Illinois Kicks Off Ambitious Utility of the Future Process

Jim Chilsen, [email protected], (312) 513-1784

CHICAGO, March 24, 2017—The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) today approved a process called “NextGrid” to begin building a smarter, more dynamic electric system that allows for greater customer choice and control. More advanced technologies such as rooftop solar, electric vehicles, and energy storage will be deployed at scale due to Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act, which doubles the state’s energy efficiency portfolio and kick-starts renewable energy development. Environmental Defense Fund and the Citizens Utilities Board (CUB) also have been pushing for a new regulatory framework aimed at empowering customers and communities, driving economic development, and creating an innovative, 21st-century utility business model.

“After the historic passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act last year, Illinois is once again making clean energy headlines. The ‘NextGrid’ process will reimagine how electric utilities can best serve Illinoisans, ensuring customers can play a more active role in how their electricity is made, moved, and used. Environmental Defense Fund is ready to roll up its sleeves and help build a healthier energy system.”

“CUB thanks the ICC for launching NextGrid, and we look forward to participating in this effort during a time of dramatic change in the energy industry. As Illinois revamps its power grid and prepares to implement the Future Energy Jobs Act, one of the key challenges is: How do we maximize consumer value? The NextGrid is a vital step toward that goal. This is a great opportunity to create the regulatory framework necessary to allow Illinois consumers to take full advantage of an electricity system that is more reliable and more affordable.”

  • David Kolata, Executive Director, Citizens Utility Board