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BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA (September 11, 2012) – In the quarterly Cost of Living Index (COLI) prepared by The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER), Bloomington, Indiana boasted an overall composite score of 93.4, 6.6% below the national average. Bloomington also placed well in comparative housing and utilities costs.

The Cost of Living Index measures regional differences in the cost of consumer goods and services, excluding taxes and non-consumer expenditures. The average for all participating areas equals 100, and each participant’s index is read as a percentage of the average for all places. Bloomington stood out in housing costs with an index of 77.4, and in the utilities category with an index of 89.7.

“Bloomington’s low utilities costs have repeatedly been a factor that drives major employers to the area,” said Dana Palazzo, Project Manager for the Bloomington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC). “In this new report, we see that Bloomington continues to be a leader among peer cities and in particular when comparing housing and utility costs,” stated Palazzo.

Other benchmark cities showed an overall higher cost of living, such as Ann Arbor, Michigan (100.5), Gainesville, Florida (98.2), and Champaign, Illinois (98.6). The BEDC, in partnership with the Indiana Business Research Center, periodically benchmarks the City of Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area against a national set of 15 peer communities across the United States.  The latest  Cost of Living Indexprovides the organization with another dataset used to determine Bloomington’s competitive position for job growth and capital investment.

The Cost of Living Index is based on six component categories: housing, utilities, grocery items, transportation, healthcare, and miscellaneous goods and services.

Funding and technical assistance to aid Bloomington’s participation in the Cost of Living Index was provided by Hoosier Energy, a Bloomington-based wholesale electric cooperative that is frequently listed as one of the ten best economic development utilities in the nation.

“The city’s participation in the Cost of Living Index will document the low cost of living and give the city another compelling fact they can mention in their economic development promotional activities,” said Harold Gutzwiller, Manager of Economic Development and Key Accounts at Hoosier Energy.

To view the full C2ER Cost of Living Index report showing comparative data for 300 urban areas, select the “Reports and Media” tab within the BEDC’s “Resources Dashboard” at www.comparebloomington.us.

About the BEDC

The BEDC is a not-for-profit, public-private partnership dedicated to the retention, development and attraction of quality jobs in Monroe County. The BEDC is led by a partnership of private industry leaders, the City of Bloomington, Monroe County, Indiana University and Ivy Tech Community College–Bloomington. For more information click here www.comparebloomington.us.

About Hoosier Energy

Hoosier Energy is a generation and transmission cooperative providing wholesale electric power and services to 18 member distribution cooperatives in central and southern Indiana and southeastern Illinois. Based in Bloomington, Indiana, Hoosier Energy operates coal, natural gas and renewable energy power plants and delivers power through a 1,500-mile transmission network. Hoosier Energy provides high standards of service according to four core values: integrity, accountability, innovation, and commitment to community. For more information visit www.hepn.com.

Media Contacts

Dana Palazzo (BEDC) – 812-335-7346 or dpalazzo@comparebloomington.us

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