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Vectren to embark on $650M project, rate increases

Mason King
November 26, 2013
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Vectren Corp., which supplies natural gas to 570,000 customers in 48 Indiana counties, plans to spend $650 million over seven years to upgrade its network of distribution mains and transmission pipelines.

The Evansville-based utility firm said Tuesday the upgrades are needed to comply with federal pipeline safety rules, and that it had filed its plan with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The IURC oversight is necessary because Vectren plans to recoup the cost by increasing rates for customers.

In the Indianapolis metropolitan area, Vectren supplies gas to the so-called doughnut counties, while Citizen’s Energy Group supplies Marion County.

The work will primarily consist of replacing 800 miles of bare steel and cast iron distribution mains with new mains, most of which will be plastic, as well as inspecting and upgrading Vectren’s transmission pipelines, Vectren officials said.

If the rate-increase plan is approved as filed, Vectren said, the average residential customer—which currently pays about $750 per year—would see an average increase of $1 per month in 2015.

The increases would continue to be applied in small amounts until 2021, when the average customer would pay about $850 per year, said Chase Kelley, Vectren’s vice president of corporate communications.

CEO Carl Chapman said, “While these infrastructure enhancements are vital to meeting federal requirements and ensuring the safety of our system, affordability of our gas service remains top of mind."

The infrastructure upgrades also will expand gas delivery infrastructure to rural areas, Vectren said.

Pipeline replacement work already is underway in 49 Indiana cities, including Noblesville, Zionsville, Lebanon, Pendleton and Columbus.
 

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  • Exactly
    @Tom - Exactly. That's why I question the depreciation schedule. It seems like they are trying to pay it off in 10 years when the useful life of the pipes in the ground is surely longer than that. 20 or 30 years and $3-4 more a month was what I would expect.
  • Read the Article
    The article clearly says it's going from $750 per year to $850 per year. Or if those numbers are too big for you that's an increase of about about $8.33 a month.
    • I'm not a CPA but...
      If it is $650,000,000 and there are 570,000 customers that is ~$1,140 per customer. What kind of depreciation schedule are they using for this that the average bill is going up $100 over 8 years?
    • $850 a month?
      Please say this is a typo. If not, can you see a mass migration to electric utilities?
    • reddog funny!
      reddog is funny!....and Iran will have nuked somebody by then anyway!
    • Vectren
      Per month.....read page 2,891 of the AHC for an explanation. It is part of Obamacare.
    • Vectren cost?
      Did you mean $850/month or $850/year in 2021? Please tell me per year.

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