IPL wants rate hike that would boost average bill by $8 per month

Indianapolis Power & Light is seeking a general rate increase for the first time since 1994, and the company estimates the average residential customer's bill would rise 8 percent.

IPL filed a request for the rate hike Monday with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, which is expected to rule on it by the end of 2015. The rate increase would come on top of increases that are under way since 2013 and scheduled to continue through 2019.

This year, the average customer's monthly bill is $97 per month for 1,000 kilowatt hours, spokeswoman Brandi Davis-Handy said.

IPL wants to add about $8 per month to cover its general operating expenses–including improvements in customer service.

IPL has already begun raising rates to cover $1.1 billion in power-generation and pollution mitigation work.

Regulators approved two separate requests in 2013 and earlier this year. IPL has said that through those rate increases, residential customers will see their bills rise 3 percent a year from 2013 through 2019.

In addition, IPL filed a request this year for a rate increase to cover the cost of converting the Harding Street coal-fired power plant to natural gas. That's expected to add about $1 a month to bills, or about 1 percent.

If regulators approve IPL's general rate increase, it would generate $67.8 million a year in revenue.

Although the environment-driven rate hikes are more costly, they didn't result in a review of every aspect of IPL's operation. With a general rate increase, IPL is hopes to cover everything from increased wages to health care to customer service measures.

Davis-Handy said the company posted a rate calculator at IPLpower.com, which residential customers can use to see the impact on their specific bills.

Business rates vary, and small-business customers can get specific answers from IPL's business call center.

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