2015 Indiana General Assembly

2015 Indiana General Assembly

The monopoly utilities will spin the truth, change the rules, and rig the game - whatever it takes to kill any competition, collect as much money as they can, and take the power away from the people.  

 

And they did it again this year at the Indiana State House.

  • SB412 created bogus energy efficiency programs that do more harm than good.
  • HB1320 would have taken away our energy freedom and choice by killing small-scale solar and wind.

5-6-15 Bad news: SB412 has been signed into law by Governor Pence.

2-24-15 Victory!  HB1320 was killed!  Thanks to everybody who make their voices heard and came together to fight this awful bill!

CAC remained vigilant for the rest of the legislative session, but the language in HB1320 was never inserted into any other legislation.

 

SB412: Demand side management

Authors: Sen. James Merritt (R), Sen. Randall Head (R), Sen. Jean Breaux (D)

Sponsor: Rep. Eric Allan Koch (R), Rep. Alan Morrison (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Pence

Votes:

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Description: Demand side management is a fancy name for energy efficiency on the customer side (or “demand” side) of the meter.  After the State Legislature killed Indiana’s incredibly effective efficiency programs (Energizing Indiana) last year, Gov. Pence promised a strong efficiency bill this year.  Here’s what SB412 does:

  • Allows the utilities to dictate their own energy efficiency goals and programs as a part of their overall planning process.  Without goals being set in Indiana energy policy, we won’t see many results from the utility efficiency programs.  After all, why would they want customers using less of their product?
  • Gives the utilities a lot more money for doing less: limitless lost revenues. In other words, allows utilities to charge us hundreds of millions of dollars for the energy we didn’t use because of energy efficiency.  This allows the monopoly utilities to steal the economic benefit of efficiency from customers.
  • Destroys the cost-effectiveness of efficiency.  When the utilities charge too much for negligible results, energy efficiency is no longer cost-effective.  Therefore, the utilities will not have to offer robust energy efficiency programs. What programs they do offer will be far more expensive than they should be.  This will effectively price energy efficiency out of the Indiana marketplace.
  • Gives utilities “incentives” for efficiency programs without defining what that means.  This is especially outrageous since the utilities are allowed to set their own goals, therefore they will be allowed to establish when they deserve an “incentive”.  This will add even more unnecessary cost to the programs and effectively allows the utilities to reward themselves for underperformance.
  • This bill is so bad, Hoosiers would be better off without any bill at all.

 

HB1320: Generation of electricity by distributed generation.

Authors: Rep. Eric Koch (R), Rep. Randall Frye (R)

Status: Died in the House

Votes:

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Description: Distributed generation primarily refers to small-scale solar and wind.  The utilities are attacking rooftop solar and small-scale wind because it allows us to compete with them.  They are monopolies and they see any type of competition as a threat.  They want our State Legislators to protect them from ANY competition, especially the kind that allows us to keep our money in our own pockets.  Here’s what HB1320 does:
  • Kills net metering. Net metering allows you to generate electricity and get credited for the excess power that you send to the grid at the same price that you pay the utility for it. HB1320 allows the utilities to credit you at a rate that is about 75% less than what you pay them for electricity.
  • Allows the utilities to charge a monthly fee for rooftop solar and small-scale wind. The utilities will be allowed to impose a “tax” just because you invested your money to generate your own electricity on your own property.
  • Allows the utilities set their own interconnection rules.  They will throw up as many roadblocks as they can to make it as difficult as possible for you to connect your solar panels to the grid.  And by allowing them to write their own rules, they will undoubtedly include a charge just for connecting your system to the grid. making it far too expensive.  This is how they kill competition.
  • Prices customer-owned small-scale solar and wind out of the market.  By setting their own rules and prices, utilities will make customer-owned solar and wind so unaffordable that nobody will be able to do it. Additionally, while the bill may enable leasing of rooftop solar in Indiana, by imposing a monthly “tax” and reducing the amount you are credited, leasing will not be economical – making the lease provision nothing more than window dressing. 
  • Under-values the energy generated by rooftop solar and small-scale wind. The bill would place into law that rooftop solar and small-scale wind have no more value than the costs utilities avoided by not burning fossil fuels or purchasing the power on the market. It is well established in other states that the value of solar exceeds the costs and that rooftop solar provides numerous benefits to the customers, the grid and the utilities. This bill would allow the utilities to ignore these benefits and credit you less than market value for the power you send to the grid.

 

 

Please check back periodically as we will be updating this page frequently with current information.

 

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