Letter from the Executive Director
2015 was indeed a busy and challenging year for CAC. But like 2014, despite the many challenges and frustrations that presented themselves, significant accomplishments were realized and major victories were achieved.
The year started with a full frontal assault on rooftop solar and ratepayer wallets at the Indiana General Assembly with the now infamous, but fortunately dead, HB1320. The bill as introduced would have effectively killed net metering as we know it, decimated the infantile solar market in Indiana, and embedded the utility high‐cost, risk‐shifting business as usual model in Indiana for decades into the future. Thanks to the efforts of CAC and our numerous allies, cooler heads prevailed and the bill was ultimately withdrawn.
As a result of HB1320, CAC engaged with our partners at Common Cause and Energy & Policy Institute in litigation regarding the Access to Public Records Act and its applicability to the Indiana General Assembly and the public’s right to know about how and why public policy is considered. The Indiana House Republicans remain steadfast in their assertion that APRA does not apply to the legislature. Our law suit contesting that assertion is now before the Indiana Supreme Court. CAC’s diligent work for comprehensive, cost‐effective, equitable, and robust energy efficiency programs continues undeterred after the passage of Governor Pence’s new energy efficiency law, which CAC unsuccessfully opposed. We remain committed to do all that we can as an organization to ensure that energy efficiency is the center piece of energy policy and utility planning now and into the future.
In perhaps our biggest win at the Commission in recent memory, CAC went rogue and successfully defeated the BlueIndy settlement between IPL, the City of Indianapolis, and the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor which would have condemned the captive ratepayers of IPL to assume all of the risk and subsidize an electric car share program owned and managed bya French Fortune 500 company.
In addition, we helped defeat Duke’s request for nearly $2B in ratepayer money to fund, among other things, unnecessary smart meters and other luxuries that do little to benefit ratepayers and played a role in assisting our allies and friends in Delaware and Madison county in putting an end to the preposterous Mounds Lake Reservoir proposal.
The year ahead promises much of the same as the vested business interests aggressively continue their assault on ratepayers' wallets, clean energy, our environment, and sound utility rate regulation. CAC will remain steadfast in our efforts to protect consumers, protect democracy and our environment, and preserve our natural resources, with an increased focus on ensuring all Hoosiers have access to essential human services as our mission statement directs us to do.
My deepest gratitude goes to the dedicated and passionate CAC board and staff and all of our members, supporters, and volunteers whose commitment and generosity make our work possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Here’s to 41 more years!
These are the issues of immediate importance we are working on right now.