Oak Park made a giant green leap forward last week by becoming the first town in Illinois and possibly in the nation to choose an all-green electricity power program. According to Oak Park’s community website, on Monday, October 18, the Oak Park village board approved a two-year contract with Integrys Energy Group to purchase aggregated energy from 100-percent renewable sources for cheaper than residents are paying for traditional dirty energy now. Overall the savings for residents are projected to be $4.5 million within the next two years as Oak Parkers begin to see a 15% decline in their energy bills. The switch to green energy is expected to be in place by the first of the new year.
It is fantastic to see Oak Park take a proactive step to support clean energy and implement an innovative program that we hope more cities in Illinois and beyond consider. Wind generation has already created 10,00 jobs in Illinois and green energy aggregation programs continue to grow the clean energy economy. Aggregating the village’s energy made it possible for Oak Park to make good on their commitment to sustainability AND save their residents money, a real win-win.
While the contract for the all-green electricity program has been approved, Oak Park’s village board stopped short of creating a $400,000 energy efficiency fund generated from some of the savings. The fund would have been used to develop programs for the whole village to save even more money through energy efficiency measures. Despite the opposition from the Board, the matter is not dead and is likely to be addressed during the village’s budget process.
We encourage other cities throughout Illinois to look into energy aggregation programs to provide their residents with cleaner, healthier, more affordable energy. Congratulations to Oak Park for their commitment to clean energy solutions that benefit us all.