In Indiana, more than 112,000 households are behind 120 days or more on their power bills, a Washington Post analysis of the largest local energy companies’ records found.
Indiana utilities would be prevented from shutting down coal-fired plants under new bill
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso, comes as several large Indiana utilities are planning to shut down thousands of megawatts of coal-fired generating capacity in coming years in favor of cleaner or cheaper fuel sources.Read More
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The Indianapolis-based utility said it also will spend $5 million to mitigate what critics say has been harm to the environment caused by the plant’s excess emissions over the years.
The Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor is recommending state regulators deny a utility’s request to compensate customers with solar panels less for extra energy they send back into the power grid.
The service started by the parent company of Indianapolis Power & Light offers monthly subscriptions that cover use of a car, plus all insurance and maintenance costs.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission cited the utility for instances of failing to locate or mark underground pipelines within two days of a request being made, as is required in advance of any excavation work.
Monday’s ruling followed a huge uproar from ratepayers and elected officials, who widely criticized utilities for their request to charge customers for electricity they didn’t use when demand slowed down during health crisis lockdowns.
More than 2,300 people have complained by email to the Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor, which is on track to become the largest number of complaints for any single case in at least a decade.
Two weeks after 10 Indiana utilities asked state regulators for permission to charge ratepayers for millions of dollars in revenue the utilities stand to lose because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state has agreed to consider the matter.
Ten gas and electric utilities, including Indianapolis Power & Light Co. and Duke Energy Inc., filed a joint petition with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, saying they expect to see “significantly reduced load and revenue.”
IPL said a typical household customer would likely pay an extra $1.50 a month in the first year. That monthly amount would increase by $1.50 each year, or by a total of $10.50 a month by the seventh year.
The bill’s opponents call the legislation a “coal-bailout bill,” designed to prop up the state’s struggling coal industry just as utilities are preparing to shut down aging coal plants.
CenterPoint Energy Inc. has agreed to sell two subsidiaries, including Indianapolis-based Miller Pipeline, for $850 million to infrastructure services provider PowerTeam Services LLC, the companies announced Monday. Miller Pipeline employs more than 3,500 people.
The bill’s sponsor said coal mines around the nation are closing at an alarming rate, putting the reliability and stability of the electricity sector in question. Opponents say the measure would put handcuffs on Indiana utiltities, which preparing to shift to cleaner fuel sources.
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.
Monday’s change would loosen some of the requirements for cleaning up the waste streams from coal-fired power plants and give utilities another two years to comply with some of the rules.
Between the EPA loan and funding from the Indiana State Revolving Fund, more than $900 million will be invested in 28 projects. Indianapolis is the biggest beneficiary.
Although the petition doesn’t say how much the utility will seek from customers, a Vectren spokeswoman said the project will cost $164 million.
The monthly rate increases, if granted by state regulators, would likely be about $1.50 for the typical household customer in the first year. That monthly amount would increase by an additional $1.50 each year, or by about $10.50 over the seven years.