AES Indiana seeking permission to raise electricity rates by 13%

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Customers of AES Indiana could see their monthly electricity bills climb an average of 13%, or $17, if state regulators approve the utility’s newest request for a rate increase.

The company formerly known as Indianapolis Power & Light filed a petition on Wednesday to seek a rate increase to cover what it said were its rising operational costs and other needs.

AES said the petition contains its first base rate increase request in five years and comes as a result of “inflationary impacts” on operations and maintenance expenses, investments in reliability and enhancements to customer systems.

Base rates allow utilities to recover the cost of investments in infrastructure and operating expenses. The petition also seeks recovery of increased costs for tree-trimming and removal of overhanging vegetation, which can interfere with overhead lines.

“Through this rate review request, we are making meaningful changes and improvements that will provide significant benefits to our customers, including technology offerings and investments in our infrastructure that will provide a better overall experience for our customers,” Kristina Lund, president and CEO of AES Indiana, said in written comments.

The estimated $17 increase in monthly bills would apply to an average AES Indiana residential customer using about 1,000 kilowatt hours per month.

But some consumer groups said they were shocked by the amount that AES Indiana is seeking, especially coming just two years after the utility got approval to spend $1.2 billion to upgrade its local energy grid. That set the stage for the approval of seven straight years of rate increases to pay for the improvements.

“When is enough, enough?” said Kerwin Olson, executive director of Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana. “We are also very concerned how this will impact vulnerable households in Indianapolis who are already struggling to get by, as is evidenced by AES Indiana disconnecting more households in Indiana than any of its peer utilities.”

A new utility disconnections dashboard posted this summer by Indiana University showed that AES had the highest disconnection rate in Indiana last year; the next highest was Duke Energy Indiana.

The Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor’s Office, which acts as an advocate for utility consumers, said it will review the request and expects to file testimony by mid-October. “In the meantime, our lawyers and technical experts will thoroughly review the details in the utility’s testimony and exhibits,” spokeswoman Olivia Rivera said.

AES Indiana has lowered certain rates in recent years, mostly due to adjustments in the cost of fuel. In March, it filed a fuel adjustment charge that resulted in a bill decrease of about 16.5% or nearly $23 for the months of June, July and August. And this month, it filed its latest quarterly fuel adjustment charge that it said will result in customers seeing a decrease of about 5% or nearly $6 for the months of  September, October and November. Base rates and rate changes are not affected by or related to the fuel adjustment charge.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will review the utility’s latest request and solicit feedback from the public. If approved, the new rates would go into effect next summer.

AES serves about 500,000 customers in central Indiana. It is a unit of Arlington, Virginia-based AES Corp.

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11 thoughts on “AES Indiana seeking permission to raise electricity rates by 13%

  1. Cut back and conserve on your utility usage as much as you can . Then the utility raises their rates to restore their cash flow to offset your attempt to save money on your utility usage.

  2. PLEASE STOP RAISING RATES!!! Our bills doubled this winter and 13% is insanity to expect people whose pockets are already hurting because of inflation to continue to cover. Time to drop rates and help the common person out!

  3. Indiana had the lowest utility rates for decades – until it was sold to AES. That is the issue – AES charges more in every other state and they are trying to get Indiana up to what they are getting from consumers in Illinois (for ex).

  4. Think of the things AES sponsors (Indy 500 parade, and even a race car in the 500 for crying out loud). Where do you think they get the money for their Corporate self-promotion?

  5. I worked for AES/IPL. AES Indiana has always been the cash cow of the whole company. At one point IPL was sending nearly $1,000,000 a day in profits to the corporate headquarters. With the acquisition of another integrated utility in the US, it’s harder to pick out the cash flow numbers for just AES Indiana, but I’m pretty sure central Indiana rate payers are getting the short end of the stick.

  6. Mitch Daniels was CEO of IP&L then he got rich by selling it to AES and left the IP&L employee pension fund invested in IP&L stock in shambles when AES stock crashed after the buyout.

  7. Well………. IURC, there you have it, citizens of Marion County weighing in. Will you roll over again, this time in favor of AES, and stick it to Marion County ratepayers? You do the same thing with Duke Energy. What a joke IURC is…..the R stands for Regulatory…….what have you regulated? How about that bang up job IURC did with Duke and its boon-doggle fiasco regarding their Edwardsport Coal Gasification plant that was full of cost overruns after overruns and much of those were passed onto Duke ratepayers. And then, Duke comes back to the table wanting more, ultimately IURC approving increases to the ratepayers to pay for cost overruns that Duke didn’t get the first time they went begging to IURC. Heaven forbid that the Duke Energy stockholders get stuck with reduced dividends. Power companies are all the same, MONOPOLIES that stick the ratepayers with their never-ending requests and to pay the freight when they screw up. Duke customers, don’t forget the Edwardsport, IN overspend fiasco. Anyone interested in reading more about getting shafted by a power company, Google search Vogtle Nuke Plant down in Georgia. It’s so far over budget, the owning power company has no choice but to finish the project (2 new nuke reactors in addition to the 2 that are operating at the Vogtle plant; hope the State has plenty of folks and companies moving to Georgia to contribute toward paying for that infrastructure).