Rate reversal: I&M customers to pay less after utility reaches agreement with regulators

Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 11:13 AM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Indiana Michigan Power has reached an agreement with state regulators that, it says, will reduce base rates paid by residential customers by about 5 percent. The decrease will be phased in over the next 14 months.

The move follows a proposal from I&M that would have resulted in an increase in rates and other service charges. The company said circumstances changed, however, following that proposal, allowing I&M to decrease its base rate and still increase its investments in infrastructure across the system.

“Indiana Michigan Power constantly strives to serve customers with safe, reliable and affordable power,” said Steve Baker, president and chief operating officer of I&M. “I&M’s plan will pave the way for I&M’s transition to renewable energy, enhance reliability and make our service more affordable. We are pleased to collaborate with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and a number of other groups to reach an agreement that best serves customers by lowering their base rates while supporting I&M’s program to sustain and enhance service.”

Investments will include about $350 million in reliability and grid resiliency upgrades, officials said.

The OUCC, in October, recommended denying the initial request. Regulators said I&M had not made the case for the rate increase.

“Our analysis of the utility’s request shows I&M to be a financially sound utility that is capable of providing safe and reliable service to its Indiana customers with the revenues it currently has,” Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor Bill Fine said at the time.

I&M was given until Nov. 9 to submit a rebuttal and the case was set for final review in early 2022. The agreement sets aside those plans for a final order next spring.

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