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2020 Consumer, Energy, and Utility Bill Watch List

 

Bad Bills:

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HB1414: Electric generation

Authors: Rep. Ed Soliday (R), Rep. Alan Morrison (R), Rep. Matt Hostettler (R), Rep. Ethan Manning (R)

Sponsors: Sen. Mark Messmer (R), Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Erin Houchin (R), Sen. Chris Garten (R), Sen. Jon Ford (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Votes:

Description:

House Bill 1414 obstructs Indiana’s electric utilities’ ability to retire their dirty, expensive, and outdated coal-fired power plants. It is designed to keep Indiana in the dark ages by delaying and obstructing our transition to clean energy. It is a deliberate attempt by the coal interests to convince Indiana lawmakers to use the heavy hand of government to interfere with the markets and protect Indiana’s fleet of coal-fired power plants. The effort is being led by Alliance Coal, Hallador Energy, and White Stallion Energy, who have been aggressively peddling their influence and money at the Indiana Statehouse.   

 

HB1327: Power charge indifference adjustment

Authors: Rep. Ed Soliday (R)

Status: Died in the House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee

Position: CAC opposes this bill

Description:

This bill is in response to the final order of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) in the most recent NIPSCO rate case, which shifted a significant amount of costs from large industrial customers to everyone else. However, HB1327 gets it all wrong by protecting the earnings and revenues of the monopolies, at the expense of customers. The bill actually penalizes customers who invest their own money on co-generation or combined heat and power systems, in order to generate their own electricity on site. We should be encouraging and incentivizing customers who want to generate their own energy and become independent from the monopolies. This continues the shortsighted trend of the Indiana General Assembly looking backwards instead of forward by adopting and proposing policies designed to slow the clean energy transition, and which are crafted to inhibit and obstruct customers' (big and small) ability to generate their own energy and become energy independent, while protecting above all else, the earnings and revenues of the monopoly utilities.

 

 

Good Bills:

Jump to Bad BillsWatching

 

SB102: Interim study committee on utility taxes and fees

Authors: Sen. John Ruckelshaus (R), Sen. J.D. Ford (D), Sen. James Merritt (R), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D), Sen. Victoria Spartz (R)

Status: Died; was never assigned to a committee in the House

Position: CAC supports this bill

Votes:

Description:

Urges the legislative council to assign to an appropriate interim study committee (committee) to study the topic of fees and taxes that are collected through utility bills, telecommunication bills, and video service bills. Specifies that the committee will consider: (1) how the fees and taxes are used; (2) the factors driving increased fees and taxes; (3) the best practices of other states; and (4) the potential for reform or reduction of fees and taxes.

 

SB254: Water and wastewater utilities

Authors: Sen. Ed Charbonneau (R), Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. Susan Glick (R), Sen. David Niezgodski (D), Sen. Mark Stoops (D), Sen. J.D. Ford (D), Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D), Sen. James Merritt (R), Sen. John Ruckelshaus (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Ed Soliday (R), Rep. Ethan Manning (R), Rep. Ryan Hatfield (D), Rep. Dollyne Sherman (R)

Status: Signed into law by Gov. Holcomb

Position: CAC supports this bill

Votes:

Description:

Amends the law allowing the adjustment of a water or wastewater utility's rates and charges to enable the utility to recover the cost of eligible infrastructure improvements, by providing that the general maximum limit on the revenues used in determining the adjustment does not apply to infrastructure improvement costs associated with the construction, reconstruction, or improvement of a highway, street, or road. Amends the law that allows a public water utility to treat the costs of replacing customer-owned lead service lines as eligible infrastructure improvements for which a utility's rates and charges may be adjusted, by providing that the law applies to municipally owned utilities as well as public utilities. Establishes a procedure under which a public utility, municipally owned utility, or not-for-profit utility that provides water or wastewater service to the public and is under the jurisdiction of the commission for the approval of rates and charges may seek to recover, through a periodic rate adjustment, the cost of certain utility plant or equipment expenditures that are related to compliance with environmental requirements or made for health, safety, or environmental protection purposes.

 

SB411: Leasing of broadband capacity infrastructure

Authors: Sen. Eric Koch (R), Sen. James Merritt (R), Sen. John Crane (R)

Sponsors: Rep. Ed Soliday (R)

Status: Died in the House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Votes:

Description:

In its original form, CAC opposed SB411 because it gave the electric utilities yet another tracker to build out broadband infrastructure and to sell extra bandwidth to internet providers. In doing so, they would have been allowed to charge customers for building out the infrastructure. Customers should not have to pay for something that does not relate to providing electricity. 

However, the Senate Utilities Committee amended SB411 to remove the tracker and to change it to a study committee, directing the Indiana General Assembly to study and explore creative and new ways in which broadband services can be provided to currently unserved communities, especially rural communities. Access to broadband is now an essential human service, and CAC's mission is to work to ensure that all Hoosiers have access to affordable, essential human services, so CAC supports SB411 in its current form.

 

HB1228: Net metering

Authors: Rep. Carey Hamilton (D), Rep. Chris Campbell (D), Rep. Donna Schaibley (R), Rep. Mike Aylesworth (R)

Status: Died in the House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:

HB1228 & HB1328 (below) are both bills repealing Senate Enrolled Act 309 (SEA309), which became law in 2017. SEA309 is the bill that killed net metering, making it much more difficult for people who put solar on their houses to recover the costs of installing the solar panels. SEA309 steals the economic benefits of solar away from all customers and gives it to the utilities. HB1328 is the stronger of the two bills because it allows more customers to take advantage of net metering.

 

HB1328: Elimination of net metering phase out

Authors: Rep. Ed Delaney (D)

Status: Died in the House Utilities, Energy and Telecommunications Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:

HB1328 & HB1228 (above) are both bills repealing Senate Enrolled Act 309 (SEA309), which became law in 2017. SEA309 is the bill that killed net metering, making it much more difficult for people who put solar on their houses to recover the costs of installing the solar panels. SEA309 steals the economic benefits of solar away from all customers and gives it to the utilities. HB1328 is the stronger of the two bills because it allows more customers to take advantage of net metering.

 

SB361: Municipal electric utilities

Authors: Sen. Stacey Donato (R)Sen. Erin Houchin (R)

Status: Died in the Senate Utilities Committee

Position: CAC supports this bill

Description:

Provides that when municipal electric utilities enter into contracts to purchase electricity on the wholesale market, they must go through a process to obtain bids from electricity suppliers in order to get the best prices for their customers. Also requires that the municipal utilities make the contracts they enter into available to the public.

Further requires municipal electric utilities to monitor, and maintain data on, the levels of peak demand and electricity usage on the electric utility's electric system, including seasonal and time-of-day variation in such levels. Also requires that this data is made available to the public.

  

 

Watching: 

Jump to Good Bills, Bad Bills

 

HB1131: Extension of water and sewer mains

HB1165: Municipally owned utilities

HB1190: Municipally owned utilities

HB1218: Locating underground utility infrastructure

HB1266: Telephone solicitation

HB1284: Modification of utility facilities

HB1285: Modification of utility facilities

HB1304: Broadband development

HB1375: Homeowners associations and solar power

HB1385: Department of natural resources

SB46: Interim study committee

SB56: Homeowners associations

SB177: Administration of the broadband ready program

SB343: Rural communications cooperatives

SB349: Broadband grant program

SB447: Underground utility facilities

 

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Updated: 6/3/20

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