GEO Legislation Advances in Illinois

The Illinois Senate Energy Committee passed SB 2365, on a vote of 16-0. It now advances to the full Senate. Written by the Geothermal Exchange Organization (GEO), the legislation would make changes to the Illinois Power Agency Act (IPPA) and ultimately allow public utilities to utilize both the renewable energy and energy efficiency attributes of geothermal heat pumps to meet energy purchase standards set forth by the state.

“We met with every member of the Committee and explained to them that current law fails to recognize geothermal heat pumps as both an efficient and a renewable source of energy” said GEO President and CEO Doug Dougherty. GEO is pushing an identical bill—HB 2514—in the Illinois House of Representatives.

“After our individual meetings, eight members of the Committee signed on as co-sponsors of the bill, four from each party, so we were positive about the vote,” Dougherty continued. “The legislation will clear a path for Illinois’ two large electric utilities, Ameren and ComEd, to add GHPs to their energy efficient pro-grams and receive Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).” The end result of the legislation when passed will be heightened interest in geothermal technology by the public utilities and the consumers they serve. “We are creating a win-win-win scenario for the utilities, their customers and the businesses involved in the GHP industry,” Dougherty concluded.