 2814 by 2021. One solution the ALJ suggested was to reallocate program funds away from research, and to reconsider an air conditioning efficiency program.
A reset of the efficiency targets was considered because Ameren has maxed out its annual budget of $114 million.
New efficiency targets were passed last year as part of an energy policy overhaul in Illinois.
The Future Energy Jobs Bill tackled many sectors of the industry, from energy efficiency to net metering, but central to the law was the bailout of two nuclear plants, Clinton and Quad Cities. Lawmakers established a zero emission credit program for the Exelon plants, under which they will receive payments for 10 years.
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