-- Indiana regulators denied Monday a request from utilities to charge
ratepayers for revenue the companies expect to lose because of the
The Indiana Utility
Regulatory Commission voted unanimously to deny the request by utilities,
who had said they needed to recover millions of dollars in lost revenue over
the last few months as businesses closed their doors and factories cut hours
and used less electricity.
Duke Energy, NIPSCO,
Vectren and other Indiana electric and gas companies had petitioned the
commission for permission to recover revenue shortfalls.
to go beyond their obligation and pay for service they did not receive is
beyond reasonable utility relief based on the facts before us,” the
The utilities filed
a 36-page petition with the IURC in May in which they claimed the effects of
the pandemic, including government orders and businesses closing or moving
to remote locations, “have resulted in significantly reduced load and
revenues for some utilities.”
The IURC also ruled
Monday that disconnection suspensions across the state should be extended by
45 days past Tuesday’s deadline through Aug. 14.
prohibiting disconnections ... is a balanced solution that allows both
customers and utilities additional time to enter into reasonable payment
arrangements to address any arrearages that may have accumulated and
maintain essential utility services for the benefit of all customers, the
utilities, and other stakeholders,” the order said.
doubled the minimum requirement for extended payment plans by requiring
utility companies to offer payment plans of at least six months to all
won’t be charged for electricity they didn’t use, such as at a closed
restaurant or bar, those who struggled to pay their utility bills because of
a job loss or reduced income may have to pay more later.
The IURC decided to
let utilities track the COVID-19 impacts on the prohibition of
disconnections and late fees, “which may be considered for cost recovery in