ILLINOIS ENERGY GRANTS
Under Public Act 95-0481, DCEO, ComEd, and Ameren Illinois are required to develop a portfolio of energy efficiency programs to achieve certain annual energy savings goals. Over $50 million will be utilized for the Illinois Energy Efficiency Portfolio programs during the first year starting June 1, 2008.
ILLINOIS ENERGY CONSORTIUM (IEC) FAQs
Due to the large volume of members (over 1 billion kWh of electric power and 4.4 billion cubic feet of gas annually) that are served, IEC members benefit directly by increased purchasing leverage and efficiency. A great side benefit for our members is that our programs have outperformed the utility’s energy costs in the past even though that is not the primary goal of our programs. Our main goal is to help our members with energy budget accuracy and help them avoid the volatile energy price spikes that the U.S. energy market has endured in the past. In turn, you will have more dollars to put towards what is most important, the education of your students.
Role – the three associations originally organized the IEC in 1997 as an Illinois not-for-profit corporation and as a state-wide energy purchasing consortium and underwrote all the costs for its development. The IEC board, with nine executive Directors who are IEC members, manages the finances of IEC, supports the marketing efforts of the IEC on a statewide basis, oversees all program administrator contracts, makes decisions regarding the expansion of the program, and plays a role in energy purchasing decisions. Further, the associations serve as the primary marketing vehicle for the consortium. While Illinois ASBO is contracted to directly oversee statewide marketing efforts, all three associations communicate the value of the IEC to their members and facilitate the opportunities for communication and awareness of the benefits of the IEC. As sponsors, the associations receive annual royalties based on the effectiveness of the consortium and the costs required to operate the organization. This type of sponsorship helps keep association membership dues low and supports other association related activities, which in turn benefit their members and advances their respective missions.
The IEC has a very simple and short membership agreement for each program (electric power and natural gas). We request a three (3) year commitment to start. If you would like shorter or longer term agreement, please let us know what your specific needs are and we will work with you to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement.
Contact your assigned IEC account manager immediately for guidance. The IEC has an independent advisor available to all members so you do not need to bear the extra cost of hiring a consultant. We will review the information you share and provide you with an “apples-to-apples” comparison.
The IEC was designed to help our members more effectively manage their energy costs, risk, and usage. Our programs focus on the actual commodity cost of energy (natural gas and electric power), which is the largest share of your overall energy spend. The IEC will also review the other related costs, for example, to insure that you are on the correct utility transportation rate and that you are not being taxed incorrectly. We also provide information on grants that are available to help your facilities become more energy efficient, as the quickest way to lower your energy costs is to use less energy!
Yes, if you are obligated to issue a request for proposal (RFP) the IEC will respond in full. If you are an Illinois based public school district, please remember that the Illinois courts have ruled that public school districts are exempt from competitive bidding under the Illinois School Code 105 ILCS 5/1-1 et seq (case No. 1-07-2041).
You are in good company. With over 450 Illinois public school districts and colleges as members, your board can feel comfortable that your energy purchasing strategies are on par with the other 450 plus members in the state. If you are making an energy supplier decision solely based on price, then that decision will be incorrect as your energy cost does not equal your energy price. Your energy cost is comprised of three components: price + usage all over the period of time required. The IEC looks at and takes into account of all three energy costs components, which will provide you with your true energy cost. Additionally, we provide on-line natural gas usage and cost reporting, energy budget forecasts, user-friendly agreements, consolidated billing, superior account management, excellent customer service, extended payment terms, and the power of being part of the largest not-for-profit state-wide energy purchasing consortium sponsored and monitored for quality by the IASA, IASB, and IASBO.
The IEC board makes special consideration in their activities to help protect their member’s budgets from the type of price volatility that we have seen in past years. The purchasing strategy decisions that are made and the purchasing options that are available to the IEC members help with energy budget accuracy and therefore help them avoid volatile energy price spikes. To this end the IEC has enlisted an independent energy consultant to assist in strategic decision-making for managing purchasing decisions, in addition to the vast years of experience represented by the IEC board members. The independent energy consultant is available to answer questions that you may have as well, so your budget will not have to absorb the cost of hiring a consultant nor will you have to spend your valuable time looking for a consultant. In addition, since the associations organized the IEC to be a not-for-profit entity run by volunteer board members, there are no corporate salaries or profits or any other operational overhead not directly associated with the purchase of electricity or natural gas.
The IEC has selected Program Administrators (PA) for both electric power and natural gas. These PAs are the suppliers and will invoice and collect all monies related to your electric power and natural gas purchases through the IEC. This translates to an administrative savings as your Accounts Payable group will have fewer utility invoices to process and pay.
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