Illinois Kicks Off Ambitious Utility of the Future Process

Statement from EDF’s Dick Munson and CUB’s David Kolata

March 22, 2017
Catherine Ittner, (512) 691-3458,
Jim Chilsen, (312) 263-4282,

(CHICAGO – March 22, 2017) The Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) today approved a process called “NextGrid” to begin building a smarter, more dynamic electric system that allows for greater customer choice and control. More advanced technologies such as rooftop solar, electric vehicles, and energy storage will be deployed at scale due to Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act, which doubles the state’s energy efficiency portfolio and kick-starts renewable energy development. Environmental Defense Fund and the Citizens Utilities Board (CUB) also have been pushing for a new regulatory framework aimed at empowering customers and communities, driving economic development, and creating an innovative, 21st-century utility business model.

“After the historic passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act last year, Illinois is once again making clean energy headlines. The ‘NextGrid’ process will reimagine how electric utilities can best serve Illinoisans, ensuring customers can play a more active role in how their electricity is made, moved, and used. Environmental Defense Fund is ready to roll up its sleeves and help build a healthier energy system.”

“CUB thanks the ICC for launching NextGrid, and we look forward to participating in this effort during a time of dramatic change in the energy industry. As Illinois revamps its power grid and prepares to implement the Future Energy Jobs Act, one of the key challenges is: How do we maximize consumer value? The NextGrid is a vital step toward that goal. This is a great opportunity to create the regulatory framework necessary to allow Illinois consumers to take full advantage of an electricity system that is more reliable and more affordable.”

  • David Kolata, Executive Director, Citizens Utility Board  

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Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law, and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and our Energy Exchange blog. 

The Citizens Utility Board is Illinois’ leading nonprofit utility watchdog. Created by the Illinois Legislature, CUB opened its doors in 1984 to represent the interests of residential and small-business utility customers. Since then, it has saved consumers more than $20 billion by helping to block rate hikes and secure refunds. For more information, call CUB’s Consumer Hotline, 1-800-669-5556, or visit its award-winning website,