NewsPublic AffairsTechnology & Science / June 20, 2014

OUCC Filing Testimony On Car Share Rate Increase

Sam Klemet
OUCC Filing Testimony On Car Share Rate Increase

Indianapolis Power and Light Company wants customers to pay 44 cents a month more as part of the city’s new car sharing program.

The decision ultimately is up to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, or IURC.

The increase has drawn the ire of some, and Friday one consumer interest group is delivering its recommendation based on public input it received over the past few weeks.

Anthony Swinger with the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor says the organization received a mixed bag of comments from residents.

"Many of the comments in support have spoken of the merits of the project," he said.  "Many of the comments in opposition have focused on a desire not to pay for the program through electric rates."

French company Bollore is investing $35 million to set up the car share in Indianapolis.  As part of that, IPL is installing one thousand charging stations. 

The utility company wants residents to foot the $16 million bill by paying 44 cents a month more for five years.

State Democratic Representative Cherish Pryor says the increase hurts her constituents and wants the IURC to deny of the rate increase.

"Bollore is a $13 billion company.  Sixteen million dollars - they should be able to come up with that money," said Pryor.  "There are ways this money can be raised without asking people who have very little, who live pay check to pay check, to come up with the payments."

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard says her concerns are overblown.

"The IURC wanted everbody to have something in the game," he said.  "We don't expect to have to execute that because it's been wildly successful in Paris and other places, but they wanted everybody to have some skin in the game as we go forward and that's what this is.  So, that's an incredibly naive statement on her part."

He thinks Bollore is taking most of the risk and says revenue generated from the rate increase will serve manly as a backup.

The IURC is expected to make a decision on the increase by the end of the year.



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