I&M Seeks Indiana Regulatory Review of Building the Future Plan

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), an American Electric Power (NYSE: AEP) company, is asking the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to approve I&M’s Building the Future proposal.

This is the first time since 2011, and only the third time in the past 25 years, that I&M has asked for a review of its base rates in Indiana.

The Building the Future plan calls for investments to enhance customer reliability and service by reducing outages, as well as changes to facilitate the ongoing transition to a more diversified fleet of energy generation resources.

Building the Future would help diminish I&M’s No. 1 source of customer outages – trees and other vegetation – by accelerating trimming and clearing near power lines. I&M plans to establish a systematic, four-year trimming cycle consistent with accepted industry guidelines to keep trees away from lines, a major step in addressing outages.

The Building the Future plan includes systematically updating I&M’s aging energy delivery system, using stronger poles and wires as well as expanded technology to make the system more resilient to weather events and reduce the impact of weather-related outages. In 2018 alone, I&M expects to replace an estimated 1,400 poles, more than 20 miles of overhead lines and more than 12 miles of underground lines in the Indiana service territory.

“I&M’s plan prepares the company for a future of energy generation that is more diverse and will allow us to offer our customers new, cleaner energy options. The plan will improve customers’ service through investments in infrastructure that will reduce outages and directly limit service interruptions caused by severe weather,” said Toby Thomas, President and Chief Operating Officer of I&M. “We intend to better serve our communities by renovating aging equipment, modernizing the delivery system with new technology and improving the reliability of service while being mindful of the cost impacts on our customers.”

I&M seeks to keep its rates at levels that are reasonable and compare favorably to other utilities. Under I&M’s plan, new rates would be phased-in over two steps, with the first occurring in summer 2018 and the full rate in place in early 2019. After it takes full effect, the increase would be less than $1 a day for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per month. The overall increase would be about $263 million, or 19.7 percent.

Much has changed since I&M filed its last rate case six years ago. I&M is Building the Future by updating several financial factors to more accurately reflect today’s costs:

• As the nation moves more rapidly toward renewables, I&M is Building the Future by transitioning toward more diverse sources of energy, with less reliance on coal-based generation. I&M proposes to help facilitate that transition by adjusting the depreciation of Unit 1 of its Rockport plant to prepare for its eventual retirement. The sooner depreciation costs are adjusted, the less impact on customers.

• I&M plans to offer a new renewable energy program in which customers can choose to attribute a specified percentage of their energy use – from 10 percent to 100 percent – to solar and wind energy. I&M will continue offering a number of energy efficiency options that help our residential and commercial customers reduce their energy use.

• I&M’s fixed charge for residential customers is $7.30, the lowest among Indiana’s investor-owned electric utilities. I&M is proposing an increase in this service charge to $18 to more fairly and accurately reflect the true costs for a customer to use the system.

• Advances in technology increasingly allow customers to better measure and control their electric use with smart meters. These meters also can help identify the precise location of outages much faster. I&M proposes to adjust the timing of the retirement of the existing, older metering technology to prepare for the future deployment of new, more customer-focused metering technology.

• As part of I&M’s ongoing commitment to enhance our interactions with customers, I&M proposes to eliminate the fee for charging a bill payment on a credit card. Customers are also encouraged to sign up for electronic billing and payment options at www.IndianaMichiganPower.com/account. Customers can learn more about Building the Future and the regulatory rate review process at www.IndianaMichiganPower.com/BuildingTheFutureIndiana.

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Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its 2,450 employees serve more than 589,000 customers. More than half of its generation is emission-free, including 2,160 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, 22 MW of hydro generation in both states and approximately 15 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states. The company’s generation portfolio also includes 2,600 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.

American Electric Power is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity and custom energy solutions to nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. AEP owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765-kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined. AEP also operates 224,000 miles of distribution lines. AEP ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning approximately 26,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the U.S. AEP supplies 3,200 megawatts of renewable energy to customers. AEP’s utility units operate as 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 and east Texas). AEP’s headquarters are in Columbus, Ohio.

Brian Bergsma
Director of Communications and State Government Affairs
(317) 670-3561

Tracy Warner
(260) 408-3420

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