Environmental Groups Challenge Ameren's Energy Efficiency Backpedaling

Sep 13, 2017

An Ameren electric transmission line
Credit ERIC BUENEMAN / FLICKR.COM/N0UIH (CC-BY-NC)

Environmental groups are criticizing Ameren Illinois for what they describe as backing away from energy efficiency goals.

The efficiency targets were part of a major state energy law passed last year. It’s main purpose was to keep two Illinois nuclear power plants open, and investment in “clean energy” was part of the deal. But Ameren says it cannot meet its efficiency goals, at least not cost effectively, and the Illinois Commerce Commission appears to have given approval.  

Christie Hicks, with the Environmental Defense Fund, said Ameren has “abandoned commitments."

"They’re denying their customers important energy savings, economic savings, environmental benefits," Hicks said. "It’s very disappointing.”

She said that, by contrast, Chicago-based utility ComEd is meeting even tougher targets.

In a statement, Ameren said its plan "will result in customer cost decreases.” The company also noted it "remains committed to achievement of the agreed-upon savings target of 13 percent by 2025."

The Environmental Defense Fund said it will ask the Illinois Commerce Commission to reconsider its decision.