On Monday, March 10, the Indiana state Senate approved a bill that would end funding for the Energizing Indiana energy program. The initiative was started by Governor Mitch Daniels (R) and the Indiana Regulatory Committee as a way to improve the energy efficiency of residential homes across the state. The program used a small fee of $1.50 from power consumers each month – added on to their monthly utility payment – as a way to pay for power upgrades in residences, energy consumption education classes and commercial and industrial rebates.
When the program was first enacted in 2009, it was praised by environmental activists who saw it as a way for Indiana to seriously address the energy efficiency issues that plague not only the state but the entire country. Critics of the program, however, see it as a waste of taxpayer money and offering little to no benefits for those providing the funding.
The cost of the initiative is what led Senator Jim Merritt to propose the legislation that has now made it through both houses of the Indiana state legislature. In his arguments, the senator told his colleagues that the program had already spent $500 million in its nearly six years of existence, and could cost as much as $19 billion by the time it was set to expire in 2019. Because of the high cost and what he says is a low return on investment for homeowners, the program had to be defunded. The legislation will now head to Governor Mike Pence's desk for veto or approval.
If you live in the Virginia or Washington, D.C., are and are interested in improving the energy efficiency of your own home, schedule an energy audit with Alban Inspections today.