May 9, 2013
[City, ST ZIP Code]
The Honorable Governor Patrick Quinn
Office of the Governor
207 State House
Springfield, IL 62706
RE: Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program Budget
Dear Governor Quinn:
I am writing to request your support for the Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program during the upcoming budget negotiations. As you know, the state instituted the “Renewable Energy Resources and Coal Technology Development Assistance Charge” in December 2007 with the aim to encourage the development of renewable energy and clean coal research. This self-funded program raises approximately $10m annually which is split between renewable energy and clean coal research, creating thousands of job opportunities while ensuring Illinois’ position as a leader in the clean energy sector.
Despite the steady growth of consumer interest, funding for solar and small wind projects has been repeatedly swept by legislators over the past five years. The result is grossly evident with a slower than projected implementation of commercial and residential distributed generation systems statewide. Frankly, Illinois is losing the race to be a national leader in clean energy technology, losing out on the ample benefits a strong renewable energy industry can offer. As a comparison, states such as Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and New Jersey have all created a robust clean energy economy; employing thousands of skilled workers while savings millions of dollars on utility costs.
As Illinois law makers work to create the FY2014 budget, I ask that you reinstate this fund to its original levels and protect it from additional sweeps. This will ensure the program can function as originally designed, thereby enabling legislators to make a strong impact that will benefit the state and local communities. The primary benefits include the following:
1) Grow the local and state economy - Consumer energy dollars stay in-state.
2) Attract new businesses - Installers and manufacturers will see Illinois as a great place to grow.
3) Create well paid skilled jobs - Plumbers, electricians, and carpenters can go back to work with few training requirements.
4) Lower energy costs – Studies show renewable energy decreases overall rate-payer costs, saving millions of dollars annually.
5) Improve the environment - Clean energy is good for everyone.
Illinois is poised to lead. Thank you for your leadership. Please take action to secure funding for the Solar and Wind Energy Rebate Program.