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Indiana Senate OKs bill targeting efficiency program

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A coalition of environmental and citizens groups is warning that a bill advancing in the Indiana Legislature threatens to undermine a 2-year-old energy-efficiency program that helps homeowners and businesses cut their energy use.

The bill passed the state Senate on a 37-11 vote Monday and heads to the House for consideration. The measure would allow industries that are Indiana's biggest energy users to pull out of the Energizing Indiana program, which provides energy-efficiency assessments and tips for saving energy and lowering utility bills.

That state-mandated program has saved enough energy since 2012 to power nearly 74,000 Indiana homes, proponents say.

The Sierra Club, Citizens Action Coalition and other groups say the bill would likely shift the program's costs onto small businesses and families, and threaten the jobs it's helped create.

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