FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Demonstrating its commitment to “Powering the Next”, Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is proposing additional investments in reliability, customer experience and new technologies as part of today’s rate review filing with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). To make these important investments, I&M is proposing a $104 million revenue increase, or an approximate 6.5% increase.
The actual increase for residential, commercial and industrial customers will vary depending on electricity usage. If the proposal receives approval, a typical residential customer, who uses 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity a month, would pay less than $10 more per month. They will see their bill go up from about $158 to $167 per month, a 6% increase, or less than 33-cents per day.
Included in the increase, is a requested change to I&M’s service charge. I&M proposes raising the service charge to $20 per month from the current $15 per month, for a residential customer, and the small commercial customer charge to $25 per month, from the current $19 per month.
“Indiana Michigan Power is Powering the Next step forward as we work to redefine the future of energy. We are committed to our customers and continuously focus on new technologies and greater efficiencies, all while controlling costs,” said Toby Thomas, president and chief operating officer of I&M. “Investing in high-tech equipment will strengthen and modernize power lines in Indiana, and at the same time enhance the customer experience.”
Powering the Next in Reliability
I&M maintains more than 15,000 miles of power lines and 193 substations in Indiana. Much of the system was built in the 1960s and 1970s and more investments are needed to replace aging infrastructure and provide safe, reliable service.
I&M is Powering the Next in reliability with the following proposals to continue strengthening the electric grid in Indiana to reduce the number and duration of power outages:
- Replacing 120 miles of overhead and underground power lines;
- Replacing more than 2,500 poles;
- Upgrading 16 substations;
- Inspecting and maintaining trees along 4,000 line miles, since trees are the number one cause of outage for I&M customers.
Projects approved in previous I&M rate reviews have dropped tree-related outage durations to the lowest point in 5 years, and outages related to equipment issues are at a 3-year low.
Powering the Next in Customer Experience
I&M is dedicated to providing its customers with value and an overall positive customer experience, including proposed new options to help determine what best fits their energy needs and lifestyle. I&M is Powering the Next in customer experience enabling customers to gain control over their energy use by offering the following:
- I&M plans to continue investing in smart meters as the technology provides customers with a variety of services, including usage data, usage alerts and new programs to help customers develop better energy habits and potentially save money. More than 40,000 I&M customers, including 18,000 I&M customers in Indiana, already use smart meters. I&M plans to install more than 480,000 smart meters by 2024.
- The rate review proposes new programs optimizing smart meter technology including alerts during high energy demand times and rebate offerings.
- I&M plans to expand its payment and billing options with the addition of FlexPay, which is a voluntary program for customers with smart meters. It will provide customers with the ability to pay based on their own schedule and budget.
I&M already offers a variety of programs such as average monthly payment plans, paperless billing, income-qualified weatherproofing, electric vehicle incentives and IM Green, a clean energy program.
Powering the Next in New Technologies
I&M is Powering the Next in new technologies for its customers and communities it proudly serves in Indiana.
- In the rate review, I&M proposes plans to continue to protect the electric grid 24/7, 365 days a year from physical and cyber threats, and adding new technology, including artificial intelligence, robotic process automations and other tools to automate processes.
- New self-healing technology will continue to be installed to detect power outages and reroute electricity to customers. I&M plans to install more overhead line sensors and smart circuits. This new technology will enable I&M to respond quicker if an outage occurs and detect potential safety risks.
“With today’s IURC filing, I&M is proposing to make strategic investments to enhance reliability, and to continue to serve our customers and communities,” said Thomas. “These investments will help our customers by reducing the length of power outages and bring value to customers’ lives.”
Ultimately, the IURC will conduct a review process including several opportunities for public comment. Typically, from start to finish, this is a 300-day process. Customers can learn more about I&M’s pending rate review and the regulatory rate review process at www.indianamichiganpower.com/poweringthenext.
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ABOUT INDIANA MICHIGAN POWER:
Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its approximately 2,100 employees serve more than 600,000 customers. More than 85% of its energy delivered in 2020 was emission-free. I&M has at its availability various sources of generation including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, more than 22 MW of hydro generation in both states, nearly 35 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states, and 2,620 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.
ABOUT AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER:
American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is focused on building a smarter energy infrastructure and delivering new technologies and custom energy solutions to our customers. AEP’s approximately 16,800 employees operate and maintain the nation’s largest electricity transmission system and more than 223,000 miles of distribution lines to efficiently deliver safe, reliable power to nearly 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation’s largest electricity producers with approximately 30,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,500 megawatts of renewable energy. AEP’s family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, AEP Energy Partners, AEP OnSite Partners, and AEP Renewables, which provide innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.