Chesterton Tribune



CAC rips utilities plan to charge ratepayers for sales lost in pandemic

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Indiana’s large investor-owned electric and gas utilities have filed a petition before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission seeking permission to categorize lower energy sales as an “expense” caused by the COVID -19 pandemic and to allow them to collect these lost revenues from consumers.

“In other words,” according to the Citizens Action Coalition (CAC), “the investor-owned utilities want to charge consumers for the energy that they did not sell because of the global pandemic.”

“This action is yet another example of the utilities’ placing profit over people,” CAC Executive Director Kerwin Olson said. “It is disgusting that during these unprecedented times, they are more concerned with quarterly stock reports than with the health, safety, and well-being of the Hoosier communities and consumers which they serve.”

The utilities making the filing include the Northern Indiana Public Service Company, Duke Energy Indiana, Indiana Michigan Power Company, Indianapolis Power & Light, and Vectren, a Centerpoint Energy Company. These five were joined by a number of smaller gas utilities.

“What Indiana should be doing is protecting Hoosier consumers by extending the shut-off moratorium and putting in place a freeze on rate increases until this economic and health crisis has ended,” Olson said.

CAC has previously urged Gov. Eric Holcomb to create a Utility Affordability Task Force to address the “financial cliff that is coming once emergency orders are lifted, specifically how can we ensure customers can stay connected and afford their utility bills once the moratorium on utility disconnects ends.”

“In addition to maintaining our plea to the governor to establish a task force, we now call on the governor to reject this act of greed by the utilities and, instead, work to ensure that all Hoosier consumers have uninterrupted access to essential utility services and are able to remain comfortably and safely in their own homes,” Olson said.


Posted 5/12/2020




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