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2023 Consumer, Energy, & Utility Bill Watch List

Updated: 5/5/23

Back to 2023 Indiana General Assembly


Bad Bills

Taken together, the following three bills (HB1417, HB1420, and HB1421), likely written by the state’s utility lobby, will further and significantly erode IURC authority and discretion and consumer protections.


HB1420: Electric Transmission Facilities

Authors: Rep. Edmond Soliday (R), Rep. Chris Jeter (R)Rep. Randall Frye (R)

Sponsors: Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Jean Leising (R), Sen. Stacey Donato (R)Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R), Sen. David Niezgodski (D)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC opposes this bill


Description:  HB1420 would grant utilities what is known as the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) for almost all transmission projects proposed to be built in their monopoly service territory. The bill will further undermine competition against monopoly utilities that is essential to controlling electric bills, by blocking competitive bidding on highly expensive transmission projects.


HB1417: Utility Deferred Costs and Accounting Practices

Authors: Rep. Edmond Soliday (R), Rep. Randall Frye (R)

Sponsors: Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Chip Perfect (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC opposes this bill


Description: HB1417 is a dangerous piece of legislation that could lead to unaffordable utility bills for all utility consumers (including electric, gas, water, and wastewater) by significantly reducing the IURC’s authority to deny or reduce proposed rate increases. The bill will essentially allow utilities to self-approve and book just about any expenditure they make and virtually guarantees that they will recover those costs from ratepayers in a future rate case, including financing costs and return on investment (profit margin) for those investments. 


HB1421: Electric Generating Facility Construction

Authors: Rep. Edmond Soliday (R), Rep. Chris Jeter (R),  Rep. Timothy Wesco (R)

Sponsors: Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Stacey Donato (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC opposes this bill


Description: HB1421 will grant Construction Work in Progress (CWIP) to the electric utilities to construct expensive and dirty fossil gas-fired power plants. CWIP allows utilities to recover costs during construction and before the plant is serving customers (and even if it NEVER produces any electricity), which shifts construction risks to ratepayers – as in the substantial cost overruns at the Edwardsport coal gasification plant. The bill will virtually guarantee utility investment in expensive and financially risky power plant projects to maintain excessively high electric bills. 


SB9: Electric Service Reliability

Authors: Sen. Jean Leising (R), Sen. Susan Glick (R), Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. James Tomes (R)Sen. Vaneta Becker (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Edmond Soliday (R), Rep. Ethan Manning (R), Rep. Randall Frye (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC opposes this bill


Description: As it left the Senate, SB9 requires a public utility to provide the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) with at least six months advance notice of the public utility's intention to retire, sell, or transfer an electric generation facility with a capacity of at least 80 megawatts if such intention is not set forth in the utility's most recent Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The bill allows the IURC to investigate that retirement to ensure that it will not impact the utilities ability to reliably serve their customers, and prohibits the IURC from awarding the utility accelerated depreciation for that retirement. CAC was neutral on the bill as it left the Senate. 


SB9 was significantly amended in the House Utilities Committee. An amendment was added to the bill which removes the requirement that utilities get pre-approval from the IURC, or any other administrative agency, before they begin spending money on projects to comply with any Federally mandated requirement from Congress or a Federal agency, like the EPA or Nuclear Regulatory Commission. This amendment is in direct response to a Court of Appeals opinion issued on February 21st in which the Court reversed an IURC order allowing Duke Energy to retroactively collect approximately $225M from captive ratepayers. Not only does SB9 now represent a huge bailout for Duke Energy, it also is effectively a blank check for all Indiana electric utilities to spend enormous amounts of your money on projects which may or may not be necessary for the utility to comply with a new Federal mandate as it does not require that the utility receive any pre-approvals from the IURC, IDEM, or any other Federal or State agency.


This bill will exacerbate the utility affordability crisis, is unnecessary, and could lead to a delay in retiring dirty and expensive coal-fired power plants. The decision to retire a generation facility takes years and includes multiple layers of approvals and an exhaustive process which includes input from stakeholders. SB9 raises your electric bill and will likely slow the transition from fossil fuels to renewables in Indiana.


SB176: Small Modular Nuclear Reactors

Authors: Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Blake Doriot (R)Sen. Andy Zay (R), Sen. Spencer Deery (R), Sen. Jean Leising (R)Sen. Jeff Raatz (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Edmond Soliday (R), Rep. Matt Lehman (R), Rep. Ryan Lauer (R), Rep. Chris Jeter (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC opposes this bill


Description: Last year (2022), the Indiana General Assembly passed legislation that gave Indiana utilities Construction Work In Progress (CWIP) for Small Modular Nuclear Reactors (SMRs). SEA271 (2022) allows utilities to charge customers for SMR plants while they are under construction, before they are producing any electricity, and even if they NEVER produce any electricity. This bill - SB176 - changes the rated electric generating capacity for SMRs from 350 megawatts to 470 megawatts, begging the question "what is small?" At what point are they just nuclear reactors rather than SMRs?


HB1008: Pension Investments (similar to SB292)

Authors: Rep. Ethan Manning (R), Rep. Mike Speedy (R), Rep. Shane Lindauer (R), Rep. Edmond Soliday (R), Rep. J.D. Prescott (R), Rep. David Abbott (R), Rep. Julie McGuire (R), Rep. Robert Morris (R), Rep. Matt Lehman (R), Rep. Chris May (R), Rep. Jake Teshka (R), Rep. Steve Bartels (R), Rep. Chris Judy (R), Rep. Robb Greene (R), Rep. Ryan Lauer (R), Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R), Rep. Peggy Mayfield (R), Rep. Craig Snow (R), Rep. Michelle Davis (R), Rep. Alan Morrison (R), Rep. Bruce Borders (R), Rep. Robert Behning (R), Rep. Craig Haggard (R), Rep. Kendell Culp (R), Rep. Jim Lucas (R), Rep. Lorissa Sweet (R), Rep. Randall Frye (R), Rep. Mike Aylesworth (R), Rep. Cindy Ledbetter (R), Rep. Zach Payne (R), Rep. Karen Engleman (R), Rep. Robert Heaton (R), Rep. Robert Cherry (R), Rep. Jack Jordan (R), Rep. Lindsay Patterson (R), Rep. Ann Vermilion (R), Rep. Brad Barrett (R), Rep. Dale DeVon (R), Rep. Cory Criswell (R), Rep. Gregory Steuerwald (R), Rep. Joanna King (R), Rep. Doug Miller (R), Rep. Jim Pressel (R), Rep. Becky Cash (R), Rep. Chris Jeter (R), Rep. Dave Heine (R), Rep. Timothy Wesco (R), Rep. Matt Hostettler (R)

Sponsors: Sen. Travis Holdman (R), Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Justin Busch (R), Sen. Linda Rogers (R), Sen. John Crane (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC opposes this bill



SB292: INPRS Investments (dead) (similar to HB1008)

Authors: Sen. Travis Holdman (R), Sen. Linda Rogers (R), Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Jeff Raatz (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)

Sponsors: Rep. Ethan Manning (R)

Status: Died in the House Financial Institutions Committee

Position: CAC opposes this bill


Description:  The intent of HB1008 and SB292 is to prevent the Indiana Public Retirement System (INPRS) from making investments based on environmental, social and governance considerations, or ESG. Whitney Downard with the Indiana Capital Chronical recently did a comprehensive writeup about this: House Republicans take aim at ESG investing.


HB1547: Finance charges for supervised loans (dead)

Authors: Rep. Chris Judy (R)

Status: Died in the House Financial Institutions Committee

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Description: HB1547 would raise existing rates on large subprime loans from 25% to 36% plus additional fees as high as $200 per loan. Low-to-moderate income families would be targeted for these types of loans. We see a number of Hoosiers turning to these loans as an unfortunate solution to pay for unaffordable utility bills. These loans are not a sustainable solution to lift Hoosiers out of poverty. 



Neutral Bills


HB1007: Electric Utility Service

Authors: Rep. Edmond Soliday (R), Rep. Chris Jeter (R), Rep. Sharon Negele (R)Rep. Randall Frye (R)

Sponsors: Sen. Eric Koch (R)Sen. Andy Zay (R), Sen. Stacey Donato (R), Sen. Jean Leising (R), Sen. Gary Byrne (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC is neutral on the bill as it came out of the House Committee because of the very prescriptive parameters around the IURC study described below. We will strive to expand the study topics assigned to the IURC, and we will continue working to improve the bill for the benefit of consumers.


Description: HB1007 is a priority bill from the House Republican caucus. It is being advertised as a bill designed to “support a diverse and robust energy plan that ensures reliability and affordability”.

The bill does three things:

  • Embeds into law the “The Five Pillars of Electric Utility Service” from the Final Report of the Task Force; (1) reliability; (2) resilience; (3) stability; (4) affordability; and (5) environmental sustainability. CAC takes no issue with those pillars being guiding principles. However, we have concerns over some of the definitions of those pillars and we will work to improve those definition to ensure that they protect consumers. 


  • Directs the IURC to study alternative electricity rate-designs, like performance-based rates and multi-year rate plans, and report back to the legislature with recommendations before October 2025. As introduced, the bill directed the IURC to implement these new rates no later than January 2027. However, an amendment was adopted in committee which removed this mandate for implementation. CAC strongly supported that amendment and as a result, we removed our objection to the bill.


  • Reduces the amount of capacity the electric utilities are authorized to purchase from the markets form the current level of 30% to 15%. Some believe that this change may extend the life of existing coal-fired power plants and delay the clean energy transition, while others believe that this change will have no impact on the diversity of Indiana’s generation portfolio. CAC will continue to analyze and evaluate this proposed change to inform our position, although currently, CAC is not overly concerned with this provision of the bill. 



Good Bills


HB1290: Earned Income Tax Credit (dead)

Authors: Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R), Rep. Robert Behning (R), Rep. J.D. Prescott (R), Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D)

Sponsors: Sen. Greg Walker (R), Sen. Linda Rogers (R), Sen. Travis Holdman (R),  Sen. David Niezgodski (D), Sen. Fady Qaddoura (D), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill


Description: Increases the state earned income tax credit to an amount equal to 15% (instead of 10%) of the federal earned income tax credit that an individual claimed for a taxable year.


SB33: Solar Panel Decommissioning And Disposal Study

Authors: Sen. Greg Walker (R), Sen. Eric Koch (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Edmond Soliday (R), Rep. Sharon Negele (R), Rep. Mike Aylesworth (R), Rep. David Hall (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC supports this bill


Description: Directs the Indiana department of environmental management (IDEM) and the Indiana utility regulatory commission (IURC) to conduct a joint study concerning decommissioning and disposal of solar panels and wind power equipment. Requires IDEM and the IURC to report the findings and recommendations resulting from the study to the legislative council not later than November 1, 2023.


SB265: TANF eligibility

Authors: Sen. Jon Ford (R), Sen. Greg Walker (R), Sen. Vaneta Becker (R), Sen. J.D. Ford (D), Sen. Jean Breaux (D), Sen. Eric Bassler (R), Sen. Stacey Donato (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Edward Clere (R), Rep. Tonya Pfaff (D), Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D), Rep. Chuck Goodrich (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC supports this bill


Description: SB265 brings Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding up to date, legislation CAC has been supporting since 2020. TANF has not been increased or adjusted since 1988.


SB221: Energy Matters (dead)

Authors: Sen. Andy Zay (R), Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Shelli Yoder (D)

Sponsors: Rep. Edmond Soliday (R), Rep. Randall Frye (R), Rep. Chris Jeter (R)Rep. David Hall (R)

Status: Died in the House Ways and Means Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill


Description: Requires the Indiana department of administration to issue a request for proposals and award a contract for the conduct of an energy audit on the: (1) Indiana state capitol building; and (2) Indiana government center north and south buildings; not later than December 31, 2023.


SB202: Various Housing Matters (dead)

Authors: Sen. Fady Qaddoura (D), Sen. Greg Walker (R), Sen. Scott Baldwin (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D)

Sponsors: Rep. Doug Miller (R), Rep. Edward Clere (R), Rep. Sue Errington (D), Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D)

Status: Died in the House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill


Description: Requires a landlord to repair or replace an essential system (systems used to deliver essential services to a rental unit) not later than 24 hours after being notified by a tenant that the tenant's rental unit is without essential services. Allows for certain remedies to the tenant for the landlord's noncompliance. Provides that, during the pendency of a court action brought by a tenant, the court may order the tenant to make the regular rental payments otherwise due under the rental agreement to the clerk of the court or an attorney trust account, to be held in trust for disbursal to the prevailing party, as ordered by the court. 


SB390: Commercial Solar and Wind Energy Ready Communities

Authors: Sen. Mark Messmer (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D), Sen. Eric Koch (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Edmond Soliday (R), Rep. Shane Lindauer (R), Rep. Steve Bartels (R), Rep. Carey Hamilton (D)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC supports this bill


Description: Establishes the commercial solar and wind energy ready communities development center (center) within the Indiana economic development corporation (IEDC). Requires the center to: (1) provide comprehensive, easily accessible information concerning permits required for commercial solar projects, wind power projects, and related business activities in Indiana; and (2) work with permit authorities concerning those projects. Requires the IEDC to certify a county or municipality as a commercial solar energy ready community or a wind energy ready community if the county or municipality meets certain requirements, including the adoption of a commercial solar regulation or wind power regulation that includes standards that are not more restrictive than the default standards established by Indiana law. 


SB40: Summer Utility Service Assistance (dead)

Authors: Sen. J.D. Ford (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Utilities Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: Indiana currently has a winter disconnect moratorium which protects households who are qualified for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) during the coldest time-period of the year, December 1st through March 15th, from being disconnected. SB40 bill would add a summer disconnect moratorium for LIHEAP qualified households from June 21st through September 23rd to similarly protect vulnerable households during the hottest time-period of the year. CAC strongly supports SB40. 


SB254: Residential Utility Customer Protections (dead)

Authors: Sen. Shelli Yoder (D)

Status: Died in the Senate Utilities Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: This critical public policy proposal would place into law numerous protections for utility consumers including, (1) the utilities must offer payment plans for overdue balances which are based on the customers’ ability to pay; (2) prohibit the utility from requiring a down payment or a deposit from a customer to enter into a payment plan. Additionally, and amongst other things, SB254 would (finally) require the utilities to report important consumer data, such as number of disconnects and number of customers with overdue balances, on a quarterly and ongoing basis. CAC strongly supports SB254. 


HB1096: Funding for Senior Home Repair Program (dead)

Authors: Rep. Robin Shackleford (D)

Status: Died in the House Government and Regulatory Reform Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: HB1096 creates the Residential Emergency Services To Offer (home) Repairs (RESTORE) fund, and appropriates money to that fund with the intention of helping elderly Hoosier homeowners to make emergency repairs to their homes.


HB1135: Electric Vehicle Compatible Construction Standards (dead)

Authors: Rep. Carolyn Jackson (D), Rep. Earl Harris (D)

Status: Died in the House Roads and Transportation Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: Provides that with respect to the construction of a Class 2 structure for which a building permit is issued after December 31, 2023, the structure must be designed, constructed, and wired so as to enable an occupant of the structure to charge an electric vehicle (EV) through the use of EV supply equipment supplied by the occupant or a third party. Specifies that this requirement does not require a person who designs, constructs, or wires a Class 2 structure to: (1) provide EV supply equipment for use on the premises; or (2) install, or inspect EV supply equipment that is installed, on the premises.


SB411: Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program (dead)

Authors: Sen. Greg Walker (R), Sen. Chris Garten (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description: Authorizes counties, cities, and towns (local units) to adopt a commercial property assessed clean energy program (PACE program) as a financing mechanism to allow commercial property owners to obtain financing for energy efficient improvements, with the repayment of the financing obligation for those improvements made from a voluntary tax assessment (special assessment) on the property.




HB1033: Local Unit Water Infrastructure Fund

HB1080: Biofuel Tax Credits

HB1173: Utility Scale Battery Energy Storage Systems

HB1221: Old Home Repair Tax Credit

HB1429: Communications Infrastructure In Utility Easement

HB1437 - Extension Of Water And Wastewater Services

HB1443 - Utility Personal Property

HB1489: Sewer And Storm Water Fees Incurred By Tenants

SB5: Consumer Data Protection

SB114: Receivership for past due utility bills

SB170: Intimidation Against Utility Workers

SB180: Allocation of Wastewater Utility Costs

SB241: Reporting Requirements for Electric Vehicles

SB298: Utility Infrastructure Improvement Charges

HB1541: Utility Service to Rental Premises

HB1554 : Consumer Data Protection 

HB1645: Utility Receipt Tax on Water 

SB374: Regional Water, Sewage, or Solid Waste Districts 

SB419: State Tax Matters 

SB466: Communications Infrastructure in Utility Easement

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