Citizens Energy Group’s plan to buy the city’s water and sewer systems will require the utility to raise $262 million in new
bond debt and inherit $1.5 billion in debt. Yet Citizens executives maintain the financial load should not impair the bond
ratings of its principal utilities, Citizens Gas and Citizens Thermal.
Cost savings from combining three utilities helped give Citizens Energy Group an advantage in the deal to take over Indianapolis’
water and sewer operations, said Michael Huber, the city’s director of enterprise development.
The agreement is expected to generate more than $425 million in funding for local infrastructure improvements, and Citizens
has agreed to assume $1.5 billion in debt associated with the utilities.
Citizens Gas & Coke Utility shuttered its coke manufacturing plant earlier this summer, much to the relief of neighbors and
health officials who warned that its benzene emissions were a cancer threat. But regulatory filings show closing the plant
at Keystone Avenue and Prospect Street could result in more pollution downtown.
Citizens Gas & Coke Utility has revived its pitch for a regulatory plan that would fundamentally change the way it bills customers,
helping it cover rising expenses as gas sales fall. The plan would create an expanded energy conservation program that could
include rebates for customers who buy gas-efficient furnaces and appliances.