Make your home page

Groups call for investigation of Indianapolis power outages after June storm

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Two consumer advocacy groups want the state to investigate why it took AES Indiana several days to get power restored to customers after a storm last month.

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana filed a request Tuesday for the state’s utility regulatory commission to open a formal investigation.

The groups want the IURC to review “AES Indiana’s practices and procedures for storm outage restoration.”

AES Indiana said a June 29th storm knocked out power to more than 81,000 customers, many who did not have electricity for several days.

The utility reported full power restored to its customers by the evening of July 4.

“We understand that the June 29 storms were especially intense, and that additional storms occurred in the following days,” Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor Bill Fine said in a news release. “However, we need to gather the facts regarding the outages, especially the factors causing certain customers to be without electricity for more than five days.”

A spokesperson for AES Indiana told News 8 the June 29th storm was “one of the worst storms in the past decade.”

“AES Indiana is aware of the petition filed by the OUCC and CAC requesting a review of our electric service restoration work following the June 29, 2023 storm, which was one the worst storms in the past decade. The June 29th storm was classified as a derecho, which is a widespread wind storm that created a swath of damage extending more than 240 miles with wind gusts of at least 58 mph. The damage from the derecho resulted in a multi-day restoration process. AES Indiana safely followed procedures conducted in accordance with our established storm response plan. Being there when our customers need us the most, like during this storm, is something we prepare for year-round. AES Indiana will cooperate with any inquiry from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.”

Kelly Young, AES Indiana Public Relations Director

The utility, then known as Indianapolis Power and Light, faced a similar investigation following a storm in July 2001 that knocked out power to tens of thousands of Indianapolis customers for days.

IPL settled the investigation with the IURC after agreeing to pay a $100 credit to customers without power for more than 36 hours and making improvements to its system reliability and outage management system.