Indiana regulators deny utilities' bid for virus relief

Indiana regulators denied Monday a request from utilities to charge ratepayers for revenue the companies expect to lose because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Posted: Jun 29, 2020 1:36 PM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana regulators denied Monday a request from utilities to charge ratepayers for revenue the companies expect to lose because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission voted unanimously to deny the request by utilities, who had said they needed to recover millions of dollars in lost revenue over the last few months as businesses closed their doors and factories cut hours and used less electricity.

Duke Energy, NIPSCO, Vectren and other Indiana electric and gas companies had petitioned the commission for permission to recover revenue shortfalls.

“Asking customers to go beyond their obligation and pay for service they did not receive is beyond reasonable utility relief based on the facts before us," the commission said.

The utilities filed a 36-page petition with the IURC in May in which they claimed the effects of the pandemic, including government orders and businesses closing or moving to remote locations, “have resulted in significantly reduced load and revenues for some utilities.”

The IURC also ruled Monday that disconnection suspensions across the state should be extended by 45 days past Tuesday’s deadline through Aug. 14.

“Temporarily prohibiting disconnections ... is a balanced solution that allows both customers and utilities additional time to enter into reasonable payment arrangements to address any arrearages that may have accumulated and maintain essential utility services for the benefit of all customers, the utilities, and other stakeholders,” the order said.

The commission doubled the minimum requirement for extended payment plans by requiring utility companies to offer payment plans of at least six months to all customers.

While customers won’t be charged for electricity they didn’t use, such as at a closed restaurant or bar, those who struggled to pay their utility bills because of a job loss or reduced income may have to pay more later.

The IURC decided to let utilities track the COVID-19 impacts on the prohibition of disconnections and late fees, “which may be considered for cost recovery in the future.”

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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 157713

Reported Deaths: 4092
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion25392789
Lake13805355
St. Joseph9277163
Elkhart8890135
Allen8278230
Hamilton6215113
Vanderburgh588261
Tippecanoe375915
Hendricks3302133
Monroe326638
Porter322049
Johnson3151129
Delaware297074
Clark296762
Vigo264840
Madison240595
LaPorte226658
Cass225522
Warrick195265
Kosciusko187826
Floyd180167
Howard164066
Bartholomew143358
Marshall140026
Dubois139626
Wayne132130
Henry128430
Grant127839
Boone124550
Hancock119944
Noble117434
Jackson114416
Dearborn98028
Morgan94840
Lawrence90837
Daviess89334
Gibson88612
Clinton86716
Shelby83531
LaGrange81015
Knox77410
Harrison77324
Putnam73716
Posey7236
DeKalb72011
Fayette69018
Steuben6338
Miami6305
Jasper6175
White59215
Montgomery59022
Greene55337
Scott52413
Decatur50739
Adams5027
Whitley4636
Clay4537
Ripley4538
Sullivan44414
Wells43511
Wabash4219
Starke4157
Orange40925
Huntington4015
Spencer3956
Washington3783
Franklin37625
Jennings36913
Fulton3653
Randolph3659
Jefferson3435
Pike33518
Carroll32913
Perry32614
Jay3116
Fountain3073
Tipton27823
Vermillion2531
Parke2374
Newton23011
Blackford2193
Rush2184
Owen2071
Martin2000
Crawford1591
Pulaski1562
Brown1433
Ohio1327
Benton1120
Union1110
Switzerland960
Warren841
Unassigned0234

COVID-19 Important links and resources

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