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.
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.
Intelligent Fiber Network has spent the last 18 months rebranding—including a name change that telegraphs its growth plans—and ramping up its marketing.
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.
Duke said Thursday it will lease about 10 acres from the Purdue Research Foundation for the project it calls the Tippecanoe County Solar Power Plant.
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.
Environmental Protection Agency officials said Tuesday that modern industry practices and recently enacted regulations are sufficient to shield taxpayers from potential cleanup costs.
More than 800,000 customers of Duke Energy Indiana could see their monthly bills jump if the utility receives state permission to increase rates for the first time in about 15 years.