Moed sends letter to IURC urging regulators to reject utility price increase
INDIANAPOLIS - State Representative Justin Moed (D-Indianapolis) sent a letter to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) urging them to deny Indiana utility companies' plan to seek a rate increase approval to make up for lost revenue during the pandemic.
“We can see from the unprecedented unemployment rates in our state that we are all experiencing a loss of some kind right now and an increase in utility costs would devastate many of our Hoosier families and small businesses,” Moed said. “Now is not the time to hurt those who are already struggling by shifting the burden of these short-term losses.
“The only way we will make it through this pandemic and get our state back on track is to work together.”
Read a copy of his letter below.
May 21, 2020
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
PNC Center, 101 W. Washington Street, Suite 1500E.
Indianapolis, IN 46204
RE: Utility Rate Increase
Dear Members of the IURC,
We have found ourselves in uncertain and trying times during the COVID-19 pandemic. The impacts to our society are tremendous and we are all being asked to make many sacrifices. From families who lost a job or worse, a loved one to small business owners struggling to rebuild, the price is heavy.
I recently read about the state's utility companies' plan to seek a rate increase approval to make up for lost revenue during the pandemic. I urge your rejection of this request.
It was only a few weeks ago that these same companies sought praise and affection from the public for their decision to avoid shutting off residents' utilities for inability to pay. They put out press releases and asked for recognition for joining in the collective sacrifice. However, what was not made public was the utility companies' plan to “rob Peter to pay Paul” and shift this burden to the public while we are still experiencing high rates of unemployment and small businesses are just attempting to reopen.
These companies apparently fail to understand that as we work to recover, the public has no other choice than to rely on them for basic necessities. Unlike restaurants, movie theaters and retailers who have their fingers crossed hoping customers will choose to return, these regulated monopolies are able to rest easier at night knowing their customers have no choice but to keep the power on. Only a handful of people are able to survive off the electric grid, but residents and business owners have virtually no choice to take their money elsewhere or fear living in the dark.
I have personally talked with hundreds of constituents in need of help as they struggle to make ends meet for their families and small businesses. I believe that the only way we will make it through this pandemic is by working together.
In order to protect Hoosiers, many of us will have to make sacrifices and I urge you to reject the utility companies' requests for a rate increase to offset the losses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. We can see from the unprecedented unemployment rates in our state that we are all experiencing a loss of some kind right now and an increase in utility costs would add an unnecessary burden to many of our Hoosier families and small businesses. Now is not the time to hurt those who are already struggling by shifting the burden of these short-term losses.
You are charged with the responsibility of regulating what is fair and just. Our citizens are counting on you.
House Minority Whip
House District 97