Time is almost up to voice your concerns on proposed I&M rate hike

Smart meters and facility upgrades for Indiana Michigan Power are hitting customers in the pockets, and some residents aren't too happy. If you haven't spoken up yet, now would be the time to do so.

Posted: Aug 12, 2019 7:09 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2019 10:31 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Shirley Ring said the last thing she needs is another increase in her electric bill.

"I do not like it. We pay enough now. The house is all electric. We pay enough as it is," Ring said.

Customers can submit written comments for the case record may do so in three ways:

Visiting the OUCC's website at www.in.gov/oucc/2361.htm

Email: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov

Mail: Consumer Services Staff

Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor

115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South

Indianapolis, IN 46204

With the proposed rate hike, Indiana Michigan Power customers could pay more than $21 a month than they do now. That goes for anyone using 1,000 kilowatt hours a month.

The regular fixed charge of $10.50 would increase to $15.00 no matter how much customers like ring try to cut back on air and heat.

"$400 has been the most expensive. That's been the highest bill we've had," she added.

I&M said the increase would grow its annual operating revenues by $172 million to help cover the costs of maintenance and improvements such as new smart meters.

RELATED: DOZENS SPEAK AGAINST INDIANA MICHIGAN POWER'S LATEST PROPOSED RATE INCREASE

It also means Ring's $180 bill would go to somewhere in the $200 range. Ring's daughter Cindy said they're debating whether to move from their house of 20 years because they're on a fixed income.

"If they go on raising it $21 a month, and we don't get our credit until August now come next year, we won't get it until September and it's not going to help us any," Cindy said.

This would be the second increase in two years. Indiana Michigan Power received approval for a rate hike last year.

The Indiana Utility Commission had public hearings in July but there's still time for those who want to be heard.

State regulators are open to receiving comments and suggestions until Tuesday.

Customers can submit written comments for the case record may do so via the OUCC's website at www.in.gov/oucc/2361.htm, by email at uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov, or by mail at:

Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission is expected to make a decision about the rate proposal in March 2020.

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