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Report: Ending Indiana Energy Efficiency Program "Shortsighted"

PHOTO: A new report supports the argument that ending the Energizing Indiana program will cost ratepayers more money in the long run. Photo credit: D. Hester/morguefile.
PHOTO: A new report supports the argument that ending the Energizing Indiana program will cost ratepayers more money in the long run. Photo credit: D. Hester/morguefile.
August 20, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS - The Energizing Indiana program expires at the end of the year, but a new report from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission highlights its positive benefits.

Overall, according to the report, the combination of programs delivered about $3 in energy savings for every $1 spent by consumers from 2012 through 2013. Citizen's Action Coalition executive director Kerwin Olson said it also showed that the larger the customer, the greater the savings.

"Commercial and industrial programs realized savings in excess of $5," he said, "which really is a tragedy considering that Senate Bill 340 - in addition to killing the Energizing Indiana programs - also allows the large users of electricity to opt out and not participate in these programs, which is unfortunate."

The report also noted the possibility of future savings of $1.65 for every $1 spent, on average. Opponents of Energizing Indiana claim the program is too costly and hurts the economy.

According to the Demand Side Management Report, if the objective is to keep utility bills low, efficiency programs are essential. Olson said it all but confirms that canceling energy-efficiency programs in the state was shortsighted - and will cost ratepayers more money in the long run.

"Gov. (Mike) Pence has promised some sort of energy-efficiency legislation to be brought before the General Assembly in January of 2015," he said, " and we are certainly hopeful that this report will compel him to recommend a full veto of Senate Bill 340."

The report, compiled by The Energy Center of Wisconsin, has been submitted to the Indiana General Assembly, which will present policy recommendations to the governor.

The complete report is online at in.gov/iurc. The text of SB 340 is online at openstates.org.

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN