State lawmakers want the utility industry to take a forward looking approach to meeting energy demands in the future. Representative Ed Emery called for leading utility officials to develop methods for making what leading officials term ‘energy efficiency’ an industry-wide practice. One utility represenatitive testified that by 2030 the U.S. will see a 40% increase in the demand for electricity.

Chairman Jeff Davis with the Public Service Commission says the growing trend for drawing energy from natural gas won’t cut it. He says15 percent of all the natural gas consumed in Missouri is used for electricity and that makes up just about 3.5 percent of the electricity being consumed. Though he points out natural gas-fired energy is better for the envirnoment. Davis says 60% of homes in the state are being heated by natural gas. He says the state needs to look at lessening its dependence on oil and other fossil fuels, promote the development of alternative fuel sources and develop electric power resources that will provide low cost reliable electricity.

AUDIO: Laura McNamara reports (:56 MP3)