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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.

Cases: 667262

Reported Deaths: 12737
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion913541660
Lake48729891
Allen36175646
Hamilton32489398
St. Joseph30361514
Elkhart25536420
Vanderburgh21343382
Tippecanoe20240205
Johnson16485363
Porter16077281
Hendricks15955302
Clark12079182
Madison11810323
Vigo11699234
Monroe10440164
Delaware9899179
LaPorte9838201
Howard9127203
Kosciusko8600111
Bartholomew7531147
Hancock7471134
Warrick7456153
Floyd7269173
Wayne6661192
Grant6465158
Boone618691
Morgan6135129
Dubois5942112
Dearborn551570
Cass5489100
Marshall5456105
Henry544395
Noble513878
Jackson465967
Shelby463591
Lawrence4197113
Gibson405585
Harrison404065
Clinton397653
Montgomery391984
DeKalb388278
Miami358463
Knox357886
Whitley352438
Huntington350877
Steuben340455
Putnam334660
Wabash333976
Ripley328062
Adams326349
Jasper319343
White298553
Jefferson296574
Daviess286196
Fayette272756
Decatur271688
Greene262680
Posey261732
Wells259175
Scott252150
LaGrange242670
Clay241644
Randolph226577
Spencer219630
Jennings216944
Washington213327
Sullivan203839
Fountain202842
Starke190051
Owen184254
Fulton179937
Jay178828
Carroll176919
Perry174136
Orange171451
Rush165722
Vermillion161543
Franklin160135
Tipton150041
Parke140216
Pike128633
Blackford120727
Pulaski107844
Newton96832
Brown95340
Crawford92613
Benton92513
Martin80314
Warren76014
Switzerland7568
Union67510
Ohio54211
Unassigned0427

COVID-19 Important links and resources

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