Court rules Duke must cover ice storm costs

The Indiana Court of Appeals has upheld state regulators' rejection of Duke Energy's bid to pass costs it incurred during a 2009 ice storm onto its customers.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission had found in 2010 that Duke Energy could pass onto ratepayers about $11 million in power-outage repair costs following a January 2009 ice storm. But the regulatory panel reversed that decision in 2011.

Duke Energy attorney Jon Laramore told the court during oral arguments this month that the panel's reversal was an "arbitrary and capricious action." He also said the IURC didn't explain how it reached two different conclusions based on the same evidence.

But the appeals court ruled Friday regulators didn't have to explain their different conclusion and said the evidence wasn't the same.

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