A rate case begins when a utility files a petition with the IURC to modify its rates and charges. A public utility must inform its customers of the pending case within 45 days of the filing date. Once the petition is processed, it receives a docket number and is assigned to an Administrative Law Judge who presides over the case. Although multiple commissioners may be assigned to complex cases, a single commissioner is routinely assigned to each case. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) represents the public in all cases before the IURC.
Prehearing conferences are where filing and hearing dates are determined and a procedural schedule is established by the assigned Commissioners and Administrative Law Judge after input from all parties involved.
Utility prefilings are the utility’s case-in-chief evidence pre-filed with the Commission to support the relief requested.
Field hearings are public hearings held in the largest municipality within the utility’s service territory.
Public and intervenors’ prefilings are the public’s, represented by the OUCC, and any other interested parties’ evidence in the case.
Settlement hearings occur when the parties present the terms of a negotiated settlement to the Commission for consideration. Settlements must generally be reached before the last evidentiary hearing.
Rebuttal testimony is evidence refuting the public's and intervenors' prefilings and is submitted by the utility.
Evidentiary hearings are hearings where the petitioner, the intervenors and the OUCC present their evidence and cross-examine witnesses.
Post-hearing filings are submitted by each party in the case stating their positions as well as their recommendations for the final Order. After these filings are made, the Commissioners review the evidence presented by all parties, as well as staff analysis. An Administrative Law Judge then drafts an Order for Commission review and approval.
Conference is where the Commissioners vote on the Order. It is typically held every Wednesday at 2:00 p.m. but is subject to change by the Commission.