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Study Committee Will Hear Report on Energizing Indiana

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Environmental and consumer advocates say they’re skeptical about whether lawmakers will take seriously a report providing a positive evaluation of the state’s now-eliminated energy efficiency program.

Last session, the legislature passed a bill eliminating the state’s energy efficiency program known as Energizing Indiana.  It also mandated the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission create a report evaluating the effectiveness of the program.

That report, which will be delivered to a legislative study committee Tuesday, says Indiana’s energy efficiency programs provide a benefit to the state and will continue to do so – albeit a smaller benefit – in the next several years. 

Citizens Action Coalition executive director Kerwin Olson says the report details much of what lawmakers already heard from his organization and others during the legislative session.

“That information was either largely ignored or greeted with skepticism," Olson said. "And I think this displays, at least from our perspective...you know many of these policy decisions at the Indiana Statehouse are shortsighted.”

Olson says he’s hopeful lawmakers will greet the report with optimism, rather than skepticism.

“What we are lacking as a state is a general policy statement from state lawmakers that energy efficiency is in the best interest of the public," Olson said, "and that’s what we need.”

Governor Mike Pence was critical of the legislation eliminating Energizing Indiana and has pledged to create a new energy efficiency program for the General Assembly to approve next session.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.
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