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Science and Environment

House Speaker Halts Bill To Create Alternative Energy Fee

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Bill Shaw
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/dougiebeck/

House Speaker Brian Bosma Tuesday halted a bill opponents say significantly reduces incentives for Hoosiers to use alternative energy for their homes.

Proposed legislation made changes to the system by which utility companies purchase excess electricity from Hoosiers who produce energy through alternative means, such as solar panels.  Utilities would buy that energy at a lower price, and be able to charge alternative energy users fixed monthly fees for using the energy grid.

The measure drew outrage from solar technology businesses and energy consumer advocates.  And, while the bill cleared a House committee, Speaker Brian Bosma pulled it off the floor calendar.  He says now isn’t the right time for the measure.

“There were a whole variety of issues that have arisen around it and it just seemed to me to be a little weighty,” Bosma says.

Kerwin Olson represents the Citizens Action Coalition, one of the advocacy groups who spoke out against the bill.  He says he knows an issue isn’t really dead until the session officially ends.

“So, we’re going to remain strident and vigilant and keep our watch out for this language,” he says.

Both Bosma and Olson say they think a study committee on the topic – a possibility raised in committee – is unnecessary.

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