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PLAINFIELD, Ind.–A plan was filed by Duke Energy Indiana with state utility regulators to improve its statewide network of power lines and infrastructure that serves more than 860,000 homes, businesses, and industries.

It is a six-year plan that would add additional technology to reduce the number and duration of power outages. It is also expected to add more than 1,200 jobs.

If approved, it would increase rates by about 1% per year between 2024 and 2029. Any impact to your electric bill would have to be approved by state regulators and would gradually happen as work is completed.

“We’re creating a smarter electric grid that helps prevent outages and gets the lights back on sooner when problems do occur,” said Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar. “Our reliability ratings are good, but we need to prepare the electric grid for what’s to come, including electric vehicles and more customers generating their own green energy. As an electric service provider, the reliability of our service is job No. 1 for our 2,500 Indiana employees.”

Duke Energy is estimating the grid improvements will reduce the number of power outages by at least 17% and the length of outages by at least 19%.

“As with most products on the market, the technology available today is simply better than the technology that was available decades ago,” Pinegar said. “Adding more automation to our system gives us better visibility on our electric grid to detect problems and resolve them quicker.”

They believe it would generate an additional $4.3 million in state and local tax revenue annually.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will set a schedule for hearings in the case. A decision is expected by July 2022.