July 19, 2018

IPL, Consumer Groups Reach Compromise In Rate Hike

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
IPL, Consumer Groups Reach Compromise In Rate Hike

IPL, Consumer Groups Reach Compromise In Rate Hike

Indianapolis Power & Light announced Thursday it reached a compromise with a number of organizations representing customer interests, cutting IPL's rate hike proposal in half.

Pending regulatory approval, IPL says their customers will see about a $5 a month increase in their bills. 

The rate case IPL filed last December was three times as much. The company seeks an increase to fund plant updates. Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor spokesman Anthony Swinger says the new rate – almost $44 million – is fair to both sides.

“The settlement will provide the utility with the revenue it needs to provide safe, reliable service at the same time, it gives the consumer a fair shake,” Swinger says.

Fred Mills, IPL's director of external affairs, says the company went through significant restructuring to lower the rate hike. That, with President Donald Trump's tax cuts, meant IPL could cover the cost of updating plant technology without the rate hike.

Citizens Action Coalition is one of the 10 organizations that objected to the larger increase. Executive director Kerwin Olson says the group was most concerned IPL would increase the $17 fixed rate to $27.

“It’s imperative that we do all we can to have rate design for utility ratepayers that encourages conservation, and that provides them as much control over their energy costs as possible,” Olson says.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission still has the final say on the rate increase, but all formal stakeholders have either joined the agreement or agreed not to oppose it.

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