Federal Tax Law Investigation

On January 3, 2018, the IURC opened an investigation "into the impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 and possible rate implications." The case is pending as Cause No. 45032.

The new federal law reduced the corporate tax rate for most investor-owned utilities from 35-percent to 21-percent. Utilities that pay federal income taxes may recover them through rates on a dollar-for-dollar basis.

The OUCC is participating on behalf of Indiana consumers. All rate-regulated, investor-owned utilities are parties to the case. Municipal and not-for-profit utility rates are not at issue.

The investigation has two phases:

  1. Immediate rate relief
  2. Longer term tax issues

PHASE ONE: IMMEDIATE RATE RELIEF

Rates for most Indiana utilities have decreased to reflect the federal corporate income tax reduction utilities received on January 1, 2018.

In Phase One cases that are still pending before the IURC:

  • The OUCC has reached settlement agreements with Duke Energy and Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL).
  • Efforts to decrease rates accordingly for Sycamore Gas Co. are being litigated before the Commission.
  • Most recently, the IURC issued an order requiring Indiana American Water Co. to reduce its rates.

PHASE TWO: LONGER TERM TAX ISSUES

The case's second phase is examining longer term issues including customer credits for rates collected at the 35-percent tax rate since January 1, 2018 and deferred income tax accounting matters.

Each utility's Phase Two issues are being considered in separate subdockets, with links to each case file below. The procedural schedules for most subdockets include the following dates:

  • June 19, 2018: Deadline for utility testimony
  • August 21, 2018: Testimonial deadline for OUCC and any intervening parties
  • September 21, 2018: Utility rebuttal testimony deadline
  • October/November 2018: Evidentiary hearings on dates to be determined

STATUS UPDATES

ELECTRIC

Duke Energy: A pending settlement agreement would resolve all issues in both phases.
Additional info: June 2018 news release | OUCC Testimony | Case File

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) has been dismissed as a respondent.
All issues dealing with federal tax relief were addressed in the utility’s recent rate case.

Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL)
Phase One: Pending Settlement Agreement | OUCC Testimony | Case File 
Phase Two: All issues are being addressed in the utility's pending rate case. A settlement agreement in the rate case has been filed with the Commission.

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO)
Phase One: Approved Tariff 
Phase Two: The Commission has granted NIPSCO's motion to hold the case in abeyance. Phase Two issues are likely to be handled in a rate case to be filed by December 31, 2018.

Vectren
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Pending Settlement Agreement | Case File

NATURAL GAS - LARGE UTILITIES

Citizens Gas is not a respondent as it is not an investor-owned utility.

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO)
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: All issues are being addressed in the utility's pending rate case. A settlement agreement in the rate case has been filed with the Commission.

Vectren North
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Pending Settlement Agreement | Case File

Vectren South
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Pending Settlement Agreement | Case File

NATURAL GAS - SMALL UTILITIES

Boonville Natural Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Case File

Citizens Gas of Westfield has been dismissed from the case.

Community Natural Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Case File

Fountaintown Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Case File

Indiana Natural Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Case File

Indiana Utilities Corp.
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Case File

Midwest Natural Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Case File

Ohio Valley Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Case File

South Eastern Indiana Natural Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Case File

Switzerland County Natural Gas: The utility's proposed revised tariff has been denied.

Sycamore Natural Gas
Phase One: OUCC Testimony | Case File
Phase Two: All issues are being addressed in the utility's pending rate case.

WATER/WASTEWATER - LARGE UTILITIES

Aqua Indiana
Phase One Approved Tariffs: Aboite Wastewater, Darlington, Lake County Sewer, Lake County Water, Sani TechSouth Haven, Southern Hills, SoutheasternWedgewood Park, Wildwood, White Oak, Wymberly
Phase Two: South Haven Case File | Case File for All Other Territories

Citizens Water/Wastewater is not a respondent as it is not an investor-owned utility.

Indiana American Water Co.
Phase One: Approved Tariff | OUCC Testimony (Stull and Kaufman) | Subdocket Order
Phase Two: Case File

WATER/WASTEWATER - SMALL UTILITIES

American Suburban Utilities
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Case File

The Citizens Energy Group utilities serving Westfield have been dismissed from the case.

Community Utilities of Indiana
Phase One: Issues are being considered through post-order filings in the utility's recent rate case.
Phase Two: Notice of Agreement in Principle | Docket Entry | Case File

Hamilton Southeastern Utilities
Phase One: The Commission granted the OUCC's motion to stay, in light of the utility's pending case before the Indiana Supreme Court.
Phase Two: Case File

LMH Utilities
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: Case File

Other Small Water/Wastewater Utilities
The OUCC did not object to proposed tariffs from Devon Woods Sewer Utility and Howard County Utilities.
The OUCC did not object to dismissal requests from the following: Apple Valley Utilities, Bluffs Basin UtilityDoe Creek Sewer Utility, JLB Development, Kingsbury Utilities, Pioneer WaterPleasantview UtilitiesWastewater One, and Webster Development.

 

All publicly filed documents in both phases of the investigation are available from the IURC's website.

Written consumer comments are invited for the case record. The OUCC's Speaking Out on Pending Cases fact sheet offers more information.

This page will be updated based on case developments.

8-17-18