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BOMA/Chicago Meets with Governor’s Office to Discuss Energy Legislation

January 26, 2021


BOMA/Chicago’s Advocacy Team met with the Governor’s Office on January 15 to discuss energy and environmental goals that the Governor wants to pursue during the upcoming Spring legislative session and how those goals aligned with BOMA/Chicago’s priorities and positions.

In 2020, Governor Pritzker outlined eight principles for a clean and renewable Illinois in a policy document entitled, “Putting Climate and Consumers First.”  The document provides the basis for what the Governor intends to be a comprehensive legislative proposal to be introduced in the 102nd General Assembly. Over the last year, a series of working groups was convened to look at separate policy areas that are addressed in the document. BOMA/Chicago was appointed to the Commercial and Industrial working group which focused mainly on energy efficiency discussions.

While BOMA/Chicago supports many of the Governor’s energy goals, the meeting with his staff centered on an approach that recognizes the power of market-based solutions in achieving energy policy goals.  BOMA/Chicago advocates allowing buildings to assist in the achievement of environmental goals by controlling their own specific energy efficiency programs and self-directing renewables compliance. BOMA/Chicago also emphasized that the need for consumer affordability protection does not end with residential rate payers and that commercial consumers bear additional financial burdens as the result of special riders and tariffs that are above and beyond basic utility costs.

Although there is still much work ahead and other stakeholders will be weighing in on legislative proposals, the Governor’s approach to legislation was markedly different than previous sessions when major proposals were largely initiatives of the utilities such as Exelon and ComEd.  The change was also one of the Governor’s principles that BOMA/Chicago supports which is to level the playing field for consumers by ensuring transparent and ethical lobbying practices, including the elimination of formula ratemaking and returning to traditional ratemaking with comprehensive review and stakeholder input.

The state legislative session begins in early February.