Legislation halting the Energizing Indiana program is headed to the governor’s desk after passage by the Senate on Monday.
The approved legislation would prevent the state from holding utility companies to energy savings goals and eliminate the Energizing Indiana program, a joint effort between the state, utilities and consumer organizations to provide energy efficiency opportunities.
Indianapolis Republican Senator Jim Merritt, the bill’s author, says utility companies will not stop offering energy efficiency programs. And he says the bill doesn’t kill Energizing Indiana – it pauses the program and studies it.
“And then the legislature and the Pence administration can say, ‘That’s a terrific program’ or maybe, ‘It’s not.’ If it’s not terrific, maybe we can improve it,” Merritt said.
But Senator Greg Taylor, D-Indianapolis, says that’s a backwards approach.
“If you don’t know if it’s working good or bad, why are you eliminating the program to begin with?” Taylor said. “How about we keep the program and then study it.”
Environmental advocates are calling on Governor Mike Pence to veto the bill. Pence has said he looks forward to studying the issue.