Bacon: Stifling Hoosier alternative energy production

Posted by: Hannah Carlock  | Friday, April 7, 2017 9:25 am

Electricity is used every day, when we turn on the lights, control the climate in our homes and cook meals. Society thrives on using energy and the younger generations will never know what it was like to live without all of our modern conveniences. With the world’s population continuing to grow, any effort communities can make to produce energy efficiently, responsibly and sustainably should be encouraged. 

For example, I have 96 solar panels installed on my property that generate enough electrical power to operate my home nine months out of the year. These panels reduce my dependency on the utility company, which generates electricity through power plants burning fossil fuels. Fossil fuels have benefited mankind tremendously and will still be needed for quite some time. However, they are a finite resource and can come with extra costs. Burning certain fossil fuels, for example, can release particulate matter into the air that can adversely affect the health of people and animals. As a respiratory therapist, I know that young children, the elderly and those with asthma can suffer from this type of pollution. Moreover, fossil fuel use releases carbon monoxide into the atmosphere, which evidence suggests contributes to climate change. 

To support efforts to make use of new forms of energy, Indiana enacted a net-metering law. Net metering allows those who use solar panels or wind turbines to sell their surplus electricity to the electrical grid at the retail rate.

Currently, the General Assembly is reevaluating the net-metering law, and looking to eventually lower the net-metering rate from the retail price to the wholesale price, plus a 25-percent premium. Lowering the net-metering rate could potentially discourage Hoosiers from installing solar panels and wind turbines, which help our environment, provide Hoosiers a greater degree of energy independence and reduce annual utility bills. I believe this proposal still penalizes independent Hoosiers who are currently producing their own sustainable energy.

I will continue to advocate for alternative energy production and I encourage everyone to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint and improve their energy efficiency. Pike, Spencer and Warrick counties each have a recycling center that collect used aluminum, paper and plastic products, which can help cut residential disposal costs by 50 percent and save energy. It just makes sense to reuse precious resources and raw materials.

As always, please contact me with questions or input at 317-232-9833 or by email at h75@iga.in.gov. I appreciate hearing from you in order to better represent our district. Stay up-to-date with the work being done at the Statehouse by signing up to receive my email updates at www.in.gov/h75. 

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State Rep. Ron Bacon (R-Chandler) represents House District 75,
which includes portions of Warrick, Pike and Spencer counties.

A high-resolution photo of Bacon can be downloaded by clicking here