Indiana Gov. Pence signs utility energy-efficiency bill

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has signed a new law to reduce state oversight of the energy efficiency programs of major utilities.

Pence approved a measure Wednesday to allow major utility companies to develop their own efficiency programs and charge customers to implement them. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will have final approval over the programs.

Supporters say companies should have the flexibility to choose their own programs, which help decrease electricity use and save ratepayers money.

But some experts say the bill is missing key elements for such programs to be effective and won't save consumers as much as supporters have advertised.

Environmentalists also argue that Indiana will have a harder time meeting federal requirements for reducing carbon dioxide emissions under the new law, which takes effect immediately.

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