Group protests outside Vectren office over bill dealing with solar energy

Published: Mar. 21, 2017 at 12:31 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 30, 2017 at 8:39 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A group protested outside of Vectren's headquarters downtown Monday afternoon against the utility's support of a Senate Bill dealing with solar energy.

Members of the Sierra Club believe Senate Bill 309 would take the freedom to generate solar energy away from consumers and hand over control to the state's utility companies.

A large group of people showed up with signs in hand shouting, "the sun is not for sale."

They marched from Innovation Pointe to Vectren's headquarters downtown.

They believe the bill would block modern technology, especially the ability to generate solar power to run a business or home.

The bill passed the state senate and now heads to the House.

That bill would allow utility companies like Vectren to control the energy that's produced.

The pastor of Bethlehem United Church of Christ in Vanderburgh County said his church just installed a 54-kilowatt solar system and they spent a lot of money to install it.

The pastor said he believes the senate bill simply is not fair.

"The solar rays are generating power and it goes into the grid," said Pastor Mark Sirnic. "Whatever the consumer doesn't use goes back into the grid - saves the utility companies from having to generate that. Also, since it's kind of locally grown, if you will, there's a whole lot less of a transmission distribution degradation, that sort of thing."

The bill will now be heard by the Utilities Committee on Wednesday.

Of course, we'll keep you updated on its progress.

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