investor-owned electric and gas utilities have filed a petition before the
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission seeking permission to categorize lower
energy sales as an “expense” caused by the COVID -19 pandemic and to allow
them to collect these lost revenues from consumers.
“In other words,”
according to the Citizens Action Coalition (CAC), “the investor-owned
utilities want to charge consumers for the energy that they did not sell
because of the global pandemic.”
“This action is yet
another example of the utilities’ placing profit over people,” CAC Executive
Director Kerwin Olson said. “It is disgusting that during these
unprecedented times, they are more concerned with quarterly stock reports
than with the health, safety, and well-being of the Hoosier communities and
consumers which they serve.”
making the filing include the Northern Indiana Public Service Company, Duke
Energy Indiana, Indiana Michigan Power Company, Indianapolis Power & Light,
and Vectren, a Centerpoint Energy Company. These five were joined by a
number of smaller gas utilities.
should be doing is protecting Hoosier consumers by extending the shut-off
moratorium and putting in place a freeze on rate increases until this
economic and health crisis has ended,” Olson said.
CAC has previously
urged Gov. Eric Holcomb to create a Utility Affordability Task Force to
address the “financial cliff that is coming once emergency orders are
lifted, specifically how can we ensure customers can stay connected and
afford their utility bills once the moratorium on utility disconnects ends.”
“In addition to
maintaining our plea to the governor to establish a task force, we now call
on the governor to reject this act of greed by the utilities and, instead,
work to ensure that all Hoosier consumers have uninterrupted access to
essential utility services and are able to remain comfortably and safely in
their own homes,” Olson said.