The House Energy & Utilities Committee is planning to take up renewable energy policy next Friday. However one member of the committee appears to be intent on reversing state policy on energy conservation and has said he will try to amend the House energy bill to eliminate recent conservation gains.
Audubon made energy conservation a top priority in 2008 and helped secure language that required the Public Service Commission to consider all costs of producing electricity, including costs related to climate change, when considering how much money utilities have to spend on conservation measures.
However, some utilities are complaining that the new conservation goals are too expensive and could increase rates – even though average bills will go down. Representative Mike Horner (R-Kissimmee) actually mislabeled the practice of utilities paying for customer conservation efforts a "tax." He also claimed that rate payers were being charged for societal benefits.
Of course this is not true. It is not clear why Rep. Horner would mischaracterize a program that helps create jobs, save consumers money and saves energy and water.
Based on his public statements we expect that Horner will try to roll back the 2008 conservation language, which promises to save eight million megawatt-hours of energy annually and in doing so allow utilities to avoid building dozens of expensive new power plants certain to raise people's rates.
Please help save energy by saving state energy conservation policy. Write the Members of the House Energy & Utilities Policy Committee. Ask them to vote for renewable energy and against amendments to weaken state energy conservation goals.