Bill That Aims To Lower The Costs Of Retiring Coal Plants Early Heads To Holcomb's Desk

Mar 30, 2021

Under the bill, a pilot program would help reduce the costs of retiring the A.B. Brown coal plant in Posey County for CenterPoint Energy customers.
Credit PBurzynski / Wikimedia Commons

A bill, SB 386, that would create a pilot program to study a financing tool for retiring coal plants early is headed to Governor Holcomb’s desk. It passed the state House on Monday.  Much like refinancing a home, securitization allows customers to pay off the remaining costs of coal plants over a longer period of time at a lower rate — which is supposed to lower their energy bills.

Some lawmakers and consumer advocates were concerned that utility customers with Centerpoint Energy — which has volunteered to participate in the pilot — could be charged twice for the cost of its retiring A.B. Brown coal plant.

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But the bill was recently amended to make it clear that the pilot program must result in a cost savings for Centerpoint’s customers. However, unlike securitization in some other states, the bill wouldn't use money saved through securitization to provide job training and economic development opportunities in communities that host coal plants.

Contact reporter Rebecca at rthiele@iu.edu or follow her on Twitter at @beckythiele.

Indiana Environmental reporting is supported by the Environmental Resilience Institute, an Indiana University Grand Challenge project developing Indiana-specific projections and informed responses to problems of environmental change.