Bloomington Meeting on June 20, 2024 for Public to Oppose Duke Energy Rate Hikes

Staff report

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — June 14, 2024

Representatives from the Citizens Action Coalition (CAC), who oppose Duke Energy’s proposed rate hikes in Indiana, spoke at the Monroe County Library on Thursday. They outlined their concerns and encouraged public participation in an upcoming hearing on June 20, 2024.

Ben Inskeep of CAC informed attendees that Duke Energy plans to increase customer bills by at least $42 per month, excluding additional fees. Inskeep emphasized that this hike aims to boost Duke’s profits, despite the company’s substantial earnings of $2.7 billion in Indiana from 2017 to 2023 and $19.3 billion across the United States.

Duke is passing the cost of cleaning up coal ash from coal-powered electricity onto consumers, accoring to Inskeep. He explained that industrial users, who benefited from the power generation, are not bearing these costs. He also noted that Duke has stockpiled an excess supply of coal and now seeks to profit from fees on this inventory passed to consumers while delaying the retirement of coal-burning plants.

Inskeep highlighted that Duke’s coal ash management will cost at least $223.5 million, with $92 million expected to be collected from Indiana households. Additionally, Duke is seeking to raise its return on equity from 9.7 percent to 10.5 percent. He noted the restriction on individuals producing and selling their own electricity in Indiana.

Duke filed for the rate hikes with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) in April. The commission’s board, appointed by the governor, is not directly accountable to the public.

Kerwin Olson, CAC’s Executive Director, added that Duke plans to burn more coal in 2024-2026 rather than reducing its use. The Gibson power plant, one of the 22 most polluting plants in the U.S., is slated to increase its coal consumption.

State Senator Shelli Yoder expressed her concerns, stating, “I am deeply troubled by these proposed rate hikes that would increase consumer electric bills by almost 33%, or about $42.07 a month for the average consumer. At a time when Hoosier families are reeling from unstable gasoline prices, continued inflation driving up groceries and rent costs along with a statewide childcare provider shortage, it’s unconscionable to me that Duke would suggest such a dramatic rate increase.”

The public can voice their opinions at an IURC field hearing at 6 p.m. on June 20, 2024, at the Monroe Convention Center’s Olcott Young Room, 302 South College Avenue. Attendees are encouraged to keep their comments concise and focused, limiting them to 3-5 minutes.

Written comments are being accepted through various channels until July 5. Submissions can be made on the OUCC’s website, by email at [email protected], or by mail to Public Comments, Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, 115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South, Indianapolis, IN 46204. Comments must include the consumer’s name and reference either “IURC Cause No. 46038” or “Duke Energy Rates.”


Contact information for comments:

BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)
BLOOMINGTON, INDIANA – JUNE 13: Slides from the CAC meeting on Duke’s proposal to raise rates, on June 13, 2024, in Bloomington, Indiana. (Photo by Jeremy Hogan/The Bloomingtonian)

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