Downtown steam-plant customers face steep rate increase

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About 200 downtown business and industrial customers would pay an average of 12.9 percent more for steam services under a rate-increase proposal by Citizens Energy Group.

The utility said Thursday it had filed a petition for the hike with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. If the increase is approved by the IURC, it likely would go into effect by spring 2014. The impact on individual customers will vary.

Citizens requires more revenue from its steam users—predominantly large firms downtown—to help foot the bill for the conversion of downtown’s Perry K Steam Plant from coal to natural gas, the utility said.

Citizens first announced the conversion project in late 2011. The plant at Kentucky Avenue near Victory Field supplies steam to major users such as IUPUI and Lucas Oil Stadium. In warmer weather, the steam turns water chillers that cool the buildings.

The rate increase also is necessary to help pay off an existing line of credit and finance a system expansion, according to Citizens.


  • Business is business
    Gary, whether or not a business' form is non-profit, the executives still have the same headaches as any other utility company. If the Citizens execs make significantly more than their peers at other public utility holding corporations, then we'd need to look at how efficiently the company is run...and only then would anyone be able to agree with your assertion that they're overpaid
  • Nonpofit Charitable Trust
    Yeah, they are. From their website: "In 1887, the forefathers of Indianapolis came up with the idea of operating a natural gas company as a Public Charitable Trust, solely for the benefit of customers and the community. Today, this Trust lives on as Citizens Energy Group, a broad-based utility service company, distributing natural gas, water, and wastewater services to more than 1 million customers, and operating one of the nation's largest district steam and chilled water cooling systems. At Citizens, our vision is fulfilling the promise of the Trust to serve our customers and communities with unparalleled excellence and integrity." A public charitable trust that benefits a few at the expense of the rest of us.
  • Nonprofit charitable trust?
    The last I checked Citizens Energy was still holding itself out as a nonprofit charitable trust. Did I miss something, BK?
  • Socialism without
    BK - big difference here is that this is not a competitive market place. Who else are you going to call to get your product (gas)? Sure, IN is de-regulated, but that only goes so far. Look at what has happened with cable, we now have more choices, more competition, and lower price options. I could care less what their execs make. I can't pickup the phone and call a different water company though if their prices are too high due to exec pay. Huge difference.
  • Paying Salaries Of Citizens Execs
    Gee - I thought the shareholders were entitled to make a profit. Unlike paying your taxes, this is a business. The top executives make less than the top executives at GM or Lilly. Quit being a socialist.
    • Paying Salaries Of Citizens Execs
      Someone has to pay for the exorbitant salaries being paid to Citizens' top executives. The top 16 are collectively earning about $10 million a year, not counting their generous benefits.

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