FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): A rate increase for service to Indiana Michigan Power customers has been approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. This approximate seven percent rate increase will support investments to enhance reliability and customer service as part of I&M’s Building the Future proposal. This also stems from a settlement agreement of the constructive efforts by I&M and a number of entities, including the Office of Utility Consumer counselor, the Sierra Club and the cities of Fort Wayne, South Bend and Muncie.
I&M hope states that this will help them to better serve customers by establishing new programs to help those who meet income qualifications to pay their energy bills and reduce energy use, granting money to communities and agencies in Indiana to help boost local economic development, transitioning to more diverse sources of energy including renewable resources and eliminating the fee for payments by credit cards.
Toby Thomas, I&M President and Chief Operating Officer states “This first rate review in five years will move I&M forward and provide more customer and community-centered programs to help our lower-income customers and the communities we serve. At the same time, we are Building the Future by boosting infrastructure and transitioning for our future generation needs.”
Areas of improvement for infrastructure will be upgrading to stronger poles and wires, working on clearance between power lines and trees, and also eventually retiring I’M’s Rockport Unit 1 generating plant and launching a renewable energy program.
A typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours would be about $9.41, or less that 32 cents per day. This will also include the proposed customer charge portion of the bill, which would be $10.50 per month for a residential customer.
These news rates for I&M will be phased in and a partial effect will result on the July bills and then fully effective early next year.