I&M gets public input on pending rate increase request

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The first in a series of public hearings surrounding Indiana Michigan Power's pending rate increase request was held Thursday night in South Bend.

If granted, the average monthly residential service charge would go from $10.50 cents to $15. It would increase I&M's revenue by $172 million.

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor will be presenting its testimony on Aug. 20 on behalf of customers.

The company says the rate increase would help improve infrastructure, some of which has been around since World War II.

"We're looking at not only building out that infrastructure and building the infrastructure in such a way that it is reliable and resilient for decades to come, but we also want to institute technology that serves our customers, that brings about the necessary steps that our customers need," I&M Director of Government Affairs and Corporate Communications Brian Bergsma said.

"We certainly want to make sure that the revenue is there for any utility so that the lights come on when you expect them to, so that the power supply is saf,e so that it's reliable, but it needs to be at a reasonable cost and no more than what's needed. And so, finding where that balance is, is where we're looking at," OUCC spokesman Anthony Swinger said.

There will be two more public hearings next week, one in Muncie and the other in Fort Wayne.

If you would like to leave a written comment, you can go to the OUCC's website.