Energy News Roundup: Illinois clean energy bill, Michigan Weatherization Month, national increase in heating costs

Energy News Roundup: Illinois clean energy bill, Michigan Weatherization Month, national increase in heating costs
October 19, 2021 Maya Sundaresan

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

Click on the headline to read the full story:


CenterPoint Energy recently proposed to construct two natural gas combustion turbines in place of its former coal-based plant. However, several customers were uncertain about this plan and expressed their concerns during a public meeting this Wednesday. If this project were to be approved, customer bills would increase by $23.


Last month, Illinois introduced a new clean energy bill centered around increasing the state’s use of solar and wind power, actively using a million electric cars, and completely eliminating their use of coal and natural gas by the year of 2050. In fact, this proposal actually saves customers 5% to 10% on their electric bills, $4000 on the purchase of an electric car, and roughly $8000 to $9000 on solar panel installation. Additionally, a community solar plan can actually bring down energy costs even further, reducing them by roughly $14,200. Consumers can also lease solar systems or apply for bridge loans. A study found that even electric car usage can save consumers money, as there are lower gasoline and maintenance costs involved.


A recent energy cost reduction program was initiated by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and Governor Gretchen Whitmer. As a result, October in Michigan has now been deemed Weatherization month. This program helps determine the most cost-friendly energy programs to establish in an individual home. Eligibility for this program relies on both income and house condition.


The recent bankruptcy of a solar installer left numerous homeowners with unfinished energy-related projects. The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry worked with a company that experienced bankruptcy earlier this year, the Empire Solar Group LLC, to help 45 homeowners pay to have their projects finished. However, this has led to a large influx of customer complaints. The issue of solar company bankruptcies is nothing new, as it has actually been common problem for a while. At the moment, the best solution for customers is to ensure that their contractors have secured a residential building license.


Norfolk Southern plans to fully utilize renewable energy to power their various functions. By doing so, they can help offset the effects of greenhouse gas emissions. The company’s overarching goal is to essentially take up 30% of total energy use by 2030.


The expected price of heat for this upcoming winter has risen across America. Households utilizing natural gas are estimated to see a 30% rise in heating costs. Meanwhile, houses relying on heating oil will likely spend 43% more, and those utilizing propane will see a 54% increase. However, electric heat is only expected to see a 6% rise in prices.

Catch up on other Great Lakes energy headlines here:

Energy News Roundup: Tech giants race to buy renewable energy, Line 3 dispute reaches Minnesota Supreme Court, FirstEnergy settles in Ohio bribery case

Hoping to avoid Enbridge Line 5 shutdown, Canada asks U.S. to negotiate

Featured image: In this Aug. 15, 2016, file photo, three wind turbines from the Deepwater Wind project stand off Block Island, R.I. America’s environmental and conservation groups have disparate opinions about new renewable energy infrastructure and its trade-offs. While all agree on the need for clean power sources, there are deep disputes about the wisdom of projects that will impose their own impact on the environment. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)

1 Comment

  1. To tell the truth, I am so glad that Norfolk Southern plans to fully utilize renewable energy because I think that it is truly smart and the most proper decision. I absolutely agree that by doing so, they can help offset the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, but they also can reduce or even eliminate harmful emissions. From my point of view, we need to pay more attention to this theme because renewable energy has a big importance in our life and switching to it is a breakthrough. I think that we need to strive for it in order to contribute to ensuring a bright sustainable future. I think that this transition will bring Norfolk Southern a lot of advantages and will make their work more effective.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *