Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

April 2, 2014

April 3, 2014: Letters to the editor

Review of efficiency programs good idea

Recent news stories have given the impression that energy efficiency programs such as Duke Energy’s will end because of the passage of Senate Bill 340. As Indiana’s largest electric supplier, I can tell you that Duke Energy will continue to offer energy-saving programs for homeowners, businesses and industries.

If you go to Duke Energy’s website today, you’ll find a list of energy efficiency programs that are offered to our customers.

So what will be different now that Senate Bill 340 is law?

Most customers probably don’t realize that part of their electric bill today goes to paying for state-mandated energy efficiency programs. The problem is that after five years, utilities are on the verge of considerable, more costly program investments to reach the next level of aggressive energy savings targets established by the utility regulatory commission.

That means higher electric rates to cover more expensive program costs.

For large power customers, the bill increases would be significant — in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars more in their annual electric costs.

Those large customers asked legislators for the opportunity to opt out of the state mandate. In the course of reviewing the request, legislators determined that now was the time to stop and review the programs so costs and benefits could be assessed for all customers — residential, commercial and industrial.

We think a review of our state’s energy efficiency policies is a good idea. Meanwhile, Duke Energy will evaluate our energy efficiency programs, work to improve them and continue to offer the most economically beneficial programs.

Today there are lighting programs, home energy reports, appliance recycling opportunities, school education programs, and rebates for businesses and industries that make energy efficiency improvements.

We will continue to offer similar opportunities now that Senate Bill 340 is law. I encourage you to go to our website at www.duke-energy.com to take advantage of them — now and in the future.

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