New to the Illinois Climate and Equitable Jobs Act (CEJA)?
Inside this printable CEJA Toolkit you’ll find facts and figures about why now, why CEJA, and targe actions you can take. See below for a breakdown of programs in CEJA provided according to climate, economy and humanity. Please note for everything on this page, we’re doing our best to make everything as up-to-date and error-free as possible, and we apologize in advance for any errors or ommissions.
CEJA Contents by Climate-Economy-Humanity
For those wanting to dig a bit deeper, click to expand the sections below to find out a few details about the new programs. This info comes from the September 10, 2021 Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition’s Legislative Analysis.
Renewable Energy Future
Renewable Energy Future
a) Addresses the “solar cliff” to save Illinois solar businesses and jobs by correcting a provision
in the Future Energy Jobs Act that stranded previously collected funds intended for solar project
b) Equity Investment Eligible Community / Persons are terms created to describe persons and
communities across Illinois that will be prioritized for hiring and contracting in Renewable
Energy Credit procurements managed by the Illinois Power Agency. This system is designed to
ensure an equitable distribution of state-sponsored funding to diverse businesses and workers.
c) Solar for All expansion increases budget from $10 to $50 million/year, adds multi-family solar
projects, empowers Program Administrator to assist with customer acquisition, and links Solar
for All with energy efficiency and deferred maintenance programs.
d) Increases the RPS percentage goals to 40% by 2030 and 50% by 2040 (up from 25% by 2025
in current law).
e) Creates three new Adjustable Block Program categories while including all of the original
Adjustable Block Program categories (small DG, large DG, community solar). The new
i) solar on schools
ii) community-driven community solar
iii) renewable energy projects that are led by BIPOC contractors
f) Labor Standards including the payment of prevailing wage for projects that receive RECs from
the Illinois Power Agency. Residential projects and projects on houses of worship under 100kW
will be exempt from this requirement.
g) Equity set-aside of distributed renewable energy that commits 10% of the Adjustable Block
Program to creating higher and more stable incentives for Equity Eligible Contractors, a new
business definition that describes disadvantaged contractors and companies.
h) Equity accountability system mandates that all renewable energy project developers
immediately commit that 10% of their work is done by equity eligible persons or contractors.
This minimum requirement increases to 30% by 2030. The system also creates new equity
mandates and goals for large projects like utility-scale solar.
i) Reports on equity goals include a regular review of whether the equity goals in REC programs
are increasing diverse business growth and hiring, and requirements to modify the program to
improve equitable outcomes.
j) Lease of vacant school property for renewable energy is allowed, and the time period for
renewable contracts leases are extended.
k) The legislation fixes the uncertainty under FEJA for consumers that install solar as to how
they will receive benefits for the power they put back into the grid.
l) Creates an Interconnection Working Group to meet regularly to address a wide range of issues
and challenges that arise in the process of interconnecting renewables to the electricity grid.
a) Provides approximately $700 million of financial assistance to the Byron, Dresden, and
Braidwood nuclear plants over a 5-year period. This is approximately $5 billion less than Exelon
b) Requires municipal coal, including Prairie State and CWLP Dallman, to be 100% carbon-free
by December 31, 2045, with an interim emissions reductions goal of 45% from existing
emissions by no later than June 30, 2038.
c) Establishes a Nonprofit Electricity Generation Task Force to investigate technical and
financial options to install carbon sequestration technology at nonprofit electric generation
facilities associated with municipal utilities and electric cooperatives.
d) Directs the University of Illinois Prairie Research Institute to conduct a study on the potential for
carbon capture, utilization, and storage as climate mitigation technology.
e) Enables the Governor to commission a carbon pricing study.
f) Requires all private coal electric generating units and privately-owned oil-fired electric generating
units in excess of 25 MW to eliminate carbon emissions by 2030.
g) Requires all private natural gas plants to eliminate carbon emissions by 2045 with interim
closure dates in 2030, 2035, and 2040 that prioritize plants in environmental justice communities
and those with the dirtiest emissions (plants that convert to green hydrogen or another
commercially available technology that emits zero carbon may stay open past their closure dates).
Clean Transportation and Electric Vehicles
CLEAN TRANSPORTATION AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES
ICC initiates a Stakeholder Workshop to help direct how the ICC evaluates the cost effectiveness
and achievement of equity goals in transportation electrification investments.
b) Requires Beneficial Electrification Plans from ComEd and Ameren which must include efforts
to electrify the transportation sector including private vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles, public
transportation, and school buses. Requires ICC approval with equity policy guidelines and a 40%
spend in eligible communities, plus 5% spend on heavy-duty electrification investments.
c) Offers rebates for EV charging infrastructure, especially those located in eligible
communities, provided that prevailing wage is paid on construction of the project.
d) Offers rebates for EVs by amending the Alternative Fuels Rebate to allow IEPA to use existing
funds to create a $4,000 rebate for consumers who purchase an electric vehicle.
e) Creates an Electric Vehicle Coordinator position at IEPA to oversee all EV policy and projects
delegated to the Agency.
f) Directs the Department of Transportation to conduct a study on how EV proliferation may
adversely impact transportation infrastructure.
a) The Public Schools Carbon-Free Assessment Program requires utilities serving over 500,000
customers to provide free standardized assessments of all public schools in their territories to
identify opportunities for energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Costs can
be recovered from ratepayers. Priority school districts in East St. Louis, Harvey and Thornton
must be assessed by the end of 2022.
Coal to Solar
COAL TO SOLAR
a) New Coal to Solar and Energy Storage Initiative dedicates renewable energy credits to bidders
that develop coal plants and mines into solar fields with accompanying storage. There is also a
new DCEO-run grant program to support the installation of storage facilities at 3 coal plants in
MISO (central/southern Illinois) and 2 coal plants in PJM (northern Illinois).
Utility Accountability and Ethics
UTILITY ACCOUNTABILITY and ETHICS
a) Expands statement of economic interest requirements to include the disclosure of any
immediate family member employed by a public utility in Illinois.
b) Subjects the Illinois Power Agency to ex-parte communication requirements for
conversations with any organization doing advocacy or any party selling renewable energy
c) Creates the Public Utility Ethics and Compliance Monitor and establishes new internal ethics
controls for all electric and natural gas public utilities. Requires each utility to establish the
position of a Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer who must submit annual reports to the ICC.
d) Requires the ICC to investigate whether ComEd misappropriated ratepayer funds in
connection with the conduct detailed in the Deferred Prosecution Agreement. If ComEd has done
so, it must refund this money to ratepayers. The ICC may initiate an investigation, impose
penalties, or order restitution to ratepayers any time a regulated entity is found guilty of criminal
e) Prevents utilities from recovering criminal penalties or the post-employment costs of those
convicted of a criminal act in the course of their employment with the utility from ratepayers.
f) Creates a new Public Utility Ethics and Compliance Monitor position at the ICC to ensure that
utility Chief Compliance and Ethics Officers are establishing codes of conduct, internal controls,
training programs and annual ethics and transparency reporting processes. Additional
requirements govern reporting on contract lobbyists and a ban on contract lobbyists
subcontracting to others. An annual filing fee up to $500,000 pays for the program.
g) Ensures ethics violation costs are not passed on to ratepayers, including the costs of severance
packages or pensions for employees convicted of crimes as well as fines, fees, and other costs
related to criminal charges, investigations or deferred prosecution agreements.
h) Opens Illinois Commerce Commission proceedings to more stakeholders by providing
Intervenor Compensation to consumer interest entities that provide significant contributions to a
case and that would otherwise face significant financial hardship from participating. Seed funding
is based on payments of up to $450,000 by public utilities. Ongoing funding is through fees equal
to one-half the attorney and expert witness expenses incurred by public utilities in rate cases.
i) Establishes Ethics and Accountability Division and Utility Ethics and Compliance Monitor
j) Utility Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer and annual ethics reporting
a) Extends electric energy efficiency goals past 2030, expands low-income weatherization, and
permits large energy consumers to opt out and develop their own energy efficiency efforts.
b) Large customer opt-out to allow large customers who want to take advantage of electric
efficiency programs to do so.
c) Health and safety funding to fix dangerous conditions found while installing energy efficiency
measures in homes of families with low incomes.
d) Weatherization – Encourages coordination between utility efficiency programs and federal and
state weatherization programs.
e) Establishes an Equitable Energy Upgrade Program to permit customers to finance energy
efficiency upgrades through their utility bills.
a) Low-income discount rate study directs the ICC to study the design of a program that would
provide discounted rates for low income households.
b) Requires an audit of ComEd and Ameren expenditures for the past 9 years under the Formula
Rate. The audit will be paid for by the utilities.
c) Ends the Formula Rate so that utilities are no longer rewarded for spending more on
infrastructure and instead are compensated for meeting metrics in the following categories:
reliability, reducing peak demand, supplier diversity, affordability, integration of distributed
energy resources, and customer service. The bill creates a mechanism that incentivizes the utility
to make cost-effective choices and stretch to achieve cost savings without adversely affecting
efficiency, reliability or environmental quality.
d) Requires utilities to engage the public in investment decisions. Through a public process in
front of the Illinois Commerce Commission, the utilities must plan for an energy future with more
renewables, storage, and EVs, including targeting the benefits of grid and solar investments into
Equity Investment Eligible Communities.
e) Requires transparency for multi-year rate plans from utilities. The plan must specify the
investments and costs (and resulting rates) for each year of a four year period.
a) Renewable Energy Access Plan – Requires Illinois Commerce Commission to plan for and
create zones for transmission that will help lower costs, reduce carbon and generally support
Illinois energy goals and advocate for its interests and goals at the regional transmission
a) Directs the Capital Development Board to establish a Stretch Energy Code that would allow
municipalities, if they choose, to use a residential and commercial building code with higher
energy efficiency than the statewide base code. Would apply the stretch code to projects funded
Energy Storage Program
Workforce and Contractor Development
WORKFORCE & CONTRACTOR DEVELOPMENT
a) The Clean Jobs Workforce Network Program creates 13 workforce hubs across the state run by
community based organizations to provide clean jobs training and a career pipeline for equity
eligible individuals. Funded at up to $21M annually.
b) The Illinois Climate Works Preapprenticeship Program trains equity eligible individuals for
careers in clean energy sector construction and building trades. Funded up to $10M annually.
c) The Energy Transition Navigators are community-based organizations that provide education,
outreach, and recruitment to eligible populations to ensure they take advantage of workforce
development programs. Funded at up to $6M annually.
d) Access and Barrier Reduction programs – To increase access to training, incentives and jobs, a
barrier reduction program will provide underserved clean energy job trainees and job seekers
access to tools, mentoring, travel stipends, work clothes, certifications, childcare, and other
support services that are specifically designed to increase access and job retention.
e) The Clean Energy Contractor Incubator Program creates 13 contractor incubators across the
state to provide training, mentorship, and recruitment opportunities for small clean energy
businesses and contractors. Funded at up to $21M annually.
f) The Returning Residents Clean Jobs Training Program trains soon-to-be released people who
are incarcerated for jobs in the solar and energy efficiency sectors. Funded at up to $6M annually.
g) The Clean Energy Primes Contractor Accelerator creates a program for contractors seeking to
expand their capacity and fill the role of prime contractor on clean energy projects. The
Accelerator offers a structured five-year program with mentorship, operation support grants,
business coaching, and assistance applying for certifications, procurement programs, and
preparing bids. Cohorts are accepted every 18 months. Funded at up to $9M annually.
h) To address administrative barriers for small clean energy businesses, the Department of
Labor will assist contractors with prevailing wage payroll administrative burdens.
i) The Energy Transition Assistance Fund is an Illinois State Treasury fund used by DCEO to
annually fund Workforce and Contractor Development programs, Just Transition programs, and
state agency budgets in support of new responsibilities.
j) Establishes a rate cap for funding these programs.
Just Transition For Coal Communities
JUST TRANSITION for COAL COMMUNITIES
a) The Energy Transition Community Grants are available for communities with closing or
closed power plants or coal mines to address economic and social impacts of the energy
transition, including replacement property taxes. Funded at up to $40M annually.
b) The Energy Transition Barrier Reduction Program provides resources for equity investment
eligible communities including funding for publicity, placement and retention to break down
barriers to participation in clean energy training programs. Funded at up to $21M annually.
c) The Energy Transition Workforce Commission studies and reports on workforce impacts with
anticipated plant and mine closures, related revenue, environmental and economic impacts for
local units of government and communities.
d) The Displaced Energy Workers Bill of Rights provides workers with advance notice of power
plant or coal mine closure, notifying workers of programs available to assist them in the energy
transition, employment assistance and career services, and financial planning services.
e) A Displaced Energy Worker Dependent Transition Scholarship offers one-year full-time
scholarships to a state-supported college or university for the children of displaced workers who
f) An Energy Community Reinvestment Report requires DCEO to create an annual
comprehensive report on the energy work and transition programs created in this Act.
g) Community Energy and Climate Plans help units of local government to develop Clean
Energy, Climate, and Jobs Plans to address climate change and clean energy.
h) Provides financial support for the community of Zion by assessing spent fuel pools and dry
cask storage systems at the former Zion Nuclear Power Station as real property rather than
personal property and providing for grants in proportional shares of $15 per kilogram of spent
nuclear fuel stored at such a facility.
a) Prohibition on late payment fees for low-income extends the late payment fee prohibition to
80% median household income.
b) Disconnection and credit and collections reporting requires utilities to annually report
disconnection, reconnection, deferred payment arrangements, deposits and arrearage data by zip
c) Prohibition on credit card convenience fees prohibits utility from assessing fees when
customers pay a utility bill with a credit card.
d) Eliminates customer deposit requirements for low-income utility customer households.
e) Establishes an opportunity for compensation to consumer interest groups who intervene in
f) Directs the ICC to study low-income discount electric rates for residential customers.
Funding and Seed Capital
FUNDING and SEED CAPITAL
a) A Jobs and Environmental Justice Grant Program (Seed Capital) offers seed capital grants to
Clean Energy contractor incubator and prime contractor development participants to help them
gain a foothold in the clean energy market. Funded at $34M annually.
b) Clean Energy Jobs and Justice Fund (non-profit Green Bank for BIPOC) establishes a new
Illinois nonprofit ‘green bank’ that focuses on equitable lending and business development to
bring the benefits of the clean energy economy to diverse communities.
c) Illinois Finance Authority Climate Bank designates the Illinois Finance Authority as the
climate bank and allows the Authority to aid clean energy and climate resilience efforts.
Prevailing Wage Act
PREVAILING WAGE ACT
a) Prevailing Wage applies to all renewable energy projects except residential and houses of
worship up to 100 kilowatts.
b) Labor unions benefitting from the renewable energy contracts will be required to develop a
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) plan and to provide annual public reporting on the
diversity, equity and inclusion numbers.
c) Equity Eligible Contractors will receive administrative support from state agencies to comply
with prevailing wage requirements.
d) Equity Eligible Contractors will be eligible for prepaid renewable energy contracts to address the
historic inequity of access to capital.
Right to Self Generate
(220 ILCS 5/17-900 new)
Sec. 17-900. Customer self-generation of electricity.
(a) The General Assembly finds and declares that municipal
systems and electric cooperatives shall continue to be
governed by their respective governing bodies, but that such
governing bodies should recognize and implement policies to
provide the opportunity for their residential and small
commercial customers who wish to self-generate electricity and
for reasonable credits to customers for excess electricity,
balanced against the rights of the other non-self-generating
customers. This includes creating consistent, fair policies
that are accessible to all customers and transparent, fair
processes for raising and addressing any concerns.
(b) Customers have the right to install renewable
generating facilities to be located on the customer’s premises
or customer’s side of the billing meter and that are intended
primarily to offset the customer’s own electrical requirements
and produce, consume, and store their own renewable energy
without discriminatory repercussions from an electric
cooperative or municipal system. This includes a customer’s
(1) generate, consume, and deliver excess renewable
energy to the distribution grid and reduce his or her use
of electricity obtained from the grid;
(2) use technology to store energy at his or her
(3) interconnect his or her electrical system that
generates renewable energy, stores energy, or any
combination thereof, with the electricity meter on the
customer’s premises that is provided by an electric
cooperative or municipal system:
(A) in a timely manner;
(B) in accordance with requirements established by
the electric cooperative or municipal utility to
ensure the safety of utility workers; and
(C) after providing written notice to the electric
cooperative or municipal utility system providing
service in the service territory, installing a
nomenclature plate on the electrical meter panel and
meeting all applicable State and local safety and
electrical code requirements associated with
installing a parallel distributed generation system;
(4) receive fair credit for excess energy delivered to
the distribution grid.
(c) The policies of municipal systems and electric
cooperatives regarding self-generation and credits for excess
electricity may reasonably differ from those required of other
entities by Article XVI of the Public Utilities Act or other
Acts. The credits must recognize the value of self-generation
to the distribution grid and benefits to other customers.
(d) Within 180 days after this amendatory Act of the 102nd
General Assembly, each electric cooperative and municipal
system shall update its policies for the interconnection and
fair crediting of customer self-generation and storage if
necessary, to comply with the standards of subsection (b) of
this Section. Each electric cooperative and municipal system
shall post its updated policies to a public-facing area of its
(e) An electric cooperative or municipal system customer
who produces, consumes, and stores his or her own renewable
energy shall not face discriminatory rate design, fees or
charges, treatment, or excessive compliance requirements that
would unreasonably affect that customer’s right to
self-generate electricity as provided for in this Section.
(f) An electric cooperative or municipal utility system
customer shall have a right to appeal any decision related to
self-generation and storage that violates these rights to
self-generation and non-discrimination pursuant to the
provisions of this Section through a complaint under the
Administrative Review Law or similar legal process.