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Indiana’s Largest Electric Utility Submits Request to Raise Electric Bills

Indiana’s Largest Electric Utility Submits Request to Raise Electric Bills

Indiana’s largest electric utility is asking state regulators to approve almost $500 million in new rate increases. This is the second price hike request since 2019 and would raise the average consumer’s bill by about $27.

The company filed the request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission on April 4.

Angeline Protogere is a spokesperson for Duke Energy. She said these rate increases are essential to providing increased services for customers.

“More than 50 percent of the request is for projects related to the reliability of the electric grid hardening against severe weather, physical security,” Protogere said.

She said this also includes replacing some wooden electric poles to steel poles, which she said are more reliable in bad weather, and putting in more sensors, which can help to redirect energy and affect fewer customers in the event of lost power.

Protogere said the need for this funding also comes from a need to expand services.

“Indiana is growing,” she said. “We expect to have about 60,000 new customers by 2025, and we are building 345 miles of new power lines and other infrastructure to serve them. We also are making investments in customer systems that, for instance, add more convenience – where a customer can go online, make a request to initiate service at a location and receive services that same day.”

Environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, are expressing concerns about these price increases and environmental consequences.

Megan Anderson is a senior field organizer with the Sierra Club. She said Duke Energy is using consumer money to fund its coal plants, which have been losing money.

“Duke continues to fail Hoosiers,” she said. “And they have saddled customers to some of the worst performing coal plants in the country.”

In a press release, the Sierra Club said two of Duke Energy’s plants, the Edwardsport coal gasification plant and the Gibson plant, have lost revenue and remain environmental hazards.

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Photo Credit: pexels-sora-shimazak

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