It’s an unusual rebuke from the Utility Consumer Counselor Bill Fine, who often recommends that state regulators cut a utility’s proposed rate increase, but rarely says the entire hike should be denied.
The ruling is a setback for consumer activists and customer groups, who say Duke Energy’s application to raise electricity rates by an average of 15% is incomplete and confusing.
The utility says it wants to keep most of its coal-fired plants in Indiana running through much of the next decade, while gradually investing in wind, solar and other renewable energy sources.
The utility had wanted to build the gas-fired plant to replace aging coal-burning units, but regulators said the plan was too risky and inflexible.
The utility is seeking a nearly 17 percent rate increase to help pay for more than $542 million of infrastructure investments.
Indianapolis Power & Light has agreed not to raise the fixed monthly rate it charges most of its residential customers, under a rate-case settlement it reached with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and other stakeholders.
Gov. Eric Holcomb on Monday appointed former state representative David Ober to an open spot on the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and promoted interim IURC chairman Jim Huston to chairman.
The utility is asking state regulators for permission to increase the “fixed charge” on its 490,000 customers from $17 to $27 a month, and increase energy-usage charges also.
James Atterholt, appointed chairman of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in February, will step down next month, saying his wife has been offered a job transfer to Florida.
The utility says the move would allow it to keep burning coal at the Pike County plant and meet strict environmental regulations for sulfur dioxide and coal ash.
Gov. Mike Pence on Friday named Sarah Freeman as a commissioner on the five-member Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
A bitter, costly fight over who will pay for Duke Energy’s $3.5 billion coal-gasification plant, one of the most expensive projects in Indiana history, is finally over.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission hears hundreds of cases a year and regulates $14 billion worth of electric, natural gas, telecommunications, steam, water and sewer utilities.
Indianapolis-area residents will see their monthly sewer rates increase by 30 percent over the next year after state regulators approved a plan Tuesday to fund improvements to the aging system.