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Consumer Group Urges Surcharge for Energy Efficiency Program

CAC: Old program of calculatint utilities' costs is too unwieldy

Indiana utility regulators are ready to get to work on a new energy efficiency program, after receiving two months of public suggestions.

Governor Pence signed a bill this year repealing former Governor Mitch Daniels' "Energize Indiana," but promised to offer a plan next year to replace it with something that answers legislators' concerns about wasteful spending.

Citizens Action Coalition executive director Kerwin Olson suggests instead of giving utilities a credit to offset their costs, the state should just tack a surcharge onto utility bills directly. He says it was too cumbersome to accurately calculate utilities' costs under the old program, and predicts consumers will recoup two-and-a-half times the surcharge through reduced bills.

Like Energize Indiana, the CAC says a new program must be run independently of the utilities. Otherwise, Olson says the power companies have no incentive to reduce what customers pay.

The coalition submitted its proposal to the IURC along with 2,500 signatures in support.

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