Northwest Indiana consumers are being invited to comment on Indiana American
Water Company’s (IAWC’s) request for a 6.19 percent rate hike.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC)—the state agency
representing consumer interests in all cases before the Indiana Utility
Regulatory Commission (IURC)—is accepting written consumer comments for the
case record through Sept. 28.
The OUCC is also encouraging IAWC customers to attend the IURC’s upcoming
public field hearing in this case, at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, in Gary, at
the Common Council Chambers, Gary City Hall, 401 Broadway, Suite 209.
Sworn oral and written comments regarding the rate case will be accepted at
this field hearing, the OUCC said. Oral and written consumer comments carry
equal weight, and will become part of the official evidentiary record
considered by the IURC in reaching its final decision.
Although commissioners themselves are not permitted to answer consumer
questions during this formal field hearing, OUCC and IURC staff will be
available before, during, and after each hearing.
An OUCC informational session on the regulatory process and public field
hearing procedures will precede each hearing, starting at 5:30 p.m..
IAWC states in testimony that it is seeking $20.3 million in new annual
operating revenues due to a large number of distribution and transmission
system improvements throughout its service territories. While the request
would increase the utility’s total operating revenues by 10.48 percent,
specific increases would vary by service territory.
The average household in Northwest Indiana is currently paying $38.94 per
month for water. A 6.19-percent hike, if authorized by the IURC, would
increase that amount to $41.52.
IAWC is seeking different rate increases in different areas of its service
territory. Right now, Northwest Indiana customers pay the second highest
average monthly rate, according to the OUCC: Terre Haute customers, $42.53;
Northwest Indiana customers, $38.94; Muncie customers, $38.73; Winchester
and Warsaw customers, $31.70; and West Lafayette customers, $27.90.
Since 2002, the IURC has authorized IAWC to implement five separate rate
•18.25 percent in November 2002.
•26.2 percent in June 2003.
•1.67 percent in November 2004.
•9.9 percent in October 2007
•19.72 percent in April 2010.
The OUCC is reviewing IAWC’s request and has not yet taken a position in
this case. The OUCC is scheduled to file testimony on Oct. 5.
A group of IAWC’s industrial customers (including Praxair Inc. and U.S.
Steel Corporation) and several municipal governments (Crown Point,
Schererville, and West Lafayette) have formally intervened in this case
through legal counsel. Testimony from intervening parties is expected to be
filed on Oct. 5.
Consumers throughout IAWC’s service territories who are unable to attend the
field hearing are encouraged to submit written comments to the OUCC. The
OUCC accepts written comments by mail, fax and the Internet:
•Mail: Consumer Services Staff; Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South; Indianapolis, IN 46204
•Fax: (317) 232-5923.
•OUCC website: www.IN.gov/OUCC
All written comments should include the consumer’s name, mailing address,
and a reference to IURC Cause No. 44022. Comments the OUCC receives by Sept.
28, will be filed with the IURC to be included in the case’s formal
For more information, including links to IAWC’s testimony in this case,
please visit the OUCC Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2654.htm. Tips for managing
water bills and more information on the regulatory process can also be found
on the OUCC site.
Only the rates and charges of Indiana American Water Company are at issue in
this case. Indiana law does not give the IURC jurisdiction over municipal
sewer and stormwater utility services.