Indiana Proposes Allowing Utilities Set EE Targets

Pence proposes utilities set own energy-efficiency goals

Indianapolis Business Journal, January 8, 2015

Rather than setting a statewide mandate for energy efficiency, Gov. Mike Pence is proposing a policy would allow electric utilities to set their own goals.

The governor’s office drafted a bill that will be carried by Senate Utilities Committee Chairman Jim Merritt, who said it could be filed this week. Merritt was the author last year of Senate Bill 340, which dismantled the energy-efficiency program created in 2009 under former Gov. Mitch Daniels. That program put the state on track for a 2-percent reduction in electricity use by 2019.

Pence allowed SB 340 to become law without his signature and promised to come up with a new policy. Environmental and consumer advocates who are familiar with the governor’s bill were disappointed that it didn’t set a statewide target for reducing energy use.

“That is the most important piece of the policy,” said Kerwin Olson, executive director of the Citizens Action Coalition.

Daniels’ program, known as Energizing Indiana, was designed to reduce energy use through efficiency programs offered statewide. Energy providers funded the initiative out of rates paid by their customers.

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