Pence Allows Ind. Energy Program to Die Under Bill

INDIANAPOLIS (WOWO): Governor Mike Pence will allow Indiana's fledging statewide energy-efficiency program to end.
 
       The governor said Thursday that he'll allow a bill killing the program to become law without his signature.
 
       Environmentalists and companies that make energy-saving products had urged Pence to veto the measure, saying it would end the Energizing Indiana program just as it was seeing successes in helping homeowners and businesses cut their electricity use.
 <br />        Indiana's manufacturing and utility interests supported the bill. The program was financed through a fee that utility customers pay, and they say industrial users saw few benefits.
 
       Energizing Indiana provides low-income home weatherizations and other cost-cutting efforts.
 
       Pence is calling on the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to develop recommendations for a new energy-efficiency program that would include an opt-out for large electricity consumers.

Governor Pence issued the following statement regarding his intention to allow SEA 340 to become law without his signature:

 

 

“Low-cost energy is an essential element of Indiana’s economic development and prosperity. The simple fact is that higher energy costs will cost Indiana jobs.  By reducing our need for electricity, we reduce our need to build expensive power plants at a cost to Hoosier ratepayers. For this reason, I believe that energy efficiency is an important part of our ‘all of the above’ energy strategy.

 

“As such, I was disappointed that the General Assembly chose to eliminate the energy efficiency program established by the previous administration without offering a viable alternative. For that reason, I have declined to sign this bill and acknowledge that this bill will become law without my signature.

 

“I could not sign this bill because it does away with a worthwhile energy efficiency program. I could not veto this bill because doing so would increase the cost of utilities for Hoosier ratepayers and make Indiana less competitive by denying relief to large electricity consumers, including our state’s manufacturing base.

 

“To ensure that Indiana’s energy policy continues to include sound efficiency programs that lower electricity usage and support economic growth, I am calling on the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to immediately begin to develop recommendations for a new energy efficiency program that would include an opt-out for large electricity consumers.

 

“In addition, I have informed leaders of the General Assembly of my actions and my intention to bring energy efficiency legislation during the 2015 legislative session. I look forward to working with legislators to develop a new energy efficiency program for our state that will encourage conservation and promote a strong Indiana economy.”