Consumer Group Pushes For Lower Indiana American Rates
May 6, 2014 — TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – A state agency that represents customers said Monday that customers of Indiana American Water Company should pay lower rates rather than the higher ones requested by the company.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor filed testimony on Friday with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission opposing the company’s request for a 9.8 percent increase in revenue. That would bring the company about $19.6 million in additional annual revenue.
The OUCC – which represents consumer interests – conducted a technical and legal review of Indiana American’s request over the past three months. The agency said that state regulators should reduce the company’s annual operating revenues by $11.4 million – a 5.5 percent decrease.
In addition to the rate decrease, the OUCC also recommended a cut in equity costs from 9.7 percent to 8.6 percent. The agency recommended that state regulators consider more realistic projections of customer growth, declining usage and property taxes, adjusting the utility’s requested operating expenses, and the continued reduction of non-revenue water when making a final decision about the rates.
“The analysis by our attorneys and technical staff in this case shows that a revenue reduction is warranted,” said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler in a statement. “The revenue requirement the OUCC is recommending will ensure sufficient funds to address IAWC’s operational and infrastructure needs, and to address the utility’s obligation to provide safe and reliable service to all of its customers.
Indiana American has until May 28 to file rebuttal testimony. An IURC technical evidentiary hearing is scheduled to start on June 23 in Indianapolis and continue into July.