November 15, 2009

Illinois passes new law to encourage energy efficiency projects

On Thursday, the Illinois legislature passed a law that allows the State Finance Authority funding options to support energy efficiency projects.  The legislation became effective immediately.

"We need to do everything we can to support the development of energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in our state. These kinds of investments are not only good for our environment, they are also good for the economy," said DeLuca. "This legislation helps pave the way for the development of a new greener economy in our state and local community."

Public Act 96-0817 extends the Illinois Finance Authority's bonding authority and its ability to provide credit enhancement for renewable energy and coal projects to also cover "energy efficiency projects." This legislation also clarifies several technical aspects of the Illinois Finance Authority Act that among other things sets guidelines for renewable energy project policy and provides a definition for "energy efficiency project."

This new law is directly related to another recently enacted law, Public Act 096-0103, that extends the Illinois Finance Authority's bonding authority for clean coal projects and renewable energy projects to $3 billion and it authorizes the Illinois Finance Authority to issue bonds for renewable energy projects. The technical clarification made in this legislation also allows some proposed capital improvement projects to move forward due to the state guarantee given in SB 1906.

"This legislation not only allows energy efficiency projects to move forward, it also aims to serve as the catalyst for projects in the capital bill," DeLuca added. "Our state needs to make energy efficiency projects and the development of the green economy and green jobs a top priority, and I believe that this bill will help get the ball rolling on expanding this much underdeveloped sector of our economy."

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