Duke Energy asks for rate increase

By Lindsay Doty

(photo by Rick Myers)

Duke Energy Indiana filed a request on July 2 with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to increase electrical rates.

The request comes as the company looks to move towards cleaner electricity and improved service to a growing population.

If approved, the rate increase would be a 15 percent bump across all customer groups. It would be added in two steps: a 13 percent increase to your bill in mid-2020 and a two percent increase in 2021.

Altogether, it would cost the average residential customer (using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month) around $23 more each month, according to the company.

Duke Energy leaders say the revenue from the increase would be used to cover things like new power lines, smart meters, tree trimming and cleaner energy tactics to transition away from coal, to name a few.

“We’ve made investments to meet the needs of a customer base that has grown by more than 100,000 since our last full-scale rate review,” Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar said. “We also have environmental responsibilities and are taking significant steps to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and move to a cleaner power generation mix. And we are upgrading our electric grid to improve reliability, help avoid power outages and speed service restoration when outages do occur.”

To help customers save on their electric bills, the company is proposing a pilot program with time-of-use rates where customers can lower their bills on high power demand days by shifting their power usage to times of day when energy is less expensive.

“We’re committed to helping customers find ways to save energy through our energy efficiency and bill-lowering tools,” Pinegar said. “We also have assistance for low-income customers and work with our state’s network of community action agencies to provide help.”

The rate increase review process will include the chance for public comment in the fall. The commission will then hold a hearing in late 2019 or early 2020 and then a final vote.

To learn more about the proposed rate increase, visit dukeenergy.com/IndianaRates

Duke Energy Indiana, a subsidiary of Duke Energy is the state’s largest electric supplier. It services around 840,000 customers in a 23,000-square-mile area.