Indiana-Michigan Power Seeks Rate Hike For Infrastructure, Technology Upgrades

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Indiana-Michigan Power Seeks Rate Hike For Infrastructure, Technology Upgrades

The first of several public meetings was held in South Bend last night to discuss the proposed increase.

 

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The first of several more public meetings last night to discuss a proposed rate hike by Indiana-Michigan Power.

The rate hike would raise the average power bill for I&M customers by a little over 11-percent from around $10 to $15 every month. That equates to about $170 million more in revenue.

Brian Bergsma with Indiana-Michigan Power said the extra revenue is needed to make investments in new technology in or to better serve their customers.

"We want to be the utility that our customers can count on," Bergsma said. "Unfortunately, that does involve an investment in our system. So we want to build out our infrastructure and institute technology that is reliable for decades to come."

Technology such as smart meters, which would replaced older analog meters that some I&M homes have been using since the 1940's. 

At a public hearing about the rate increase proposal last night, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission heard from customers who would be affected by it. Many were against it. One woman told the commission it creates an "undue burden on the region's more vulnerable populations."

Moving forward, the proposal will have similar public meetings in Muncie and Fort Wayne in the next few weeks. A decision is expect from the IURC by March.

(PHOTO: Gerard Burkhart/Getty Images)

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