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Consumers, elected officials demand AES rate hike be denied



Indianapolis, Indiana – Customers of AES Indiana keep raising objections to a planned increase in utility rates.

The business is asking for permission to raise charges for the typical customer by around $17 per month. People asked that the proposal be rejected at a public hearing on Thursday.

AES Indiana wants to increase its revenue by $134 million annually.

They say it’s to cover operational costs “as a result of inflationary impacts on operations and maintenance expenses, investments in reliability and resiliency improvements, and enhancements to customer systems.”

However, customers claim that as their bills rise but the quality of service doesn’t, they feel like captive viewers.

On Thursday, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission heard complaints from regular Marion County residents and even from some of the representatives they had chosen.

“When you come to that hearing with AES – I’m asking you to vote down this increase,” customer Alicia Howell said, addressing the IURC.

“I’m concerned about the fixed income and the seniors and the low-income people in my area,” City-County Councillor Dan Boots said at the podium. “This is something else that just is another foot on their back and another anvil around their necks that I think is unnecessary coming from a monopoly.”

Customers’ costs might climb by the summer of 2024 if the IURC rules in favor of AES; this could put pressure on Hoosiers who are already struggling to make ends meet.

“This is life and death. We’re all in this together,” customer Mary Bookwalter said. “You’re [AES Indiana] profiting from us. Give us something in return that makes us proud.”

Some opponents of the plan have also brought up a storm in late June that caused 80,000 people to lose power. The lights went out for many thousand people for up to five days. Ben Inskeep, director of programs at Citizens Action Coalition, claimed that it wasn’t an unusual occurrence.

“Many Hoosiers right now do not have adequate and reliable service from AES Indiana, so it’s extra insulting that we’re seeing this massive bill increase,” Inskeep said.

That’s also why State Senator Jean Breaux, who serves on the Utilities Committee, calls the proposal “unfair.”

“They [AES] are a big utility. They have a lot of resources and access to great minds,” Breaux said. “There ought to be a way to have a comprehensive plan – figure out what is needed. How much will it take to get them where they need to go so they’re not coming to us nickel and dime-ing us every year?”

AES Indiana followed up with this statement after the hearing:

This is AES Indiana’s first base rate increase request since 2017. Factors leading to this new review of rates include rising operations and maintenance expenses, investments needed to make reliability and resiliency improvements, and enhancements to our customer systems. If approved, the current AES Indiana rate review in front of the IURC will enhance safety and reliability, sustain the energy transition, and improve overall customer experience. AES Indiana has had the lowest residential rates among investor-owned utilities in Indiana and expects to remain among the lowest residential rates if the proposed rates are approved.

On October 2, New Augusta Public Academy North will host a second public hearing.

Written comments must be submitted in writing by October 6 and may be sent via email to [email protected], online at, or by postal mail to OUCC Public Comments, 115 West Washington Street, Suite 1500 South, Indianapolis, Indiana 46204.

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