Consumer advocate recommends denial of Indiana utility’s rate-hike request

Indiana’s consumer advocate for utilities is recommending that state regulators deny Indiana Michigan Power’s latest request for a rate increase.

I&M announced in July that it was seeking approval of a 6.5% rate increase, in part to improve technology and reliability, and that the rate hike would result in a less than $10 a month increase for the typical residential customer.

But Bill Fine, the Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor, recommended last week that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission deny the rate hike request.

Fort Wayne-based I&M services 24 counties and 118 communities in northeastern Indiana and six counties and 46 communities in Michigan. It has nearly 1,000 employees in Indiana.

Fine wrote in a filing that “after receiving base rate increases in 2018 and 2020, I&M has not made the case for this increase at this time.”

Fine added that his office’s analysis “shows I&M to be a financially sound utility that is capable of providing safe and reliable service to its Indiana customers with the revenues it currently has.”

The utility now has until Nov. 9 to file rebuttal testimony. The IURC is expected to make a final decision on the rate hike request in the spring of 2022.

I&M said in a statement that it stands by its request for a 6.5% rate increase, saying it would “best serve our customers in a safe, reliable manner.” The utility said it plans to file its response with the IURC by the Nov. 9 deadline.

Please enable JavaScript to view this content.

Story Continues Below

Editor's note: You can comment on IBJ stories by signing in to your IBJ account. If you have not registered, please sign up for a free account now. Please note our updated comment policy that will govern how comments are moderated.

{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining
{{ articles_remaining }}
Free {{ article_text }} Remaining Article limit resets in {{ count_down }} days.