Pryor comments on AES Indiana settlement
Last week, AES Indiana reached a settlement with the Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, the state agency responsible for representing consumer interests. Earlier this year, AES Indiana requested to increase their rates for consumers by an outrageous 13%, or $17 per month. The new agreement has the rate increase set to 7.3%, which comes out to $9.52 for an average energy user. The deal is pending approval by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
“While I would like to see an even lower number, this is an improvement from the original plan to raise consumer rates by 13%,” State Rep. Cherrish Pryor (D - Indianapolis) said. “Over the last decade, AES Indiana has raised their rates by 34% and were granted $1.2 billion to upgrade the energy grid just a few years ago. There really is no need to increase rates and even under this settlement profits will be made off ratepayers.”
“In this deal, AES is still forcing consumers to front the bill for $3 million out of the $5 million of legal fees they spent pushing for this overwhelmingly unpopular proposal. It is unjust for ratepayers to cover any of the legal expenses AES accrued fighting directly against consumer interests. However, the current plan is an improvement from the full $5 million they planned to stick consumers with.
“I am glad that the parties involved were able to come to the conclusion that 13% is an unconscionable rate increase for consumers in a time when so many Hoosiers are struggling financially. I am also glad that recovery for dues and association fees will not be passed onto ratepayers as a part of the settlement.”