Indiana American Water Company customers could be in for some sticker shock in the near future.
The utility company is asking the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for a 31% rate hike. It would come in three phases, increasing INAWC’s operating revenues by $86.7 million.
While specific billing impacts would vary depending on location, the company wants the first rate increase to take effect in January 2024, with additional increases following in April 2024 and April 2025.
According to the proposal, a typical residential customer would pay about $14 more per month once the new rates are in place. Wastewater increases would vary by service area.
INAWC provides water and wastewater services to about 1.4 million people in Indiana. The utility company wants to raise rates to pay for infrastructure improvements.
Citing “aging infrastructure,” INAWC has several capital projects in the works. Those include new meters and hydrants, relocating and replacing some mains, proposed new treatment plants in Winchester and Sheridan, a new storage tank in West Lafayette, chlorine conversion for Northwest Indiana and Shelbyville operations and more.
The request also includes the recent costs of acquiring smaller utility companies.
As part of the filing, the utility proposed the creation of a new low-income assistance program that would provide discounts for qualifying customers. The company also intends to use a new rate design that provides 1,500 gallons of water usage at no additional cost above the fixed monthly customer charge for all water customers.
Indiana American Water Company last raised rates in 2019 after receiving approval from the IURC. Rates have also increased through Distribution System Improvement Charge and Service Enhancement Improvement Rider changes that have been previously approved.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is reviewing the request. The state agency represents consumer interests in cases presented before the IURC. Written consumer comments are being accepted through July 5, 2023. The OUCC is set to file its testimony on July 12.
Several communities have filed petitions to intervene in the case, including Whiteland, Crown Point and Schererville, according to the docketed case on the IURC’s website.
Consumers can submit letters about the rate proposal at the OUCC’s website. They can also email uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov or send correspondence by mail to:
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC)
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 SOUTH
Indianapolis, IN 46204