INDIANAPOLIS – AES Indiana customers had another chance to weigh in on a potential rate increase.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) took public comments during a 6 p.m. hearing in the auditorium at New Augusta Public Academy North (6450 Rodebaugh Road) on Monday (Oct. 2).
AES is asking the state to approve an increase in its base rate. The utility company said the increase would add about $17 to the average monthly bill.
When announcing the requested hike, AES characterized it as an increase of about 13% compared to the current base rate. The Citizens Action Coalition said the percentage was misleading because AES compared the new rate to its 2022 rates, when energy prices rose, and customers were charged more.
CAC’s analysis found the request would result in an increase closer to 18.7% when compared to June 2023 bills, amounting to $23.65 per month.
In its request, AES said the increase would help it cover operational costs “as a result of inflationary impacts on operations and maintenance expenses, investments in reliability and resiliency improvements, and enhancements to customer systems.”
Residents had the chance to weigh in during a public hearing in August, with many asking the commission to vote down the increase. Several in attendance also took issue with a widespread power outage caused by storms in late June. At the height of the outage, more than 80,000 customers were left without power, and some didn’t get it back for five days.
AES said the base rate increase would be its first since 2017. In a statement released after the August hearing, the company claimed the increase would “enhance safety and reliability, sustain the energy transition, and improve overall customer experience.”
The utility company said the following in a statement sent to FOX59/CBS4 Monday night:
AES Indiana appreciates the opportunity to hear directly from customers with questions, comments, and concerns about the proposed rate increase. In addition to these public meetings held by the IURC, AES Indiana has held four customer open houses for residential customers and two open houses for business customers where customers could receive direct information about the rate increase and find out more information about our programs available to help manage to usage and their monthly bills.
Reliability and affordability are themes we’ve heard in these public meetings. We don’t take this lightly. AES Indiana has the lowest rates of any investor-owned utility in Indiana, and we will continue to balance the needs to keep rates low while the cost to provide service increases.
If approved, the current AES Indiana rate increase request in front of the IURC will allow investments that will improve reliability, customer experience, and continue the transition to more sustainable energy solutions.
The deadline for written comments is Oct. 6. Customers can submit them via email to email@example.com, online here or by mailing them to OUCC Public Comments, 115 West Washington Street, Suite 1500 South, Indianapolis, IN 46204.