Rising power costs spark talk of deregulation

Indiana Statehouse
(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana leaders are discussing whether the state should allow consumers to choose their energy supplier amid concerns that rising electricity costs will dull the state’s edge when attracting businesses.

Policymakers say deregulation is only a topic of discussion right now, but the fact that the state is even considering it signals the depths of concern over how higher power costs could affect economic development.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports Indiana had the sixth-lowest industrial electric rate in 2003, but that has dropped to 27th lowest.

Economic development arch rival Illinois deregulated in the 1990s. Its costs are 15 percent below Indiana’s.

Some business owners say Indiana’s electricity prices are the lone negative in an otherwise attractive development climate.

No changes can occur without action by the General Assembly.

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