Indiana Michigan Power seeks rate increase, customers speak out

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Customers of Indiana Michigan Power are crunching the numbers as another potential rate hike is on the horizon.

“That’s 225% more than we were paying just six years ago,” says Brian Flory, an I&M customer.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission held a hearing Monday evening for local customers of Indiana Michigan Power, as the company seeks a rate increase.

The energy company is seeking an increase that would raise residential monthly service charges from $14.79 to $17.50. That would mean a $200 plus increase per year.

On top of that, customer’s base rates would also increase, raising a monthly 1,000-kilowatt hour residential bill by $14.83.

“We are pursuing our ‘Powering our Future Plan,’ we’re asking our customers to help us invest in new technology, new infrastructure, which really improves their customer experience,” says the Director of Communications for Indiana Michigan Power, Stephanny Smith.

I&M says the increase will better their customer’s service by improving infrastructure like stronger wires and poles, a new customer information system, and a smarter grid that can resolve a power outage more quickly.

The increase would raise the company’s annual revenues by over $116 million.

“If they haven’t figured out how to stabilize and make their grid more resilient in this amount of time, I don’t think more money’s gonna help them, frankly,” Flory says.

Most customers don’t see their money’s worth and would much rather keep the same rate, whereas I&M claims the increase will help keep their lights on in the long run.

“There’s a lot of people that just don’t have that kind of money, that can spend just to keep a service that they already have and needing to pay more for,” believes Flory.

“Everything goes back to how do we provide a better customer experience for them and how do we keep the lights on,” Smith assures.

A decision on the rate increase by the IURC won’t be made until the summer.

Customers of I&M can submit written comments online or through mail and e-mail by November 8th by visiting their website.

All comments will be used as evidence in the case that goes before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

Share this article: