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AARP AARP States Indiana Livable Communities

Helping Hoosiers Save Money on their Utility Bills

Electricity pylon at sunset
fhm/Getty Images

Across Indiana, Hoosiers have seen their monthly utility bills climb higher and higher. 

“For older Hoosiers with income constraints, even slight increases in the cost of electricity or heating and cooling their homes can be devastating,” Sarah Waddle, AARP Indiana State Director, said. “That’s why we’re working hard to lower egregious rate hikes, prevent increases to monthly fees, and educate Hoosier communities about options for relief.”

Utilities must file a request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to up their prices, and such requests are usually met with public hearings in the impacted service area.

Beyond making their voices heard at those public hearings, customers can share their thoughts and how rate and fee hikes impact them through the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC).

Utility rates are an essential pocketbook issue for Americans 50-plus and their families, many of whom struggle to pay their energy bills along with other household expenses like food and medicine.

AARP Indiana wants to make sure older Hoosiers are informed about what’s happening with their energy bills. Follow this blog to stay up to date on what’s happening with various utility issues throughout the state.

Recent Activities

CenterPoint Electric Case

  • CenterPoint Energy has asked the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) for a large rate increase that will cost the average electric customer $47.24 more a month by 2026.
  • It’s also seeking an increase in the customer charge to $23.20, up from its current level at $10.84. The customer charge is the monthly fee you pay before using any electricity.
  • CenterPoint wants to implement this rate increase in three phases, with the first taking effect in Fall 2024, the second in early 2025, and the third in early 2026.
  • There is one public field hearing scheduled where customers can attend and are allowed to make comments. This hearing will have two sessions – one in the afternoon and the other in the evening.

    Thursday, February 29, 2024
    Session #1 at 2 p.m. C
    Session #2 at 6 p.m. CT
    Old National Events Center Plaza, Locust Room
    715 Locust Street
    Evansville, IN

NIPSCO Gas Case
Two public field hearings were held in Fort Wayne and Gary in January 2024. Most rate cases take approximately 300 days to complete, and a final IURC order is expected this summer.

  • NIPSCO Gas has asked the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) for a 10.6% rate increase which means the average customer will pay nearly $100 more a year.
  • It’s also seeking an increase in the customer charge to $25.50, up from its current level of $16.50. The customer charge is the monthly fee you pay before using any natural gas.
  • Together, these increases could cost you more than $200 a year!
  • NIPSCO wants to implement this rate increase in two phases, with the first taking effect by September 1, 2024 and the second by March 1, 2025.

AES Rate Case
AES has recently announced it has reached an agreement with the OUCC and six intervening parties. The agreement is still pending approval by the IURC, but if approved it would:

  • Increase the utility's total annual revenues by about 4.6% ($72.9 million). Their initial request would have increased annual revenues by approximately 8.4% ($134.2 million)
  • Raise monthly rates by $9.52 or approximately 7.3% for the average residential customer. That’s less than AES' initial proposal which would have raised rates by about $17 a month, or 13%.
  • AES will also hold the fixed charge for residential bills at $17 a month, instead of increasing it to $25 for most residential customers, as originally proposed.

AARP Indiana pushed back against efforts to increase the customer charge and encouraged AES customers to submit comments to the OUCC.

Indiana Michigan Power Rate Case
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) recently announced an agreement with the OUCC and other intervening parties on its recent rate increase. If approved by the IURC, the agreement would:

  • Lower I&M's requested increase from $116.4 million to $61.8 million.
  • Increase the customer charge slightly to $15 from $14.79 a month. I&M had requested an increase to $17.50 a month and was something that AARP Indiana opposed.

The agreement is expected to be finalized by the IURC in the summer of 2024.

Indiana American Water Rate Case
In a filing with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Indiana American Water is looking to raise water rates by 30 percent over the next two years. This could mean some customers will see their bills increase an average of $14 a month.
Recap of Indiana American Water Rate Case Field Hearing in Gary

Utility Bill Assistance

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

Resources 

Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC)
Understanding Your Gas Bill
AARP Indiana Assistance Information Sheet

About AARP Indiana
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