Energy efficiency is the least cost resource to meet our energy needs.
- August 27, 2020
Energy must be safely and reliably delivered to Hoosiers at the least-cost possible. Consumer-oriented energy policies that create investment in renewables and energy efficiency make sense as the costs of coal and nuclear energy become more expensive.
There was cause for celebration yesterday after the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (“IURC”) extended the utility shut-off moratorium until August 14th. Sadly, tens of thousands of Hoosiers remain without shutoff protection as they are served by utilities not under the jurisdiction of the IURC. Therefore, the historic order by the IURC left out tens of thousands of Hoosier consumers who still face the looming threat of losing access to essential human services during the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and an unprecedented global health pandemic.
Indiana’s large investor-owned electric and gas monopoly utilities filed a petition before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (“IURC”) asking permission to allow them to categorize lower energy sales as an expense caused by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (“COVID-19”) and to allow them to collect those lost revenues from consumers. In other words, the investor-owned utilities want to charge consumers for the energy that they did not sell because of the global pandemic.
A coalition of public interest, social justice, watchdog and environmental groups are joining forces to hold Duke Energy, the largest investor-owned U.S. electric utility, accountable for its policies, which impact almost 8 million Americans in six states – and by extension, impede the nation’s progress toward a clean energy future.
Governor Eric Holcomb must act now to address the financial cliff that is coming once emergency orders are lifted, specifically the moratorium on utility disconnects. Action is needed to ensure that utility arrearages incurred during the crisis do not trigger mass disconnections by requiring all utility service providers, both regulated and unregulated, to adopt more flexible credit and collections practices than are currently required by state regulations, or in the case of unregulated utilities, their self-governed, internal policies related to credit and collection practices.
These are the issues of immediate importance we are working on right now.