The Indiana Office
of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), Indiana American Water Company, (IAWC),
and all additional parties in the utility’s pending rate case have reached a
comprehensive settlement agreement.
That agreement was
filed Monday with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), which
may accept, deny, or modify any agreement before it, OUCC said in a
statement released today.
“Our legal staff
and technical analysts have negotiated with IAWC and all parties to this
case to achieve a fair resolution for the utility’s customers,” Indiana
Utility Consumer Counselor Bill Fine said. “Between new evidence presented
during the case and the OUCC’s strong support for utility investments in
aging, necessary infrastructure, we have come to a mutual resolution. It
provides a reasonable balance between investments needed for safe,
dependable water and fair rates to cover the costs.”
The terms of the
revenue increase of $17.5 million annually, to be implemented in two phases.
By comparison, the utility had requested $38.8 million.
--A 9.8 percent
authorized return on equity, compared to the 10.8 percent IAWC requested.
--Resolution of all
issues pertaining to the federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017, and
the proper sharing of federal tax relief with customers.
parties include the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, the Indiana
Community Action Association, industrial customers (Arcelor Mittal USA, Fiat
Chrysler Automobiles, and Praxair, Inc.), municipal governments (Crown
Point, Schererville, and Whiteland), and Sullivan-Vigo Water Corporation.
It’s not clear from
the OUCC statement how the agreement would actually affect consumers’ rates.
IAWC had originally sought a two-phase rate increase, under which
residential customers using 5,000 gallons per month would have seen a rise
in their monthly bill from $43.70 to $46.81 in July 2019; and then a second
increase to $50.34 in July 2020. That total hike--of about 16 percent--would
have generated additional annual revenues of $38.8 million for IAWC.
settlement, however, IAWC has agreed to additional annual revenues of less
than half that amount: $17.6 million.
An IURC settlement
hearing is scheduled for April 11, 2019, with an order expected in the
Updates on this
case are being posted on the OUCC’s website at