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Indiana to question utilities over outage response

Crews from AES Indiana, Indianapolis' electricity provider, make repairs to damaged power lines in Indianapolis in June 2023. (Provided Photo/AES Indiana via Twitter)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Indiana regulators plan to question several electric providers over their response to outages during severe storms this summer.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission announced on Tuesday that it will hold two meetings next month with some of the state’s top electric providers.

The IURC wants the utilities to “provide an after-action summary of the event, including the impact of the storms during that time span, the number of customers impacted, the utility’s response to the outages, the common cause of the outages during that time frame, and any lessons learned from the restoration process.”

The first meeting, scheduled for September 11, will focus on AES Indiana, the company that supplies electricity to nearly all of the Indianapolis area. The IURC labeled the meeting as a “technical conference” to help determine if an investigation is needed.

Two consumer advocacy group have pushed for an investigation over the length of time it took AES to fully restore power.

More than 81,000 customers lost power during the June 29th storm. Some did not have power returned until July 4.

The utility has called any investigation unwarranted.

AES Indiana appreciates the opportunity to share and review our storm response, practices and procedures with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) at the Technical Conference. Following recent storms that brought significant damage throughout our state, our reliability has been questioned.  AES Indiana will be open and transparent in addressing any concerns.  We are committed to the safety and reliability of the service we provide to Central Indiana.   

The Storm Response Meeting will provide Indiana utilities an opportunity to hear lessons learned from the restoration process we all experienced which can benefit future storm responses. 

Kelly Young, Public Relations Director for AES Indiana

“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 July 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.”

The commission’s second meeting is scheduled for September 22.

That meeting will focus on storm response from Duke Energy, Indiana Michigan Power, NIPSCO, and CenterPoint Energy Indiana South.

Both meetings will be held in Room 222 of the PNC Center, 101 W. Washington St., Indianapolis.

The IURC plans to live stream both meetings.