Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

March 28, 2014

Illinois leads in renewable energy

TONY HUFFMAN

Daily News

The result of a 2009 state law allowing for electric aggregation puts Illinois ahead of every other state in the nation in cities providing 100 percent renewable energy.

The law made it possible for the City of Effingham and its residents to choose what company provides electricity. A referendum passed by city voters a few years ago gave the city permission to purchase electricity in bulk from Home Field Electric Company, giving residents and small businesses the option to go with a cheaper provider.

The results of that decision were immediate, said City Administrator James Arndt. City residents that chose to follow the city’s aggregation saw a 30 percent decrease in their electric bill.

Although Effingham didn’t select an option that provided 100 percent renewable energy like other communities in the state, including Charleston, Decatur and Champaign, Arndt said if more residents prefer a renewable energy option in the future, the city might change its purchasing choice.

“People voted for the savings,” said Arndt, noting that the renewable option would have been more costly. “We are driven by what the consumer wants.”

The increase for renewable energy equates to approximately 2 cents more per kilowatt hour usage, according to Arndt. According to Illinois Power Agency Director Anthony Star, the average household uses about 12,000 kilowatt hours annually. Star was quick to point out that specific numbers vary greatly depending on the electric provider’s deal with the alternative energy provider, which is an unregulated market.

“The state is encouraging aggregation for a way to save the customer money and help the environment,” said Star, who added that the vast majority of the renewable energy purchased for Illinois comes from Midwestern wind power.

Since the law was enacted, more than 600 Illinois cities and towns have adopted aggregation. Of those, 91 are providing 100 percent renewable energy, either by buying it directly or buying credits that help fund renewable energy development, according to a report by national and state environmental groups.

Text Only
Local News
  • McCarter.jpg Some lawmakers donate pay

    Illinois lawmakers restoring their pay after years of furlough days has prompted some state representatives to give back to their communities — a move some local lawmakers call a political one.

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • Distance learning catching on in area

    In what appears to be a growing trend among rural school districts, a third area school district may join an existing academic cooperative.

    July 27, 2014

  • Joshua Robison.jpg Opinion: God doesn't care about party affiliation

    Reflecting on what we politely refer to in this country as “political discourse,” I am often struck by how convinced many people seem to be that their sides' specific policies and personalities are the only way to save us all from utter ruin.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ron W.jpg Opinion: Column break just that -- a break

    ‘Hey, Ron. You didn’t have a column this week. What’s the deal? It’s the reason I buy a paper on Thursdays.”

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Isom.jpg Opinion: It's about time

    Finally, someone else speaks up and it’s about time.
    I applaud Ron Worman and welcome him to take a seat on my bandwagon. His addressing the proliferation of signs of every description, virtually everywhere one looks, is a welcome additional voice — even though rare.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Feds: Effingham County was meeting place for underage sex tryst

    An Ohio man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he traveled out of state to meet an underage person in Effingham County for sexual activity.

    July 25, 2014

  • Jail inmate attempts suicide

    An unscheduled cell check is credited for saving the life of an Effingham County Jail inmate who tried to hang himself early Thursday morning.

    July 25, 2014

  • Woman injured in Farina collision

    An accident on Washington Street sent one driver to the hospital Thursday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Driver crashes after being forced off road

    A driver crashed after being run off the road by a semi on Interstate 70.

    July 25, 2014

  • Rollover on I-70 sends one to hospital

    An accident on Interstate-70 sent one traveler to the hospital.

    July 25, 2014

AP Video
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.