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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 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 participated on behalf of Indiana consumers in Cause No. 45032. All rate-regulated, investor-owned utilities were parties to the case. Municipal and not-for-profit utility rates were not at issue.

The investigation had 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. More specifically, tariffs have been adjusted to reflect the new 21 percent rate.

PHASE TWO: LONGER TERM TAX ISSUES

The case's second phase examined 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.

Phase Two issues for each utility were addressed in separate subdockets, with links to each case file below. Commission orders have been issued in all subdockets with the exception of Hamilton Southeastern Utilities.

ELECTRIC

Duke Energy: A settlement agreement resolving all issues in both phases received IURC approval.
Additional info: June 2018 news release | OUCC Testimony | Case File

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) was dismissed as a respondent.
All issues dealing with federal tax relief were addressed in the utility’s 2017/2018 rate case.

Indianapolis Power & Light (IPL)
Phase One: A settlement agreement received IURC approval.
Additional info: OUCC Testimony | Case File 
Phase Two: All issues were addressed in the utility's 2017/2018 rate case.

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO)
Phase One: Approved Tariff 
Phase Two issues were addressed in the utility's most recent rate case.

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

NATURAL GAS - LARGE UTILITIES

Citizens Gas was 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 were addressed in the utility's most recent rate case.

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

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

NATURAL GAS - SMALL UTILITIES

Boonville Natural Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: IURC Order | OUCC Testimony | Case File

Citizens Gas of Westfield was dismissed from the case.

Community Natural Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: IURC Order | OUCC Testimony | Case File

Fountaintown Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: IURC Order | OUCC Testimony | Case File

Indiana Natural Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: IURC Order | OUCC Testimony | Case File

Indiana Utilities Corp.
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: IURC Order | OUCC Testimony | Case File

Midwest Natural Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: IURC Order | OUCC Testimony | Case File

Ohio Valley Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: IURC Order | Approved Settlement Agreement | OUCC Settlement Testimony | Case File

South Eastern Indiana Natural Gas
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: IURC Order | OUCC Testimony | Case File

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

Sycamore Natural Gas
Phase One: OUCC Testimony | Case File | Subdocket Order
Phase Two: Settlement Agreement | OUCC Settlement Testimony | Case File

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: Approved Settlement Agreement OUCC Testimony | Case File
All Other Territories: Approved Settlement Agreement OUCC Testimony | Case File

Citizens Water/Wastewater was 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: Settlement Agreement | OUCC Settlement Testimony |  Case File

WATER/WASTEWATER - SMALL UTILITIES

American Suburban Utilities
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: IURC Order | OUCC Testimony | Case File

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

Community Utilities of Indiana
Phase One: Issues were considered through post-order filings in the utility's most recent rate case.
Phase Two: IURC Order | Settlement Agreement OUCC Testimony | Case File

Hamilton Southeastern Utilities
Phases One & Two Case File. This utility's tax subdocket was stayed pending resolution of all appeals of its most recent rate case order. OUCC testimony is due August 21, 2020.

LMH Utilities
Phase One: Approved Tariff
Phase Two: IURC Order | OUCC Testimony | 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.

This page will be updated based on case developments.

4-27-2020