FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, March 7, 2014
NORMAL, Ill. – Ninety-one communities in Illinois have achieved 100 percent renewable electricity for their residents, says a new report released today by the Environmental Law & Policy Center, Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund, LEAN Energy US, the Illinois Solar Energy Association, and George Washington University Solar Institute. Each of the 91 communities chose to purchase electricity through renewable energy credits, leveraging their group buying power to receive renewable electricity while also reducing overall electricity cost.
Illinois has far more towns and cities supplying 100 percent renewable electricity than any other state in the union; Ohio follows with two cities.
“Normal is showing how communities can help move our country toward a more sustainable future from the local level,” Sen. Dick Durbin said. “Along with other communities up and down Illinois, this city is cutting down both its utility bills and its environmental footprint by pursuing renewable electricity. I hope other states take notice of the good work being done here in Normal and all across Illinois.”
“We look at community aggregation as a way to get our City a great price on electricity, and we see it as a way to advance our sustainability goals,” said Normal Mayor Chris Koos, “We are proud that Normal and almost 100 other Illinois cities and towns are model for the nation in having those two goals go hand-in-hand.”
The 91 communities that have transitioned to 100 percent renewable electricity represent more than 1.7 million individuals. Demand for renewable energy from the state is more than six terawatt hours, a reduction in greenhouse gas comparable to taking more than one million cars off the road.
“We are seeing the power of letting communities choose their electricity supply,” said Sarah Wochos, senior policy advocate at the Environmental Law & Policy Center. “Across Illinois, cities and towns are asking for clean, renewable energy, and we encourage them to use that power to bring new renewable energy projects to their communities.”
“Across much of Illinois we have seen the impact that clean energy projects can have in boosting local development,” said Lisa Medearis, clean energy advocate with the Sierra Club, “This report honors communities across Illinois for their sustainability leadership, and urges them to continue innovating in 2014 by supporting even more local clean energy projects in Illinois.”
“Without fanfare, 91 local governments in Illinois have decided that renewable electricity is the best option,” said Keya Chatterjee, director of renewable energy and footprint outreach at WWF. “No one knew this was happening, and I doubt anyone would have guessed. America’s green energy revolution is here; and it starts in Illinois.”
To download a copy of the report, visit www.gocleangolocal.org/IllinoisReport.