CHICAGO, June 27, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A new poll conducted by Anzalone Liszt Grove Research and commissioned by SolarCity Corporation, an Energy Freedom Coalition of America (EFCA) member company, found that 81% of Illinois residents oppose allowing electric utilities to add demand charges to household electric bills. The poll results come as Exelon and ComEd are pushing a bill, Senate Bill 1585, in the state legislature that would impose demand charges on all residential customers in their service territories. The poll found that 78% of Illinoisans support "net metering" policies allowing solar energy users to be compensated for their excess power supplied to the grid, and 74% support a clean energy standard of 30% by 2030.
Demand charges have been widely criticized as complicated and difficult to predict for the average customer. Rather than primarily billing customers based on the total amount of electricity they consume during a month, the utilities are proposing to add a new charge based on the customers highest 30 minutes or one hour of use during the month. Monthly bills can spike if a customer happens to use multiple appliances during the same half-hour or hour. Demand charges undermine a customer's ability to manage their energy costs by using less grid power.
During the legislative session, the AARP, Illinois PIRG, Citizen Action, Heartland Alliance, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law said the following in a letter to the General Assembly: "For many of our members, energy affordability is a serious and pressing concern. Under this proposal, individual customers could experience dramatic increases in their bills simply as a result of when they chose to use an appliance. If this customer is low income, one expensive and unexpected utility bill can quickly turn into a financial crisis."
In sharp contrast, the vast majority of respondents support clean energy measures including a renewable energy standard of 30% by 2030 (74% favored), and an existing law that compensates solar customers for excess solar energy they provide to the grid (78% favored).
"Illinoisans understand that a shift to clean energy will create jobs, lower costs and reduce pollution," said Lesley McCain, executive director of the Illinois Solar Energy Association. "When the General Assembly turns to energy legislation, we hope they will adopt these solutions and reject the counterproductive demand charge proposal."
About Energy Freedom Coalition of America
Energy Freedom Coalition of America is a national advocacy organization that seeks to promote public awareness of the benefits of solar and alternative energy through public advocacy.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-poll-vast-majority-of-illinoisans-oppose-utility-demand-charges-300290642.html
SOURCE Energy Freedom Coalition of America