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INDIANAPOLIS–The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved a rate increase for AES Indiana customers today, but the Commission says the increase is not as much as was initially expected.

“We appreciate the Commission’s approval of this agreement and the efforts of all the parties that worked diligently to achieve this outcome,” said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor Bill Fine. “The newly approved agreement will mitigate the customer rate impact while ensuring AES Indiana has the revenues needed to provide service as required under Indiana law.”

AES Indiana initially requested an annual revenue increase of about $134 million in this case. The settlement agreement reduces the total revenue increase to approximately $71 million, with most of the approved costs for projects that received Commission approval in previous proceedings.

The original request would have raised an average monthly residential electric bill by $17.49 for 1,000 kilowatt hours (kWh). The agreement, when fully phased in next year, will increase for 1,000 kWh at $9.36.

The new rates begin in mid-May.

The order approving the agreement also:

-Raises the monthly residential customer charge for most customers from $16.75 to $17.00, instead of the $25.00 charge AES Indiana had proposed.

-Establishes an authorized return on equity of 9.90%. The utility had requested a 10.6% authorization in its initial request.

-Reduces depreciation expenses along with various operation and maintenance expenses.

-Creates specific protections for consumers when disconnected remotely for non-payment.

Four of Indiana’s five investor-owned electric utilities have filed rate cases before the IURC within the last year, including AES Indiana. The OUCC and additional consumer parties have reached a pending settlement agreement with Indiana Michigan Power (I&M). CenterPoint Energy has filed a rate case for its southwestern Indiana electric utility, in which the OUCC is recommending a substantial reduction to the utility’s request. Duke Energy filed its new Indiana rate case earlier this month; the OUCC is reviewing the request and expects to file testimony in mid-July.