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Approved deal nearly halves original rate hike request from AES Indiana

Regulators approve AES rate hike

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A rate hike on next year’s electric bills for AES Indiana customers won’t be as high as first proposed.

Concerned businesses and residents, and an Indiana government administrative agency helped broker a deal with AES that state regulators have approved. That’s according to a news release issued Wednesday from the agency, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor.

The hike will be about $9 per month starting next year, which is around half of AES’ original request first made in June. AES had first agreed in November to lower its proposed rate increase.

“The agreement approved in Wednesday’s order was reached among the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), AES Indiana, the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, the City of Indianapolis, Walmart, Rolls Royce, The Kroger Co., and industrial customers (including Allison Transmission, Eli Lilly & Co., Indiana University, Indiana University Health, Marathon Petroleum, and Messer),” said a news release issued Wednesday from the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor.

The release also said, “Raises the monthly residential customer charge for most customers from $16.75 to $17.00, instead of the $25.00 charge AES Indiana had proposed.”

AES Indiana initially had requested an annual revenue increase of about $134 million, but the deal reduced that increase to about $71 million. Most of that money will go to projects the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved.

The deal also will creates specific protections for consumers when disconnected remotely for nonpayment.

AES previously had agreed to the elimination of residential customer disconnections on Fridays, weekends, and certain holidays; increased investments in vegetation management; and greater protections for customers with Medical Alert systems.

Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor is working with other consumers on four other proposals for electricity rate hikes in Indiana. The office says a settlement agreement is pending with Indiana Michigan Power.

The other two cases: CenterPoint Energy has filed a rate case for its southwestern Indiana electric utility, and Duke Energy filed its new Indiana rate case earlier in April.