Bill targeting Energizing Indiana program becomes law

Earlier this week, Governor Mike Pence (R) of Indiana allowed the state's only major energy efficiency program – Energizing Indiana – to come to an end. The initiative, which has been in place since 2009, has been roundly criticized by those who believe that it is a waste of taxpayer money because it does not offer enough benefits for what it charges. Energizing Indiana got its funding through small charges that were added to the monthly utility bill of every household in the state. New legislation was introduced into the state Senate a couple of weeks ago, passing through both houses of the legislature and making it to Governor Pence's desk for veto or approval.

Governor Pence opted not to sign the bill, which means that it automatically becomes law. In a public statement on Thursday, Pence said that he could not approve the bill because it would end a "worthwhile energy program," but he also could not veto the legislation because it would raise the cost of utilities for all Indiana residents. He went on to say that he is going to make the creation of a new energy program one of the top priorities of his administration during the 2015 legislative session.

Pence said in his statement that he has already directed the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to begin working on the development of a new energy efficiency program, one that would include an opt-out option for spaces that consume a large amount of power.

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