Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission

     The Commission is a fact-finding body that hears evidence in cases filed before it and makes decisions based on the evidence presented in those cases. An advocate of neither the public nor the utilities, the IURC is required by state statute to make decisions that balance the interests of all parties to ensure the utilities provide adequate and reliable service at reasonable prices.

     The IURC regulates electric, natural gas, steam, water and sewer utilities in addition to portions of telecommunications and video. These utilities may be investor-owned, municipal, not-for-profit, or cooperative utilities, or they might operate as water conservancy districts. However, the Commission does not regulate municipal sewer utilities. In addition to the industries listed above, the Commission also oversees natural gas pipeline companies in the state of Indiana and makes sure operators of gas distribution systems follow state and federal guidelines established to promote the safe, reliable transportation of natural gas to gas customers.

     Indiana statutes allow municipal utilities, not-for-profit corporations, and co-operative telephone and electric companies to remove themselves from the Commission’s jurisdiction by ordinance of the local governing body or a majority vote of the people in the municipality. Currently, 541 utilities have withdrawn from the Commission’s jurisdiction.

     The Commission regulates various aspects of the public utilities’ business including the rates, financing, bonding, environmental compliance plans and service territories. The Commission has regulatory oversight concerning construction projects, and acquisition of additional plants and equipment. The Commission has authority to initiate investigations of all utilities’ rates and practices. The IURC receives its authority from Indiana Code Title Eight. Numerous court decisions further define the Commission’s function.

     The Commission promulgates its “Rules and Regulations Concerning Practice and Procedure” as well as “Rules and Regulations and Standards of Service” to govern each type of utility. The Commission makes changes in its rules through a process requiring notice, a public hearing and Commission adoption. The statute also requires approvals from the Attorney General and the Governor.

    The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission was originally a state agency established to regulate railroad activity in the early 1900s. However in 1913, the agency was given regulatory responsibility over natural gas, water, electric, telephone and transportation services, and it was renamed the Public Service Commission. In 1987, the General Assembly changed the name of the agency once again, and the PSCI became the IURC. The Commission no longer regulates railroads or transportation.