Will it be lights out for Indiana's energy efficiency program, Energizing Indiana, on Dec. 31? The decision now lies with Governor Mike Pence, the Indy Star is reporting, after both the state Senate and House of Representatives voted to kill the two-year-old program. Under the Energizing Indiana program, energy auditors visit homes and businesses to assist in reducing their energy consumption. Other services provided include weatherization for low-income households, subsidies for residential lighting products, heating and cooling retrofits in schools, energy efficiency education, and commercial industrial retrofit rebates, according to Midwest Energy News. The program is largely supported by state utilities, who currently are required to help reduce statewide energy consumption by 2 percent every year through 2019. This requirement would be eliminated by the bill, both the Indy Star and the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette report, with the latest version of the bill terminating the entire Energizing Indiana program on Dec. 31.
The state Senate voted 37-8 to end the program via Senate Bill 340 (SB 340), which was previously passed in the house. While the bill's author, Sen. Jim Merritt, said the program will cost nearly $2 billion to run by 2019, opposing Sen. Jean Breaux said killing the program would "keep Indiana in the Dark Ages," according to the Indy Star. Companies such as Ingersoll Rand and Honeywell, as well as organizations such as the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, have also spoken out against the bill. The Sierra Club also issued a roundup of opposition statements after SB340 first passed in the House. The Citizens Action Coalition is currently running an online petition to have Gov. Pence veto the bill.
Click here for more via a comprehensive breakdown of the debate and bill from Midwest Energy News.