A state agency representing utility customers says Indianapolis Power & Light doesn’t need a $96 million rate hike. The agency has received more than 2,700 comments from customers opposing the proposed increase.
Most IPL customers have to pay a fixed charge of $17 a month, but if the utility gets its wish that would jump to $27 a month.
IPL says the cost is justified to pay for recent investments — like its new Eagle Valley natural gas plant in Martinsville. After reviewing the request for six months, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor disagrees.
“When you take that piece of the puzzle and look at it in the context of all the other things in the rate base the utility already almost has the revenues that it needs,” says OUCC spokesman Anthony Swinger.
Instead, the OUCC has proposed a much smaller rate increase of less than $5 million. Swinger says, like many utilities, Indianapolis Power & Light is getting a bigger tax break as a result of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. IPL’s request also gives more to shareholders than similar utilities in the industry.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will go over IPL’s rate request in July. Indianapolis Power & Light declined to comment. Read more on the case here.