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The Journal Gazette

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 12:00 pm

Agency recommends slashing I&M rate-hike proposal

ROSA SALTER RODRIGUEZ | The Journal Gazette

Indiana Michigan Power might get just a small fraction of the $172 million rate increase it proposed. 

How about $2 million instead? 

The office of the Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor, a state government entity that advocates for ratepayers, has proposed trimming I&M's recent rate hike request. 

"I&M is a financially sound utility, and the rate increase it received last year appears to be sufficient to cover its needs," Bill Fine, had of the agency said in a statement. 

I&M received a $96.8-million rate increase in Indiana in 2018. 

The latest proposed rate increase was the subject of a July public hearing in Fort Wayne and residents decried the size of the increase. 

The rates also were criticized by officials from schools and businesses that are high-volume users and said the rate hike would cost them tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

The Utility Consumer Counselor today filed testimony from 12 experts addressing the size, structure and uses of the increases. 

rsalter@jg.net