U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visits Illinois

  • On Thursday, October 12, 2023, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm will travel to Chicago, Illinois to highlight the Biden-Harris Administration’s whole-of-government approach to reaching America’s clean energy future
  • The Secretary will then join executives from the American Car Rental Association and car rental companies for a roundtable to discuss the importance of advancing electric vehicles (EVs) in rental car fleets, growing the charging ecosystem, and the consumer experience. Secretary Granholm will later join industry leaders for a tour of the Bronzeville Community Microgrid, the country’s first neighborhood-scale microgrid.

Strengthening Illinois’s Economy

Energy Jobs

  • In 2022, there were already 296,326 Illinois workers employed in the energy sector. Across the state, over 50% of the electric power generation workforce was in wind, solar, and hydroelectric, and over 84,000 workers were employed in energy efficiency. The Inflation Reduction Act is expanding these opportunities, bringing an estimated $18 billion of investment in large-scale clean power generation and storage to Illinois between now and 2030.

Small Businesses

  • Illinois is home to 1.2 million small businesses, representing 99.6% of all businesses and employing 44.7% of all workers in the state, and the Inflation Reduction Act will help them save money. Commercial building owners can receive a tax credit up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements that deliver lower utility bills. Other programs that will benefit small businesses include tax credits covering 30% of the costs of installing low-cost solar power and of purchasing clean trucks and vans for commercial fleets.

Clean Energy Investment

  • Illinois has a statewide goal of 100% clean energy by 2050. Currently, Illinois has over 8.6 GW of solar, wind, and storage capacity, making it the fifth largest generator of renewable electricity in the nation. This is in addition to over 12.4 GW of nuclear capacity. There is over 3.7 GW of additional planned clean energy capacity in the works in the state, which will power more than 389,000 additional homes.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act tax credits that encourage investment in wind and solar will help reduce energy costs, as the costs of solar and wind power are projected to drop by 24% and 34%, respectively, over the next 30 years in Illinois.
  • Since the start of the Biden Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has tracked more than $100 billion in new battery supply chain investment announcements, including $2 billion in Illinois.
  • In the same period, DOE has tracked more than $5 billion in new solar manufacturing investment announcements, including $350 million in Illinois.

Clean Transportation

  • Illinois has the eighth highest total electric vehicle (EV) sales in the country, with over 83,000 EVs currently registered in the state. Drivers switching to an electric pickup truck could save over $1700 per year in fueling and maintenance costs compared to a gasoline-powered truck. Drivers of smaller cars could save over $1200 per year. The Inflation Reduction Act will make it easier and cheaper to purchase an electric vehicle, with upfront discounts up to $7,500 for new EVs and up to $4,000 for used EVs, helping many Americans skip the gas pump and save on fuel costs.
  • Illinois has over 3,000 alternative fueling ports already. The state will also receive over $31 million in federal funding to help build out more EV charging stations.

Investing In Illinois

  • Thanks to funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy has made available more than $469 million in the past year to Illinois’s state and local governments to invest in energy efficiency and grid resilience. This includes funding to help low-income households access more efficient appliances, and over $16 million to help strengthen grid resilience.
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has received over $17 million from DOE to advance carbon storage in Springfield, Illinois. The University also received funding to design carbon capture, transport, and storage at a local coal plant.
  • The University of Illinois at Chicago has received $3 million to demonstrate how solar, wind, storage, and other clean energy resources can support a reliable and efficient U.S. power grid.
  • Cook County, Illinois received $1.1 million from DOE to strengthen the solar workforce and set up programs that benefit minority workers and small businesses.

Saving Illinoisans Money on Home Energy Bills

  • The U.S. Department of Energy’s Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program have invested more than $133 million in Illinois since 2015, leading to 1,228 jobs and over 14,000 homes with reduced energy costs and improved health and safety.
  • Upgrading appliances and improving home energy efficiency could save a total of 7,342 GWh of energy in Illinois, enough to power 252,000 Illinois homes.
  • Illinois will receive over $263 million to implement a Home Energy Rebate program in the state. Low-income households in Illinois could save an average of 34% on their home energy bills when they upgrade their appliances and improve energy efficiency through this program.
  • The Inflation Reduction Act also includes grants to help state and local governments adopt the latest building energy codes, which would save the average new homeowner in Illinois 9.8% on their utility bills. That amounts to $194 per year.

Prioritizing Illinois’s Rural and Underserved Communities

  • The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities identified Southern Illinois as a priority area.
  • The Biden Administration has committed to advancing equity for all communities, including through the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure Federal agencies deliver at least 40% of the overall benefits of climate, clean energy, affordable and sustainable housing, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has more than 140 programs covered by this initiative.
  • The Pembroke-Hopkins Park community is working with DOE’s Communities LEAP program to modernize their grid. Improved energy infrastructure is expected to contribute to increased business development in the area, as well as more reliable energy access for residents.
  • The Illinois Power Agency is a host agency for the Low-Income Community Solar and Energy Assistance Fellowship. Fellows, sponsored by DOE, are placed at host institutions for up to two years to assist with community solar and home efficiency implementation.
  • The city of Chicago is working with the Clean Energy to Communities program to refine their net-zero transportation planning, which will help the city improve adoption of electric vehicles and other efficient transportation options.
  • Three Illinois-based teams, with members from Dowell, Carbondale, Carrier Mills, and Pembroke-Hopkins Park, were selected in the first round of DOE’s Energizing Rural Communities Prize for their proposals to serve as partners for local rural communities.  

For current DOE funding opportunities, visit: www.energy.gov/infrastructure