‘Unlikely to see a big drop’ – AES customers feel the heat as electricity prices rise

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Brace yourself for higher electric bills in the winter. According to a university economist, prices are likely going to keep rising. This is due to a recent surge in fuel costs, and Applied Energy Sources customers are beginning to feel the heat.

“It seems very unlikely that we’re going to see a big drop in prices for things like electric power generation,” Michael Hicks, an economics professor at Ball State University, said.

“I do worry that it’s going to be more of an impact than we think,” Wendy Catalan, an Indianapolis resident, said.

Beginning this month, AES customers will see their electric bills surge by roughly 12%. According to Hicks, people might have to pay an extra $17.

“For a household that’s really at the margin and really doesn’t have an extra $17 to spare, that means you’re going to have to turn something off. The heats not going to be as high as you would like it,” Hicks said.

“They’re already stretched too thin with the cost of inflation, and other costs have already been skyrocketing. The cost of living in Indiana. The cost of housing. All these things have put a lot of pressure on Hoosiers,” Ben Inskepp, program director at Citizens Action Coalition, said.

According to AES, these costs are filed quarterly to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and can fluctuate based on the cost of fuel. Hicks says this will be a one-time increase for the year and prices will likely continue to go up.

“If we don’t support continued improvement in our generation and distribution capacity, in the long run prices will go up for everybody, so this is just a natural part of cost of electric power going up during a period of inflation and international uncertainty,” Hicks said.

According to a testimony filed on June 17th, AES looked at a roughly 18% increase however, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor says they fought to bring that number down.

“We’re always concerned about rates and initially we had hoped to see a little bit lower of an increase, but 12% is better than 18%,” Olivia Rivera, spokesperson at the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, said.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission encourages people who are struggling with increased cost to contact the utility company directly for additional information. They can also call Indiana 211, which is an all-day service that helps Hoosiers find the resources they need.