Two public events will take place on Tuesday, October 23 regarding Vectren Energy Delivery's request for an increase in natural gas base rates for the Vectren North service territory. Both events will take place in the Cook Group Rooms of the Bloomington/Monroe County Convention Center, 302 S. College Ave., Bloomington, Indiana:
- At 5:30 p.m., Eastern Time, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) will conduct an information meeting to discuss the regulatory process and describe public field hearing procedures.
- At 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) will conduct a formal public field hearing to accept oral and written consumer comments. The comments will become part of the evidentiary record considered by the IURC in reaching its final decision in this case. Commissioners are not permitted to answer consumer questions during the formal field hearing.
Vectren North - which covers the 49-county region in central, south-central, and southeastern Indiana formerly served by Indiana Gas Co. - is seeking to increase its annual base rate operating revenues by $41.1 million. In its filings before the IURC, the utility indicates it is requesting the increase to pay for capital improvements and to cover higher operating and maintenance costs.
Vectren's proposal in this case would only apply to base distribution rates, which cover operating, infrastructure and other "non-gas" costs and typically comprise between 25 and 30 percent of a residential customer's monthly winter heating bill. Current base distribution rates for Vectren North were approved in 2004.
Wholesale natural gas commodity costs, which comprise between 70 and 75 percent of a typical residential heating bill, are recovered on a dollar-for-dollar basis through the state's Gas Cost Adjustment (GCA) process. Vectren North's GCA process, which requires OUCC review and IURC approval every three months, is not at issue in this case.
The OUCC - the state agency representing consumer interests in IURC proceedings - has not yet taken a position in this case but has until November 5 to complete its review and file testimony with the Commission.
The utility's filings in this case are available for public review on the IURC Website (www.in.gov/iurc), by visiting http://www.in.gov/iurc/portal/Tab.aspx?tabid=28&dn=SEARCHDOCKETEDCASE and entering docket number 43298.
Consumers who are unable to attend the October 23 events are encouraged to submit written comments to the OUCC. Comments should include the consumer's name, address, and a reference to IURC Cause No. 43298. Consumers can send comments to the OUCC by mail, fax or the Internet:
- Mail: Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204
- Fax: (317) 232-5923
- E-mail: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov
- OUCC Website: www.IN.gov/OUCC
The OUCC needs to receive all written comments in this case no later than Thursday, November 1. Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC's consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.
Natural gas and electric rates for customers in the Vectren South territory, which includes nine southwestern Indiana counties formerly served by Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Co. (SIGECO), are not at issue in this case.
(IURC Cause No. 43298)
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is the state agency that represents residential and business consumer interests in cases before state and federal utility regulatory commissions. To learn more, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC.
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