Where Does Naperville Electric Get Energy?

Naperville Electric does not generate the electricity it sells to its customers. All of the electricity it supplies to its customers is purchased through the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA) — a group of 32 member municipal electric utilities.

So What Is the Issue?

Most of the electricity from IMEA is generated by burning fossil fuels that produce planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Roughly 70% of the electricity comes from joint ownership of coal-fired power plants. Generating that coal-fired electricity for Naperville causes carbon dioxide emissions equivalent to the level emitted by over 200,000 gasoline fueled cars[1].

What About IMEA’s Renewables?

IMEA tells us that 11% of IMEA’s energy now comes from renewable resources. Recently we learned that IMEA contracted with Exelon for 250MW of nuclear capacity, and also that additional IMEA renewable resources are coming. But there still are no plans to address that 70% coal-fired ownership, so that means the air and water pollution from coal-fired generation will continue and the Naperville/IMEA greenhouse gas emissions rate will not fall below a level that is double the emissions rate of ComEd neighbors.

But What About All Those Solar Panels In Naperville?

We need to continue to grow the solar installations in Naperville, but it is also important to recognize that the electricity generated by those solar panels is not sufficient to address the coal-fired ownership issue. The current total annual electricity produced by all the solar panels in Naperville still represents less than one percent of that coal-fired electricity purchased by Naperville from IMEA.

How Can We Change This?

Naperville Electric is by far the largest member of IMEA, responsible for about 35% of IMEA’s electricity, more than twice the next largest IMEA member.  As a member of IMEA, Naperville has a voice and vote in IMEA’s power supply resources and planning. Join us to raise that political will for Naperville city leaders to use that voice and vote to transform IMEA into a supplier of clean energy. 

Couldn’t I Just Buy Clean Energy or Use Solar Panels Instead?

Naperville Electric does not allow its customers to buy electricity from Alternative Retail Electric Suppliers like ComEd customers. Buying and installing solar panels is not an option available to all, and using Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) for solar is prohibited by Naperville too.

What Now?

Check out our more info page, our take action page, and subscribe to our mailing list. Follow us on social media and share what you have learned to help raise both awareness and that political will.



[1]: https://www.epa.gov/greenvehicles/greenhouse-gas-emissions-typical-passenger-vehicle#pane-3. 1,000,000 metric tons/4.6 metric tons per year per car = 217,391.