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Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor

OUCC > News > OUCC Recommends Denial of Vectren Rate Request OUCC Recommends Denial of Vectren Rate Request

For Immediate Release
December 21, 2011

OUCC recommends denial of Vectren rate request

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is recommending that state regulators deny Vectren Energy Delivery’s request to add a new $1.08 charge to residential electric bills. Vectren is seeking the charge to recover costs for dense pack technology at its A. B. Brown Generating Station.

The OUCC – the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) – made its recommendations in testimony filed with the IURC this afternoon. Four technical witnesses who are testifying for the OUCC explain that Vectren’s evidence has neither proven nor justified the need for additional revenue.

In April 2011, the IURC denied Vectren’s request for dense pack cost recovery in its electric base rate case order (Cause No. 43839). However, the Commission approved special accounting treatment and deferred depreciation for costs related to the A. B. Brown project. After the IURC addressed the dense pack issue in its April 2011 rate order, Vectren did not appeal the order or ask for reconsideration.

"Vectren already has the financial resources it needs for the dense pack project," said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler. "In the April rate order, the Commission authorized Vectren to collect more than $70 million per year in depreciation cash flow from ratepayers. The new revenue Vectren is requesting in this case would duplicate funding for these equipment overhauls."

Vectren’s request would affect electric customers in six southwestern Indiana counties. Natural gas rates and charges are not at issue in this case. A public field hearing was held in Evansville on November 28, 2011, with approximately 35 Vectren customers and local officials testifying.

The IURC has given Vectren until January 11, 2012 to file rebuttal testimony. A mid-January hearing in Indianapolis will give attorneys and Commissioners the chance to question technical witnesses who have filed written testimony.

 

(IURC Cause No. 44067)

 

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC’s mission is to represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer education, and creative problem solving. To learn more, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC.