The Indiana Office
of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is inviting written comments on Indiana
American Water Company’s (IAWC’s) request for a rate increase, which in
Northwest Indiana would spike average customers’ bills by more than 17
The OUCC--the state
agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility
Regulatory Commission (IURC)--is reviewing the utility’s request and has not
yet taken a position in this case. The OUCC anticipates completing its
review and filing testimony with the Commission on May 2, 2014.
IAWC, a wholly
owned subsidiary of Voorhees, N.J.-based American Water Inc., provides
service to approximately 290,000 customers throughout Indiana.
According to its
testimony and exhibits, IAWC is seeking the rate increase for several
reasons, including paying for numerous infrastructure improvements. The
projects include replacement of aging mains, treatment plant projects,
storage tank renovation, and other projects. The utility’s proposal would
raise its total annual operating revenues by $19.6 million, an increase of
approximately 9.8 percent.
For most IAWC
residential customers using 5,000 gallons per month, the monthly water bill
would rise from $37.35 to $39.75, an increase of 6.4 percent. This would
apply throughout most of the utility’s service territories, except in
Northwest, where customers are billed every two months. Here the bimonthly
bill for 10,000 would increase from $67.81 to $79.48, or--on a monthly
basis--from $33.90 to $39.74, a spike of 17.21 percent.
These numbers do
not include fire protection surcharges.
IAWC’s current base
rates were approved in June 2012. However, rates have since increased twice
through the utility’s Distribution System Infrastructure Charge (DSIC), a
rate adjustment mechanism (or tracker) which allows investor-owned water
utilities to increase rates to pay for aging infrastructure subject to OUCC
review and IURC approval. IAWC’s most recent DSIC increases were approved in
December 2012 and December 2013.
The City of Crown
Point has intervened in this case and is also expected to file testimony on
May 2, 2014.
More information on
this case, including the utility’s testimony, is available online at