Indiana Michigan Power recently announced plans for its third rate hike in 25 years. WBOI’s Ben Clemmer reports it’s part of I&M’s Building the Future proposal, which seeks to raise $263 million.
The proposed rate increase would cost consumers about $25 a month. I&M spokesperson Tracey Warner says the money would go towards infrastructure updates that are overdue.
“The energy grid is aging and I&M for example we have about 350,000 poles and about fifteen percent of those are 60 years or older.”
Warner says I&M will clear more trees away from power lines, to limit the company’s number one cause of power outages. Another focus of the Building the Future plan will pave the way for more renewable energy technologies.
“We realize that the nation is using less coal and we want to have more flexibility to go to more diversified fuel mechs. We already have four solar plants. We buy energy from three wind farms and we expect to have more solar and wind in the future.”
The public can comment on the plan at the website of Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. If approved by the IURC, the rate increase will go into effect in the summer of 2018 and early 2019.
For WBOI News, I’m Ben Clemmer.