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Energizing Indiana - Together we'll do powerful things
Many of Indiana's electric utilities - including the state's 5 large, investor-owned utilities - are offering 5 core energy efficiency programs under the Energizing Indiana initiative. Energizing Indiana - a statewide collaborative including the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), other consumer organizations, and utilities - was launched on January 2, 2012. Program participation is voluntary and there are no charges to sign up.
In an order issued on December 9, 2009, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) concluded a five-year investigation of DSM programs throughout the state, their overall effectiveness, and ways to possibly improve them. Since then, the OUCC and other stakeholders have worked aggressively with the state's electric utilities to implement a consistent approach to energy efficiency.
These efforts are known in the utility industry and in regulatory cases as demand side management (DSM) programs.
The IURC order (in Cause No. 42693) requires all electric utilities under Commission jurisdiction (including the state's 5 major investor-owned electric utilities, 4 rural electric membership cooperatives and 15 municipal electric utilities)* to participate in the DSM efforts and achieve a 2 percent annual savings in total electric sales by 2019. The utilities also need to meet annual, incremental targets in the meantime.
The 5 core programs required in the order are:
While the participating utilities are required to offer the core programs, customer participation is voluntary.
Independent third-party administrators are overseeing the programs and measuring their effectiveness.
The Commission's December 2009 order established a DSM coordination committee. This committee includes:
The OUCC and all other members of the coordination committee developed two requests for proposals (RFPs) for consideration by the IURC - one for an independent third-party administrator to oversee and coordinate the core programs and a second RFP for a third party administrator to evaluate, measure and verify the programs offered by the utilities.
Two RFPs were issued in April 2010. The coordination committee selected vendors and filed negotiated contracts with the IURC in October 2010:
An IURC order approving the contracts was issued on July 27, 2011.
The statewide DSM effort is one of many important pieces in the puzzle of addressing Indiana's future electricity needs.
As the Commission's December 9, 2009 order noted, "Saving energy is the most cost effective way of meeting future energy supply needs and has a corresponding benefit of reducing the need to build additional generation capacity."
Indiana's spending for electric energy efficiency ranks 31st among all the states and 6th among 7 states in the Midwest. While some Indiana electric utilities offer a variety of energy efficiency programs, these offerings have not been available to consumers throughout the state on a consistent basis.
The OUCC also continues to spearhead collaborative energy efficiency programs with Indiana's natural gas utilities, with independent oversight of each utility's initiatives. Vectren's natural gas energy efficiency program was the first to start, in December 2006.
* Indiana law allows rural electric membership cooperatives (REMCs) and municipal electric utilities to withdraw from IURC jurisdiction. For more information, please see the OUCC's Utility Withdrawal from IURC Jurisdiction fact sheet.
This information will be updated as warranted.