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Could Be Lights Out for Energizing Indiana

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Indiana lawmakers are powering down a two-year-old state program meant to help homeowners, schools and industries save energy. Senate Bill 340, now awaiting the Governor's signature, ends the Energizing Indiana program that provides free in-home energy audits at the end of this year and stops the state from requiring utilities to offer programs to meet energy-saving goals.   Supporters of the legislation argue the current program is too expensive, opponents say cuts would end the savings customers are seeing. Marty Kushler with the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy says in its first year, 2012, the program saved 80 million dollars in utility system costs. "If you do away with these programs it essentially means that all Indiana ratepayers will have to pay more for energy in the future because they will have to obtain the electricity from much more expensive power plants rather than saving the electricity," Kushler said. Kushler contends the bill has been rushed through a short legislative session. Groups opposing Senate Bill 340 include Citizens Action Coalition, Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana NAACP, Indiana Distributed Energy Alliance and the Sierra Club.


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