The utility regulating body supported the program just two months ago
Louisiana's utility regulators have shelved plans for a statewide energy efficiency program, only two months after backing the idea.
The change of one member of the Public Service Commission was enough to reverse course. The commission voted 3-2 Wednesday to stall the program plans.
The PSC's newest commissioner, Scott Angelle, says he's concerned about the program's cost for small businesses, because utility companies would be able to charge their customers for energy efficiency initiatives.
Supporters of the program, however, say any costs to utility customers would be more than offset by the rate savings because of efficiencies created in the way power is delivered and used.
"Because of the decision today, Louisiana ratepayers will pay an additional $80 million in higher energy bills," said Forest Wright, Regulatory Policy Director for the Alliance for Affordable Energy.
"Today's decision shows a shocking lack of comprehension for the technical work of the Commission and a failure to conduct the most important duty of its job, which is to serve the public interest."
PSC Chairman Eric Skrmetta, who voted to abandon the previous plans, says the commission will study the idea and return with a new approach.
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