Demand Charges: Bad for People, Bad for the Planet, Wrong for Illinois

 

Demand Charges Will Raise Rates and Make Bills Harder To Predict

  • Demand charges allow utilities to set rate they charge consumers for energy on the 15-30 minute “peak use” period when each consumer uses the most power in a given month. This means that bills will be determined on the 15 minute interval you use the most energy, not how much energy you use overall.
  • Because they are based on the highest rate, demand charges will raise rates and bills for almost everyone. At the same time, it will strip consumers of the ability to lower their bills by using less power. Individual home demand is exceedingly difficult for most consumers to track, given that it varies day to day and is only 15-30 minutes long. It will be almost impossible for most consumers to track their peak usage and change their behaviour to be more energy efficient or lower their rates.

Demand Charges Are Unfair and Unjust

  • With demand charges, bills will, on average, be higher. Low-income people already pay an inordinate proportion of their income to the power company. Demand charges would reinforce and worsen this situation.
  • At the same time, low-income folks and people on fixed income can least stomach the sudden month to month rate hikes that individualized, changing demand charges would introduce.
  • Many low-income Illinois residents have to work two or three jobs and only have a couple hours each week to get all their chores done. Under demand charges, the working poor, who would have higher peak uses, and pay higher rates than those who use more, but have the luxury to spread their use out over time.

Demand Charges Would Kill Solar in Illinois

  • Currently solar is economical because ratepayers who put up solar panels can recoup the costs of installation through reduced energy bills (since your overall usage is lower, you get charged less) over time.
  • Under demand charges, the rate you pay will still be based on that 15-30 minute window of peak use, not your overall usage. So putting up solar panels, even selling back to the grid, will not reduce your bill as much. Furthermore, the fact that demand charges mean bills are different month to month means solar panel consumers can’t rely on consistent pay back from the grid.
  • Illinois needs to be expanding both the amount of solar energy we generate and increasing the amount of people who can access it, not adopting rate structures that undermine a core part of the clean energy revolution.

Demand Charges are Un-Democratic

  • Demand charges eliminate the General Assembly’s and Illinois voters’ ability to regulate rate changes in a democratically accountable way and replaces the rate structure with an arbitrary and opaque rate structure that would allow big utility interests to raise rates with impunity.
  • Demand charges hurt poor people, sabotage the development of solar energy in Illinois and hands over control of yet another facet of everyday life to profit-driven corporations. They must be opposed.

This statement by the Nuclear Energy Information Service (NEIS) is endorsed by the Illinois Green Party.

Nov. 2016 Election Results

Here's the Illinois Green Party results for Tuesday's election. Note that these are not the final results, but generally are based on 99% of precincts reporting.

Dr. Jill Stein for President results:
National: 1% (over 1.2 million, 3 times her 2012 results)
Illinois: 1.4% (over 74,000, 2.5 times her 2012 results)

Scott Summers for US Senate: 2.1 % (over 113,000)
Tim Curtin for State Comptroller: 2.65% (over 135,000)

Paula Bradshaw for Congress (IL-12): 6% (18,713), retains established party status

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner 6 Year Term:

  • George Milkowski: 7.8% (296,672)
  • Karen Roothaan: 8.6% (329,440)
  • Michael Smith: 8.1% (307,412)

Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioner 2 Year Term:

  • Christopher Anthony: 10.5% (190,498)

Jackson County Board:

  • District 2: Charlie Howe: 1033 (31%)
  • District 3: Randy Auxier: 202 (7.47%)
  • District 4: Rich Whitney: 786 (31%)

While unfortunately none of these candidates won their elections, they all fought hard campaigns for the common good with integrity! These candidates and their volunteers and supporters are all to be congratulated for continuing the struggle to bring economic, social, racial, environmental and democratic justice and peace to Illinois, our nation and the world!

The Morning After

11/9/16    

THE MORNING AFTER

If you’re like me, you felt very good about voting for Jill Stein.  The same for the other Green Party candidates on my ballot.  I still do.  Even after facing the stark reality that Donald Trump has won the 2016 Presidential Election.  I won’t let anyone make me feel guilty about supporting the Green Party candidates on my ballot, who I believe were the best candidates for those positions.

Let’s focus on the good news.

We are building a political party, and a movement.

Thanks to all Green Party candidates, all across the country.  Thanks to all those Green Party supporters in Illinois who petitioned to get Jill and our statewide, federal, and local candidates on the ballot.  Thanks to all those Greens who worked so hard to get out the vote and who voted Green.  Thanks to all the Bernie supporters for their courageous, contagious can-do attitude.

In Illinois, Jill Stein received two-and-a-half times more votes in this 2016 election than in 2012.  Nationwide, in this election she has received almost three times more votes than in 2012—MORE THAN ONE MILLION votes.  Unofficial results have her at about 1,200,000 and there are still more votes to be counted.

Paula Bradshaw increased her vote total in the 12th Congressional District by 50% (to 18,713 votes) and she preserved established party status for the Green Party in that district by getting 6% of the vote .

Karen Roothan, Michael Smith, George Milkowski, and Christopher Anthony were the Green Party candidates for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, and they garnered enough votes to maintain the Green Party’s established party status for MWRD.  With 97% of precincts counted, in the election for the two-year seat, Christopher has received 10.5% (190,312 votes); for the three four-year seats, Karen leads the way for the Green Party candidates, finishing fourth and receiving 8.6% (329,040 votes).

Rich Whitney, Charlie Howe, and Randy Auxier ran for Jackson County Board.  Rich received 31%, Charlie 31%, and Randy 7.47%.

So, we made progress.  Not as much as we had hoped for, but building a new political party does take time.

No doubt we all need to take care of at least some of those tasks that we put aside during the campaign.  But we must go on with our party- and movement-building .

At its regular meeting on Sunday, the ILGP Executive Committee will begin plans for its Spring 2017 statewide Membership Meeting, likely to be held in Chicagoland.  Rich Whitney has already called a meeting for the Shawnee Green Party to discuss the 2017 and 2018 campaigns.  Please stay involved with social justice issues, especially climate change.  Consider running for office.  The 2017 elections are mostly nonpartisan; some candidate petitions need to be filed later this month!

Peace and Progress,

Vito Mastrangelo
ILGP Chair