A group of large-scale energy users in Indiana called the Indiana Industrial Energy Consumers (INDIEC) is pushing for the state to open up to retail energy competition, reports nwitimes.com. According to the INDIEC website, the group represents 31 companies that want to open up the competitive energy market in the state.
The article notes that the state’s power prices have fallen from the fifth-lowest in the nation in 2003 to the 26th lowest in 2014, and the group believes that this has hurt the state’s competitiveness. Electricity rates in Indiana have passed neighboring Ohio and Illinois, each of which have competitive energy markets. For the large industrial customers that include auto-makers, chemical manufacturers, and others that make up the backbone of Indiana’s economy, this eats away at their profit margins and discourages them from investing in the state.
A spokesman for a group of utilities commented that factors outside the utilities’ control, such as impending environmental regulations, were largely responsible for the higher electricity prices. Competitive market advocates in other states have suggested that restructured markets respond more quickly to shifting market conditions and shift risk from customers to producers.