If you are a Crawfordsville Electric Power & Light (CEL&P) customer and would like to comment on the utility’s pending rate request, you have the chance to do so. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), is reviewing CEL&P’s request and is scheduled to file testimony on Nov. 25.
Written consumer comments
While using its legal and technical resources to review CEL&P’s request, including examining the utility’s books and operations, the OUCC is inviting written comments from customers through Nov. 18. Consumers who wish to submit written comments for the case record may do so via the OUCC’s website at www.in.gov/oucc/2361.htm, by email at uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov, or by mail at:
Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204
The OUCC needs to receive all written consumer comments no later than Nov. 18 so that it can: 1) Consider them in preparing its testimony and 2) File them with the Commission to be included in the case’s formal evidentiary record. Comments should include the consumer’s name, mailing address, and a reference to either “IURC Cause No. 45420” or CEL&P. Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC’s consumer services staff toll-free at (888) 441-2494.
Public field hearing
The IURC is currently scheduled to hold a public field hearing on CEL&P’s request on Thursday, Oct. 29, at Fusion 54 in Crawfordsville). While Indiana is currently in Stage 5 of Gov. Eric J. Holcomb’s Back on Track Indiana Plan, this hearing may be rescheduled if circumstances change. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. and is statutorily required in this case. Its sole purpose will be to receive public testimony.
Consumers can speak directly to the Commission under oath and on the record.
Oral comments during the hearing will become part of the case record, along with written consumer comments submitted to the OUCC.
Utilities do not make presentations or answer questions during field hearings. The focus, again, is on public input. In this case, CEL&P filed testimony and exhibits in August 2020.
Commissioners are not allowed to answer questions about the case. They will ultimately render a decision after weighing evidence from the utility and the OUCC.
OUCC staff will be available before, during, and after the hearing to address questions about the process.
Consumers attending the field hearing are encouraged to arrive no later than 5:45 p.m. for an overview of hearing procedures and the rate case process.
Case overview
CEL&P’s current base rates were approved in 2016 and rank fifth lowest among the electric utilities the IURC regulates. If approved, the utility’s request would raise rates in two phases with increases taking effect in June 2021 and June 2022. When fully implemented in 2022, the monthly residential electric rate for a customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) would rise to $120.47. The current rate for such a customer is $105.32.
CEL&P is not proposing an increase in its $15.00 monthly residential customer charge.
In its testimony, the utility cites increases in operating and maintenance costs as reasons for its request, along with a six-year capital improvement plan. Specific improvements in the proposal include substation improvements, new transmission lines, enhanced protection and control systems, new meters, and additional infrastructure improvements.
A final Commission order is currently expected in June 2021.
The OUCC is posting case updates online at www.in.gov/oucc/2584.htm. Case updates are also available through the agency’s monthly electronic newsletter. Consumers can subscribe at www.in.gov/oucc/2877.htm.
(IURC Cause No. 45420)
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC’s mission is to represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer education, and creative problem solving.