IPL customers can weigh in on proposal that would raise electric bills by about $11 a month

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis Power & Light customers will have the chance to sound off Monday on a proposed rate increase from the utility.

If state regulators approve the hike, the average bill will go up about $11 a month, according to IPL’s proposal.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has scheduled two public field hearings on the matter: Monday, April 23 and Monday, May 7.

Under IPL’s request:

  • A monthly residential electric bill for 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) would rise from $112.95 to $124.38
  • The monthly charge for a residential customer using more than 325 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month would rise from $17.00 to $27.00
  • For a residential customer using less than 325 kWh, the monthly charge would rise from $11.25 to $16.00

IPL cites increases in operating and maintenance costs for the rate hike request. The utility also said it needs the money to pay for capital improvements, including the new Eagle Valley Generating Station located in Morgan County.

In addition, the utility is requesting funding for the battery energy storage facility at the Harding Street generating station, cost recovery for substation upgrades, the creation of a new reserve fund for tree trimming and vegetation management, and additional funds for major storm damage recovery.

Ahead of the hearing, one IPL customer told FOX59  that any hike in his power bill would have a lasting negative effect. Van Orman says he lives on a $900 per month budget due to being on disability, and  has a budget that is figured to the last penny. According to Orman, an increase of $10 to his current bill would force him to cut the only "extra" he has in his budget which is internet.

"If they raise that then I've got to cut something. Something has to be cut," he said.

Orman says he won't be able to attend Monday's hearing but if he could would ask the IURC to force IPL to pay for it's own upgrades and not pass the costs to the customers.

"Give us a break! We can't pay it, we don't have the money, " he said.

Monday’s hearing begins at 6 p.m. at Arsenal Technical High School (Anderson Hall), 1500 E. Michigan St.

The May 7 hearing is at New Augusta Public Academy-North (Auditorium), 6450 Rodebaugh Rd. It also begins at 6 p.m.

Anyone expecting to attend the field hearings should get there by 5:45 p.m. for an overview on the hearing’s procedures and the rate case process.

Customers who are unable to attend either hearing can submit written comments to the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) at this website. They can also send comments via mail, email and fax:

Mail:

Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Email: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov

Fax: (317) 232-5923

The OUCC needs to receive written comments no later than May 17, 2018.

IPL has set up a website where customers can use a rate calculator to see how the proposed rate increase would affect their bill.