Indiana American Water settlement agreement approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
Indiana American Water announced late last week that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has approved a stipulation and settlement agreement with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and several other interested parties regarding the company’s rate request filed in September 2018. Details of the agreement are contained in an order issued on Wednesday, June 26, 2019 by the IURC. During the period covered by the rate request, Indiana American Water invested more than $542 million in its water systems across the state to ensure reliable service to customers. The order includes a 7.9 percent overall increase in operating water revenues, primarily based on that investment. The increases approved by the IURC will be implemented in two steps, with the first increase of 1.99 percent effective July 1, 2019, and a second increase in May 2020 of 5.79 percent. The impact for most of the company’s residential customers using 4,000 gallons of water each month would be about 34 cents per month (0.96 percent) after step 1 goes into effect and an additional $2.22 per month (6.3 percent) when the second step is implemented. Details on specific rate impacts by district, rate group and customer class will be posted on the company’s website at https://amwater.com/inaw/customer-service-billing/your-water-rates after the company’s rates and tariffs are filed and approved by the IURC. The order also approved a low-income pilot program in three communities (Muncie, Gary, and Terre Haute) served by Indiana American Water to evaluate the effectiveness, interest and impact of the program before considering a statewide program. Under the program, qualified residential customers with a 5/8” meter in the pilot communities will receive a discount of 80 percent of the fixed 5/8” meter charge every month. Details on this program will be communicated in the coming months. The IURC also issued a final order dealing with the impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017. The order provides a one-time refund reflecting the amount collected in revenues after the TCJA was implemented, but before rates were changed, to be distributed to customers over a twelve-month period starting in May 2020. The refund for the typical residential customer will total approximately $19.26, or approximately $1.60 per month for one year. Indiana American Water already reduced its rates by 4.4 percent on August 1, 2018 as a result of the impact of the TCJA
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