Does Your Electricity Come From Unicorn Power?

OK, so my local power company doesn’t actually say that my electricity is coming from unicorns … but they’re not saying it doesn’t, either!  The above graph was provided by Illinois’ Champion Energy Services, which is required by Illinois law to disclose the source of the electricity they provide to consumers, be it nuclear, gas, coal, or “other” (as shown in the scanned document, below).

As you can see for yourself, it’s not much help.

Click to Enlarge

Right about now, you might be asking yourself why this is important.  Simply, some sources of electricity are cleaner than others, and the general idea is that “we” (as consumers) should be allowed to make our energy choices based on where said energy is coming from.  When you hear someone say “Electric cars are not so clean“, this – the source of electricity being used to power EVs – is the issue they’re pointing to to make their ridiculous claims.

Still, when faced with that big, purple circle of “unkown” up there, I’m certainly forced to stop and think about where my energy might actually be coming from.  As such, I’ve come up with a few options, in (what I think might be) descending order of probability:

  1. Coal.
  2. Canada.
  3. The future.
  4. The emperor.
  5. Unicorn power.

I’ll give 10 bonus points to anyone who can tell us where the power going to Palatine, IL is actually coming from in today’s comments (20, if it’s actually unicorns).

Source:  today’s mail.

Disclaimer:  Champion has provided excellent service throughout the year, despite 6′ snow drifts, etc., and they have always been professional and courteous.  This FAIL-worthy graph is definitely not the norm, and is more likely a symptom of a well-intentioned but ultimately useless set of disclosure laws.


Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.