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CUB/EDF propose an IL first: Community Solar

Power to the people, right on. -John Lennon Mr. Lennon would have appreciated the “community solar” proposal that CUB and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) have made before the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). The proposal would smash barriers that have kept families from enjoying the benefits of renewable energy. Imagine entire neighborhoods getting…...

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CUB’s Earth Day Giveaway has a winner!

Congratulations to Sarah, the winner of CUB’s Earth Day Giveaway! She’s just won $25 off her next utility bill as well as an energy efficiency kit: an LED, a smart power strip, and a Kill A Watt. Runner-up winners were Nancy and Mary-Jo. Each will receive an LED bulb. Congrats! Sarah,…...

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Kink in Illinois law leaves renewable energy funds untouched

A fund created to support renewable energy is projected to exceed $140 million by September—but state officials don’t have the authority to touch the bulk of it. We are asking Illinoisans to tell legislators to tweak the law so that wind and solar power can become a bigger part of…...

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Cary man “tickled” to win CUB’s Energy Efficiency Action kit

Congratulations to Gary, of Cary, IL. He’s the new owner of four LEDs, a smart power strip, and a Kill A Watt as part of CUB’s Energy Efficiency Action Kit Giveaway. “I was tickled to win!” wrote Gary, who has used CUB to help cut his electric and phone costs…...

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Three handy devices to cut your electric bill

For those willing to spend a little—but not a lot—to cut energy costs, these three devices fit the bill. Kill A Watt. Plug electronics and appliances into this handy device to instantly find out how much electricity they’re using—and how much money they’re costing you. Maybe the old, second refrigerator in your…...

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It’s a new electricity market in Illinois

Even as consumers flocked to alternative electricity suppliers to take advantage of prices that were sometimes 50 percent lower than the traditional utilities, CUB warned that this was just the honeymoon phase for the state’s power market. Now it appears that the honeymoon is over. Crain’s Chicago Business reports that…...

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The quest for a smarter power grid begins today

Today, Illinois’ biggest electric utility will begin installing digital “smart meters” in Chicago’s western suburbs, launching an ambitious plan to give 4 million customers new meters by 2021. These new meters, built in a plant on the city’s South side, are a symbol of high-tech upgrades, collectively called the “smart grid,”…...

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Land of Lincoln an energy leader

If you’ve ever driven the vast expanse between Chicago and Cairo—past nuclear power plants, corn fields, giant wind turbines, coal mines and oil wells—it’s not hard to believe that Illinois is an energy leader in the U.S. But just how much energy does the Land of Lincoln produce? Here’s how…...

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Where does your electricity come from?

When you flip on a ceiling fan or hit the power button on your TV remote, do you have ANY idea where that energy comes from? On any given day, it’s impossible to know exactly what power source—coal, nuclear, wind, etc.—is generating the electrons flowing into your home. But you…...

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