SAG Background

The Illinois Energy Efficiency Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) is independently facilitated by Celia Johnson Consulting, with meeting support provided by Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance. SAG participation is open to all interested participants, unless a topic presents a Financial Conflict of Interest. SAG acts in an advisory capacity and seeks consensus resolution on policy and technical issues, as needed. SAG also provides an opportunity to educate the Illinois stakeholder community on a variety of topics related to energy efficiency.

The Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS) was passed in 2007 by the Illinois General Assembly, requiring the electric utilities Ameren Illinois and ComEd to offer energy efficiency programs, funded by ratepayers. Electric energy efficiency programs began in June 2008. SAG was created in 2008, at the direction of the Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC). Gas EEPS passed in Illinois in 2009, for Ameren Illinois (Gas), Nicor Gas, Peoples Gas & North Shore Gas. Gas energy efficiency programs began in June 2011. Energy efficiency plans require approval by the ICC. In 2017, the Future Energy Jobs Act passed in Illinois, which resulted in several changes to energy efficiency statutory requirements.

SAG responsibilities initially included: Reviewing final program designs; establishing agreed-upon performance metrics for measuring portfolio and program performance; reviewing Plan progress against metrics and against statutory goals; reviewing program additions or discontinuations; reviewing new proposed programs for the next program cycle; and reviewing program budget shifts between programs where the change is more than 20% (ComEd Final Order, 07-0540 at 32; Ameren Final Order, 07-0539 at 24).

ICC directives to SAG have increased over time. In the Final Order of the second three-year electric energy efficiency plans and first three-year gas plans, the assigned additional duties to the IL EE SAG included the development of a Technical Reference Manual for approval by the ICC (e.g., ComEd Final Order, 10-0570 at 59; Policy Division Staff Report, 12-0528).

In January 2014, the ICC issued final orders in the third three-year electric plans, and further expanded SAG duties to include, among other issues, reviewing new program designs, further discussing issues that remained unresolved in litigation, and the creation of an Illinois Energy Efficiency Policy Manual (e.g., Ameren IL Final Order, 13-0498; ComEd Final Order, 13-0495; DCEO Final Order, 13-0499). Final Orders in the second three-year gas plans were issued in May 2014 and include similar expansion of SAG issues (e.g., Nicor Gas Final Order, 13-0549; Peoples Gas-North Shore Gas Final Order, 13-0550).

In 2015-2016, SAG engaged participants in a Portfolio Planning Process with the goal of reaching agreement on energy efficiency Plans before utility filings for approval with the Commission in fall 2016. Following the passage of the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA) in late 2016, SAG engaged in a follow-up Planning Process in Q1/Q2 2017. Updated energy efficiency Plans were filed for approval with the Commission in June 2017, for the four-year EE Portfolio period of January 2018 to December 2021.

In 2020, SAG engaged in a Portfolio Planning Process with the goal of reaching agreement on 2022-2025 energy efficiency Plans before utility filings for approval with the Commission in March 2021. Currently, 2022-2025 energy efficiency Plans are under review by the Commission.

Additional information about SAG responsibilities can be found in Section 3, Illinois Energy Efficiency Stakeholder Advisory Group, of the Illinois Energy Efficiency Policy Manual. Visit the SAG Planning page for information about current SAG activities.

Current SAG groups include:

  • SAG Steering Committee: Members of the SAG Steering Committee include senior representatives of Program Administrators, community-based organizations, and non-financially interested stakeholder participants. The Steering Committee provides substantive feedback to the SAG Facilitator on: (1) annual SAG Plans; and (2) progress towards meeting annual SAG Plan goals to ensure that the time spent on SAG is as productive and valuable as possible.
  • Large Group SAG: Large Group SAG meetings cover Program Administrator reporting, Portfolio planning, Program planning, fund shifts, and topics of general interest, as directed by the Commission or requested by SAG participants. Topics are scheduled as time and resources permit.
  • SAG Technical Advisory Committee (TAC): Meetings address updates to the IL-TRM, EM&V issues, and other issues of a technical nature. General SAG attendees will be briefed on topics covered in the TAC, as needed.
  • SAG Subcommittees: SAG Subcommittees are established for necessary issue-specific topics based on Commission directives, Policy Manual requirements, stipulated agreements or SAG requests. Subcommittees are established as need arises.
  • SAG Working Groups: SAG Working Group meetings address short-term issues that need resolution. SAG Working Group participants may recommend next steps to SAG Subcommittee(s) or the Technical Advisory Committee.