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Following a 2004 investigation, based on the certificate of need law (Indiana Code 8-1-8.5), the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) issued a decision in 2009 that required the state's investor-owned electric utilities (e.g., Northern Indiana Public Service Company, Vectren South, Indianapolis Power and Light, Duke Energy, and Indiana Michigan Power) to achieve an energy savings target of 2% within 10 years. Additionally, the IURC established the need for two third-party administrators - one for program implementation and another for the evaluation, measurement, and verification of the reported statistics. The method for reducing consumption was focused on demand side management (DSM) practices.
DSM is defined by the U.S. Department of Energy as "the process of managing the consumption of energy, generally to optimize available and planned generation resources." Broadly speaking, DSM encompasses initiatives such as demand response (DR) and energy efficiency (EE). For example, demand response programs are designed to shift the timing of energy consumption, but do not affect the overall level of consumption. EE programs, on the other hand, are designed to reduce consumption. For example, to make one's home more efficient, consumers may install ENERGY STAR appliances or schedule a home energy audit. By implementing these processes, individuals and companies may lower their overall energy usage, thereby helping customers achieve bill reductions and utilities plan for future energy resources.
Since the issuance of the IURC's decision, interested stakeholders, under the umbrella of the Demand Side Management Coordinating Committee, have worked collaboratively to implement and publicize the programs. However, this past year concerns were raised about its overall expense. Consequently, during the 2014 legislative session, Senate Enrolled Act 340 was enacted into law so that the General Assembly could examine the IURC's program. Although the law allows Indiana utilities to continue offering DSM programs, it lets the statewide program expire on December 31, 2014.
In his letter, dated March 27, 2014, Governor Pence requested that the IURC make recommendations on DSM and EE policies and programs, so that they may serve as a framework for potential legislation in the upcoming 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly. Specifically, the Governor asked that the IURC's recommendations accomplish the following:
In order to ensure transparency and promote public engagement, the IURC issued a General Administrative Order (GAO) on April 9, 2014 explaining how written comments could be submitted to the agency for consideration. To view GAO 2014-1, please click here.
Comments on DSM and EE policies and programs may be submitted to the IURC in writing. Details are provided below. The deadline for the submission of written comments is June 9, 2014.
Mail: General Counsel Beth Krogel Roads
Re: IURC's EE/DSM Recommendations
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
101 West Washington Street, Ste. 1500 E
Indianapolis, IN 46204