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Falling fuel prices to lower electric bills for consumers

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Your electric bill may be lower this summer. AES and Duke — two of Indiana’s largest utilities — are asking for rate reductions.

After experiencing a rise in energy costs, AES and Duke Energy are excited to share that lighting up your homes is going to be cheaper.

AES Indiana has asked the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for a decrease in utility bills for a second time.

If approved, the monthly bill for a residential customer will drop 16.5% or $23.09 per month on average.

The new rate would go into effect this June.

“We’re able to offer that savings to our customers and we’re holding on to that positivity,” said Kelly Young, the public relations director at AES Indiana.

Duke Energy Indiana says they’ve also asked state regulators for a decrease.

If approved, the new monthly bill for a typical residential customer would amount to $26 per month, which would go into effect in April.

McKenzie Barbknecht, the spokesperson of Duke Energy Indiana said, “So, we’ve filed for two rate decreases. We passed along about a 5.5% decrease in electric rates for residential customers in January and we’re asking state regulators to approve a second decrease of about 16% of low rates today.”

These companies say this decrease is thanks to falling fuel prices.

Michael Hicks is an economist at Ball State University. He says the lower rates are also caused by smaller demands from consumers.

“They see that the cost of the energy they’re buying is lower and they want to pass those savings back on to consumers because A, it’s good business practice. B, if they don’t then they’re Indiana utility regulatory commission will find out in six months will say look you’ll have to reduce your prices,” Hicks said.

These companies say while they’re happy that prices are going down there’s a chance costs will rise again later on.

“Citizens has been able to protect customers from much of the impact of higher natural gas prices this home-heating season by a variety of measures including use of its underground natural gas storage fields, buying gas in advance at fixed prices, and long-term gas supply contracts with discounts to market prices. As a result of these efforts, Citizens’ average residential natural gas bill has consistently ranked in recent years as the lowest among the 18 gas utilities operating in the state, according to a monthly survey done by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

While we’ve done our best to insulate our customers against large changes in their bills this season, we are also now seeing a stabilization of natural gas costs, and we will pass along any savings we realize back to the customers. As required by law, Citizens passes on the cost of natural gas to customers with no markup, meaning that a sustained decrease in supply costs will also lead to lower customer bills.”

Citizens Energy Group