Energy-Efficiency Program Kill-Bill Under Fire
March 6, 2014 — Indiana Public Broadcasting– Environmental advocates are calling on the governor to veto a bill they say will kill Indiana’s energy efficiency program. Indiana Public Broadcasting’s Brandon Smith reports…
Legislation that could soon be headed to the governor’s desk originally allowed large industrial customers to opt out of the Energizing Indiana program, a joint effort created by the Daniels administration between the state, utility companies and consumer organizations to provide energy efficiency opportunities. An addition in the House would prevent the state from holding utilities to energy savings goals and eliminate the Energizing Indiana program entirely. Kerwin Olson is the executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition, an energy consumer advocacy organization. He says the bill will eliminate any incentive for utility companies to offer energy efficiency solutions:
“By killing these programs, we are condemning a large segment of the population to unaffordable utility bills, missed job opportunities and continued, pervasive health and environmental quality issues.”
Governor Mike Pence says he hasn’t formed an opinion on the bill and will take a balanced approach when studying the issue:
“I appreciate very much my predecessor’s commitment to encouraging greater efficiency and conservation. I also take note of the fact that one of the challenges Indiana faces today is that, particularly for our industrial users, our energy costs are rising.”
Indianapolis Republican Senator Jim Merritt, the bill’s author, says utility company executives have assured him they will continue energy efficiency programs.