Lower energy bills? Check. More-efficient homes? Check. Economy boost? Check. Why would the Public Service Commission want to stop these improvements for Louisiana?

In December, our Public Service Commission passed statewide energy efficiency rules that would help families and businesses save money by reducing wasted energy in homes and buildings. These types of programs have been wildly successful in 46 other states — as well as in our own city of New Orleans — and have brought with them new jobs and lower utility bills.

Confoundingly, newly elected Chairman Eric Skrmetta and the PSC ended this initiative last month in a last-minute repeal.

Energy efficiency is not about making huge sacrifices; it’s about being smarter in the use of energy, such as air conditioning — resulting in a lower cost. By reducing the need to produce more energy, we decrease the likelihood of ratepayers spending billions of dollars for the construction of new power plants. Energy-efficiency programs provide incentives to weatherize homes and install efficient appliances — all resulting in lower bills. We put money right back into our wallets.

Commissioner Skrmetta and the PSC are only moving Louisiana backwards by repealing these rules. The people spoke in the commission’s original vote supporting the initiative — Louisianians want energy efficiency.

Jordan Macha

Gulf States representative, Sierra Club

New Orleans