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220 ILCS 5/16-101A

    (220 ILCS 5/16-101A)
    Sec. 16-101A. Legislative findings.
    (a) The citizens and businesses of the State of Illinois have been well-served by a comprehensive electrical utility system which has provided safe, reliable, and affordable service. The electrical utility system in the State of Illinois has historically been subject to State and federal regulation, aimed at assuring the citizens and businesses of the State of safe, reliable, and affordable service, while at the same time assuring the utility system of a return on its investment.
    (b) Competitive forces are affecting the market for electricity as a result of recent federal regulatory and statutory changes and the activities of other states. Competition in the electric services market may create opportunities for new products and services for customers and lower costs for users of electricity. Long-standing regulatory relationships need to be altered to accommodate the competition that could fundamentally alter the structure of the electric services market.
    (c) With the advent of increasing competition in this industry, the State has a continued interest in assuring that the safety, reliability, and affordability of electrical power is not sacrificed to competitive pressures, and to that end, intends to implement safeguards to assure that the industry continues to operate the electrical system in a manner that will serve the public's interest. Under the existing regulatory framework, the industry has been encouraged to undertake certain investments in its physical plant and personnel to enhance its efficient operation, the cost of which it has been permitted to pass on to consumers. The State has an interest in providing the existing utilities a reasonable opportunity to obtain a return on certain investments on which they depended in undertaking those commitments in the first instance while, at the same time, not permitting new entrants into the industry to take unreasonable advantage of the investments made by the formerly regulated industry.
    (d) A competitive wholesale and retail market must benefit all Illinois citizens. The Illinois Commerce Commission should act to promote the development of an effectively competitive electricity market that operates efficiently and is equitable to all consumers. Consumer protections must be in place to ensure that all customers continue to receive safe, reliable, affordable, and environmentally safe electric service.
    (e) All consumers must benefit in an equitable and timely fashion from the lower costs for electricity that result from retail and wholesale competition and receive sufficient information to make informed choices among suppliers and services. The use of renewable resources and energy efficiency resources should be encouraged in competitive markets.
    (f) The efficiency of electric markets depends both upon the competitiveness of supply and upon the price-responsiveness of the demand for service. Therefore, to ensure the lowest total cost of service and to enhance the reliability of service, all classes of the electricity customers of electric utilities should have access to and be able to voluntarily use real-time pricing and other price-response and demand-response mechanisms.
    (g) Including cost-effective renewable resources and demand-response resources in a diverse electricity supply portfolio will reduce long-term direct and indirect costs to consumers by decreasing environmental impacts and by avoiding or delaying the need for new generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure. It serves the public interest to allow electric utilities to recover costs for reasonably and prudently incurred expenses for electricity generated by renewable resources and demand-response resources.
    (h) Including electricity generated by clean coal facilities, as defined under Section 1-10 of the Illinois Power Agency Act, in a diverse electricity procurement portfolio will reduce the need to purchase, directly or indirectly, carbon dioxide emission credits and will decrease environmental impacts. It serves the public interest to allow electric utilities to recover costs for reasonably and prudently incurred expenses for sourcing electricity generated by clean coal facilities.
(Source: P.A. 94-977, eff. 6-30-06; 95-481, eff. 8-28-07; 95-1027, eff. 6-1-09.)