FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Citing ways it has already made customer improvements, Indiana Michigan Power on Wednesday announced details of the company’s “Powering Our Future” program, which also includes a proposed rate hike. The plan has been submitted to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for review.
According to a news release sent to the media by I&M, the plan emphasizes infrastructure and technology improvements so fewer customers lose power and if they do lose power the outage won’t last as long as in the past.
I&M is asking regulators for a rate increase of 6.8 percent which would vary depending on whether the customer is residential, commercial, or industrial. The increase would be phased in over two years. If approved the first increase would take place in mid-2024 with the second in early 2025.
When fully implemented, the bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours would see their bill go from $162.16 a month to $176.99 a month. The rates could be lower if I&M receives tax credits and federal or state grants.
“I&M understands that our customers are feeling the effects of inflation and higher costs of
goods and services,” said Steve Baker, I&M president and chief operating officer. “We have
carefully reviewed the plans that are necessary for us to improve the reliability of service and deliver
a better customer experience. The Powering our Future plan is critical for I&M to continue to
meet our customers’ expectations.
I&M pointed out that improvements made in the past five years have resulted in better service for customers using the following example involving two major storms that hit Fort Wayne in 2012 and 2022.
The 2012 storm with 91 mph winds resulted in 100,000 customers losing power for
up to eight days. The 2022 storm with stronger winds resulted in 41,000 customers
losing power, with service restored to all customers in four days.
The rate hike proposal also includes a change in the residential customer service charge from $14.79 to $17.50.
The Powering Our Future plan also addresses the Cook Nuclear Plant in Michigan, a new payment option, and broadband access.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission typically schedules public hearings for customers to learn more and voice their opinions.