Energy Efficiency Trust Fund

March 17, 2023


According to § 20 ILCS 687/6-6, the statute this trust is under will be repealed on December 31, 2025. 

Illinois's 1997 electric-industry restructuring legislation created separate public benefits funds that support renewable energy and residential energy efficiency. The efficiency fund is known as the Energy Efficiency Trust Fund. Electric utilities and alternative retail electric suppliers contribute annually a pro rata share of a total amount of $3 million based on the number of kilowatt-hours sold during the previous year. The funding mechanism was established for 10 years in January 1998 and has been renewed up until December 31, 2021.

Additional funds may be accumulated through non-compliance fees as part of the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS). For both natural gas and electric utilities, failure to submit an energy reduction plan will result in a fine of $100,000 for each day until the plan is filed. This penalty is deposited in the Energy Efficiency Trust Fund and may not be recovered by rate payers. Plans are due on September 1 every three years. If an electric utility fails to comply with its plan after 2 years, it must make a contribution to the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Large utilities (those with more than 2,000,000 customers on December 31, 2005) must contribute $665,000, and medium utilities (those with between 100,000 and 2,000,000 customers) must contribute $335,000. Utilities that fail to meet their plans again after the third year must make another contribution to the fund ($665,000 for large utilities and $335,000 for medium utilities). For natural gas utilities that fail to meet their efficiency plans after three years, large utilities (those with more than 1,500,000 customers on December 31, 2008) must pay $600,000 into LIHEAP, medium utilities (those with 500,000-1,500,000 customers on December 31, 2008) must pay $400,000, and small utilities (those with 100,000-500,000 customers on December 31, 2008) must pay $200,000.

The Energy Efficiency Trust Fund is administered by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), which is authorized to determine how funds are used. Projects eligible for funding include energy-efficiency upgrades for low-income residents, new construction and building retrofits, window upgrades, appliance upgrades, lighting upgrades, insulation and other efficiency measures approved by the DCEO. Currently, the Energy Efficiency Trust Fund supports the Illinois Energy Efficient Affordable Housing Construction Program, which provides funding to not-for-profits to support energy efficiency in low-income housing (both new construction and retrofits) as well as several other energy efficiency initiatives. For details regarding the Energy Efficiency Trust Fund's programs and projects funded, see the 2011 Annual Report and 2014 Annual Report.

Separately, the DCEO also administers programs mandated through Illinois' EEPS. This fund, created in July 2012, is known as the Energy Efficient Portfolio Standards Fund and is used to administer programs that must meet 25% of the EEPS. Funds are collected by the utilities and transferred to the DCEO. Programs funded through this source began in 2008 through the DCEO Energy Projects Fund; however, the DCEO did not have authority to hold the funds. The 2012 Fiscal Year Budget contained a $95,000,000 appropriate for the Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standards Fund.

In June 1999, Illinois and ComEd reached a settlement as part of the state's approval of ComEd's merger with PECO Energy. Through a one-time payment by ComEd the settlement created a $250 million fund to support renewable energy and energy efficiency and to preserve and enhance natural areas and wildlife habitats throughout the state. This fund, known as the Illinois Clean Energy Community Trust (CECT) is administered by the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. Of the $250 million, approximately $200 million - $225 million is allocated to energy-efficiency projects, renewable-energy projects and wildlife-habitation projects, while at least $25 million is allocated to "clean" coal projects.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Illinois
Incentive Type: Public Benefits Fund
Web Site:
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Lighting
  • Duct/Air sealing
  • Building Insulation
  • Windows
  • Custom/Others pending approval
  • Other EE
Types: Energy Efficiency, Low-Income Energy Assistance
Total Fund: Energy Efficiency Trust Fund: $54 million (total for 18 years from 1998-2015)
EEPS Fund: $95 million for FY 2012
Charge: Energy Efficiency Trust Fund: Utilities contribute annually a pro rata share of a total amount of $3 million


Name: § 20 ILCS 687/6-1 et seq.
Date Enacted: 12/16/1997 (amended 2007)
Effective Date: 12/16/1997
Expiration Date: 12/12/2015
Name: § 220 ILCS 5/16-111.1
Date Enacted: 06/30/1999
Effective Date: 06/30/1999
Name: Public Act 097-0841
Date Enacted: 07/20/2012
Effective Date: 07/20/2012
Name: § 20 ILCS 687/6-6

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.