Leading Consumer Energy Advocate’s Report Details Benefits of Natural Gas Across Illinois, Especially During COVID-19 Recovery

Thanks to expanded pipeline infrastructure and greater natural gas availability, Illinois’ families and businesses saved more than $24 billion between 2007 and 2017 because of lower prices, according to a report released by Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA), entitled “Powering the Way for a More Vibrant Illinois.”

Energy helps power every imaginable American industry, and during this time of increased economic turmoil caused by the COVID-19 virus, the report underscores why we need balanced policies and affordable natural gas supplies for hard-hit families and businesses.

Unfortunately, a few states and cities have been misguidedly considering harmful policies for communities, households and those struggling to make ends meet by eliminating the use of natural gas. CEA’s report highlights the incredible savings consumers have enjoyed with enhanced supplies, reliable pipeline infrastructure and the economic benefits natural gas provides for Illinois families during these uncertain times.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Eighty percent of the state’s households use natural gas for household heating during the winter
  • Nationwide availability of natural gas has enabled Illinois consumers to save more than $24 billion between 2007 and 2017. Residential users alone saved over $11 billion or $876 for every citizen of the state, and commercial and industrial users saved more than $13.8 billion combined.
  • Each resident of Illinois spent about $3,168 to meet their energy needs in 2017. With 12 percent of the population living at or below the poverty line, this translates to about one-quarter of their income going toward energy expenses. Affordable, safe and abundant natural gas means only 16 percent, or $528, of their total 2017 energy expenditures is on natural gas. Natural gas savings like this will be important during the recovery for our economically disadvantaged communities, as well as those with low or fixed incomes, and the more than one million unemployed people across the state.
  • Misguided attempts to force an electrification mandate on Illinois households could cost upwards of $9,000 in appliance replacements, wiring, and construction costs – creating a crippling burden in these challenging times.

“This report demonstrates how Illinois’ families, farmers and small businesses benefit from an all-of-the-above energy strategy that continues to emphasize the importance of natural gas in benefiting Illinois – especially during these uncertain economic times for our communities,” CEA Midwest Director Chris Ventura said.

“Whether through business, commerce, harvesting, or home use, when we turn on our lights and our heaters next winter, we all depend on energy. It’s also an essential component to our economic recovery. Supporting smart choices that maintain and expand natural gas use can help lower energy costs for cash-strapped families and provide job opportunities for more than 1 million unemployed people in Illinois that are facing financial hardship.”

“Natural gas use is driving down consumer costs and helping us lower our emissions footprint at the same time. It’s a false choice to assert that we can only have energy development or environmental stewardship.”

About Consumer Energy Alliance

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) is the leading consumer advocate for energy, bringing together families, farmers, small businesses, distributors, producers, and manufacturers to support America's environmentally sustainable energy future. With more than 550,000 members nationwide, our mission is to help ensure stable prices and energy security for households and businesses across the country. CEA works daily to encourage people across the nation to seek sensible, realistic, and environmentally responsible solutions to meet our energy needs.