State Rep. Matt Pierce pushes for consumer representative on energy task force
INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) today attempted to add an advocate for utility customers to the membership of the 21st Century Energy Policy Development Task Force, proposed by House Bill (HB) 1220.
The bill currently gives Governor Holcomb three appointments to the task force, but none of those appointments must represent the interests of utility ratepayers. A previous energy task force that concluded its work in December included Indiana's Utility Consumer Counselor, a position appointed by the Governor to represent the interests of utility customers in proceedings before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).
“The first energy task force benefited from the perspective of the Utility Consumer Counselor,” Pierce said. “So why would this task force be any different?”
House Bill 1220 would have the energy task force consider new ways to charge customers for the energy they use, including charging higher prices to shift electricity use to off-peak times and other alternative rate designs.
“This task force will recommend energy policies that could affect utility customers for years to come. With so much at stake, you would think the General Assembly would want someone on the task force who can speak from the viewpoint of those who pay the bills. After all, we know the voices of lobbyists and the special interests will be heard loud and clear.”
Pierce's amendment to HB 1220 was defeated by a vote of 30-66.