Despite passing a groundbreaking environmental law called CEJA last year, Illinois still lags behind many other states on energy efficiency policies, according to a new scorecard by climate advocacy organization ACEEE.
Illinois ranked 16th best this year, slipping from 15th and 11th in two previous years.
Why it matters: Policies can drive real change, and Gov. JB Pritzker has vowed to make the state a climate leader.
Highs and lows: Top scores went to California and Massachusetts, New York, Vermont and Maine; Kansas and Wyoming ranked worst.
Zoom in: Illinois got props for passing CEJA (the Climate and Equitable Jobs Act) but lost points for piling on new licensing and registration fees for electric-vehicle owners.
Our state also got dinged for not joining 17 other states in signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that calls for all new sales of trucks and buses to be zero emission by 2050.
But Illinois got its biggest demerits because our utilities allow big commercial and industrial facilities to opt out of energy efficiency programs.
Scorecard researcher Sagarika Subramanian noted to the Tribune those facilities have “the potential to really bring about a lot of savings.”
Yes but: Subramanian also predicted that our score will improve in coming years as we implement more CEJA provisions.
What you can do: If you have opinions on those new fees for EV users, you can contact state legislators and the Secretary of State’s Office.
And if you want to sound off on Illinois’ position on that emission reduction MOU you can give Governor Pritzker your opinion here.