Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

State News

March 11, 2014

Groups speak out over cuts to energy efficiency

INDIANAPOLIS – Diverse organizations are speaking out against cuts to Indiana’s energy efficiency program contained in Senate Bill 340, which would prevent the state from holding utilities to energy-savings goals and would end the Energizing Indiana program.

While supporters of the legislation argue that the current program is too expensive, opponents say cuts would end the energy savings customers are seeing.

According to Marty Kushler, senior fellow at the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy, in its first year, 2012, the program saved $80 million in utility system costs.

“If you do away with these programs it essentially means that all Indiana ratepayers will have to pay more for energy in the future, because they will have to obtain the electricity from much more expensive power plants rather than saving the electricity,” he declared.

Kushler said it’s also a matter of concern that the bill has been rushed through a short legislative session. Opponents of SB340 are asking leaders to further investigate the costs and benefits of the energy-efficiency programs before moving forward. The bill was approved by the House and is now at the state Senate.

JACO Environmental has been delivering energy-efficiency appliance recycling programs in Indiana since 2010, which director Sam Sirkin said have saved electricity customers almost $3 million a year. He said ending energy-efficiency programs would eliminate more than 1200 indirect jobs and more than $500 million of economic investment each year that the programs are not operating.

“These programs are used by contractors - HVAC contractors, insulation contractors, remodeling contractors - to augment the work that they do every day, so it kind of boosts their business,” Sirkin said.

Several companies representing some 10,000 manufacturing and efficiency jobs in Indiana recently wrote to the governor, asking him to reject SB340 in its current form.

Reverend T. Wyatt Watkins, pastor of First Baptist Church of Cumberland, is a board member of Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light, which is helping faith communities reduce energy use. He said the energy-efficiency programs are making a difference in people’s lives.

“People in their homes save energy, practice responsible stewardship, and (it) certainly makes it more possible for people who are in financial need to keep the lights on and to keep furnaces running.”

Groups opposing SB340 include Citizens Action Coalition, Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana NAACP, Indiana Distributed Energy Alliance and the Sierra Club.

— Daily News

Text Only
State News
  • nws-gb073014 Supreme Court pic 1 'Wide open' process of picking of next chief INDIANAPOLIS – State Supreme Court Chief Justice Brent Dickson surprised observers in June when he decided to step down after a brief tenure in the leadership post.Another surprise may be in store when his replacement is named.A seven-member panel of

    July 31, 2014 5 Photos

  • Police make arrest in Shelbyville investigation SHELBYVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A man who lives in a Shelbyville home that was searched by police officers on Tuesday as part of an ongoing investigation into a woman’s disappearance has been arrested.Police say 46-year-old Scott Wayne Schuck is facing a

    July 31, 2014

  • Indiana sheriff charged in prostitution probe NEW ALBANY, Ind. (AP) — A southern Indiana sheriff who authorities say gave a prostitute a deputy’s badge and uniform so she could get hotel discounts, then paid her for a sex act, has been charged with lying to FBI agents investigating the case.A fe

    July 31, 2014

  • Soldiers get $92M in debt relief under settlement ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Thirteen states have settled an investigation into improper lending with a court agreement that is expected to provide $92 million in debt relief for 17,800 U.S. military personnel.Deceptive practices by Rome Finance Co., more rec

    July 31, 2014

  • Investigating Lafayette toddler's homicide LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Lafayette Police Department says it’s investigating the homicide of a toddler.Police issued a statement Tuesday saying they continue to investigate the death of 14-month-old Skylar Foster last week.The Marion County Coroner’s o

    July 31, 2014

  • I-74 repair project begins next week BATESVILLE, Ind.—A $1.2 million Indiana Department of Transportation project to repair and patch failing concrete pavement on Interstate 74 between mile markers 143 and 168 is scheduled to begin next week—weather permitting.Milestone, the state’s con

    July 31, 2014

  • Court allows education board lawsuit to proceed INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Marion County judge has cleared the way for a lawsuit to proceed against members of the State Board of Education that alleges public access violations.Marion County Judge Cynthia Ayers denied the state’s request that the case be

    July 30, 2014

  • Mitchell departs state job for treasurer's race INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Republican nominee for state treasurer is leaving her job with the state to focus more on her campaign.Kelly Mitchell announced Friday she was leaving her job as an investment director in the state treasurer’s office Aug. 1. M

    July 29, 2014

  • sta-gb072914 In doc ebola photo Mother: Doctor with Ebola sought to be missionary INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis woman whose son contracted Ebola while working in Liberia says family members are praying for his recovery.Dr. Kent Brantly is the medical director for the Ebola care center of the aid group Samaritan’s Purse in th

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medicare hospital fund to last 4 years longer WASHINGTON — Medicare’s finances are looking brighter, the government said Monday. The program’s giant hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030 — four years later than last year’s estimate.Meanwhile, Social Security’s massive retirement prog

    July 29, 2014