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STATEHOUSE–You have probably looked at your utility bill and been angry with how it keeps increasing. Several leaders from around Indiana met at the Statehouse Thursday to discuss ways to bring those costs down.

Patrick Regan is the President of Crossroads Solar in South Bend. He spoke in front of a group of renewable energy advocates and sponsors of Renewable Energy Day. He said the cost of your utilities could be better regulated by Indiana’s legislature.

“I put the blame not on utility managers who are trying to maximize profit, but rather the people who are in the legislature who don’t control the excess pursuit of profit,” said Regan.

He says there are several ways the utility companies pass the cost on to their customers.

“They force the consumer, whether it is a resident or a commercial application, to either pay the cost of funding the utility companies or make the costly choice of not finding an alternative structure for your power. Those are things our legislature could control, but they refuse to do so,” said Regan.

Regan said his organization could produce a lot more jobs at Crossroads Solar if the state would have better policies regarding solar power and alternative energy.

“From my vantage point, our legislators are either enamored with or beholden to the utility industry. That has to change,” said Regan.

Several renewable energy advocates and leaders met with legislators Thursday afternoon.

An amendment which would have established community solar facilities was voted down in the house Thursday. Authored by State Rep. Sue Errington (D-Muncie), it was voted down 64-27.

“This is a missed opportunity to help more Hoosiers buy into renewable solar energy. Not only is solar energy better for the environment by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, it’s good for the economy by creating jobs throughout the state. Community solar facilities foster innovation and competition while reducing utility rates for all electric customers. This amendment would have given us the opportunity to help those who have historically been left behind in the renewable energy transition, namely low-income Hoosiers and Black and brown Hoosiers, by giving them the option to take advantage of the many benefits of solar power,” said Errington.