(Editor’s note: some of the following info has already appeared in Ask Renee’s column. We felt it bore repeating.)
There are two important issues open to public comment, and we’re pretty certain our green-minded readers will want to join the discussion.
The first and perhaps most critical:
Energy Efficiency in Indiana (Deadline for public comment: June 9, 2014)
In 2009, the state of Indiana issued a decision to achieve an energy savings target of two percent within 10 years. Utilities, residents, businesses, factories, hospitals and schools all started working together to reduce their energy usage and bills through the Energizing Indiana program.
Then, in our most recent legislative session, Hoosier legislators passed a law that puts Indiana’s energy efficiency efforts under scrutiny and terminates Energizing Indiana at the end of 2014. It basically eliminates energy efficiency standards in the State of Indiana, which some observers have seen as a a huge step backward.
Forecasts estimate that Indiana will need to add 1,450 megawatts of electricity generation resources in the near term and 3,600 megawatts in the longer term. Read: Hoosiers either need to generate more electricity or start reducing our energy consumption.
Governor Pence has asked the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) for recommendations and the IURC has opened the discussion to the public. Comments can be sent to email@example.com or 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.
If our readers are interested in commenting, yet perhaps strapped for ideas on where to begin, allow us to provide some suggestions:
- The current administration — like others before — wants to make Indiana an attractive state for business by having low energy costs, but what about sustainability, air quality and water quality? Won’t these things attract good workers, families and businesses to Indiana? Our neighboring states are way ahead of us – Illinois has a goal of two percent energy reduction by 2015 and Ohio has a goal of two percent by 2019.
- The Senate opted to eliminate energy efficiency programs because of cost; however, it is much cheaper to save a kilowatt than it is to figure out how to produce 1,500 more megawatts. (A quick Google search provides hundreds of examples of this truism.)
- Any opt-outs for large electricity consumers must be fair and have other energy efficiency requirements associated with their ability to opt-out.
Indy Rezone Project (check indyrezone.org)
Indianapolis’ zoning regulations were last overhauled in 1969. New development of unused land while other property sits idle and decaying has led some observers to call for a review of those regulations, which is the purpose of Indy Rezone.
Indianapolis has a documented suburban sprawl problem: the amount of developed acres has increased by 43%, while our population only increased 8% in the same period of time.
The Indy Rezone team has a vision to make Indianapolis more sustainable and livable, with a focus on adaptive re-use, redevelopment of existing structures, quality pedestrian experiences, multi-modal connectivity, diverse and livable housing, and air and water quality issues.
Indy Rezone is looking for public participation during the Draft Revised Code commenting phase. If you would like to participate, sign up to receive e-news updates and create a user account at the website noted above to submit comments. Hoosiers can also follow Indy Rezone on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube @IndyRezone.