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This is a general summary of how typical IURC cases work. If you have specific questions about a particular proceeding, please contact the OUCC’s consumer services staff either online or toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.
The filing of a petition before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) is usually the first step in a regulatory case.
The IURC is the decision-making body in utility regulatory proceedings and is required by law to make decisions that balance the interests of all parties to ensure that utilities provide reliable service at reasonable prices. The Commission can regulate rates, service quality, service territory and other aspects of a utility’s business. An IURC Administrative Law Judge is assigned to hear the evidence in each case.
The OUCC is a formal party to each IURC proceeding and is charged with representing the interests of all Indiana utility consumers.
An intervenor, or other interested group, can request permission from the IURC to participate as an additional party to the case. An intervenor must be represented by an attorney, show that it has a substantial interest in the outcome of the proceeding, and meet other criteria as detailed in Title 170 of the Indiana Administrative Code.
When a concern arises about a utility’s operations (such as service quality), the OUCC or another party may file a formal complaint with the IURC. The IURC may also initiate an investigation into a utility’s operation on its own.
Each proceeding is given a five-digit cause number that is used to track the case through the process.
This is a brief, preliminary hearing at which the parties normally establish a procedural schedule, including filing and hearing dates. The utility, OUCC and other parties (if they formally intervene) may also discuss the number and scope of issues to be addressed in the case.
Each party in an IURC case presents written evidence to support its position. Because utility cases are highly technical and very complicated, testimony from witnesses is submitted in advance of formal hearings so other parties can evaluate, understand and address it. The discovery process allows parties to receive additional written information and to question witnesses through depositions as they build their cases. Parties may also reply to each other’s filings through rebuttal testimony.
In many IURC cases, parties are able to negotiate settlement agreements.
A public field hearing allows consumers to speak directly to the IURC regarding a specific case. Written and oral comments submitted at field hearings become part of the evidentiary record reviewed by Commissioners in making a final decision.
The OUCC conducts an informational meeting before each field hearing to discuss the process and answer consumer questions. Regardless of whether a field hearing is held, the OUCC invites and encourages written consumer comments in all IURC cases.
For more information, please see the OUCC's “Speaking Out on Pending Cases” brochure.
The IURC conducts an evidentiary hearing in each case, normally in Indianapolis at the National City Center, located at 101 W. Washington St., Indianapolis. An Administrative Law Judge presides with at least one Commissioner present.
After considering and deliberating on the evidence presented in the case, the IURC issues a final written order.
A formal party may appeal a final IURC order in one of two ways:
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204
Voice/TDD: (317) 232-2494
Fax: (317) 232-5923