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I&M wants nearly seven-percent rate hike to improve reliability, options for customers


Indiana-Michigan Power wants to bump its utility rates up by nearly 7 percent.

The proposed rate hike includes an increase in the customer service charge. It's part of the Powering Our Future plan, American Electric Power’s move to improve reliability in the system.

According to a press release sent out Wednesday, the rate increase of 6.8% will fund improvements and upgrades to poles and lines, many of which are reaching the end of their expected life spans.

Additional money will be spent on adding bill payment options, improving customer communication, and maintaining the grid itself, such as trimming trees and installing new technology.

In addition to shoring up the grid and reducing customer outages, I&M officials plan to use the money to expand broadband internet access to consumers in Grant and Delaware counties, and also to study the future of the Cook Nuclear Plant in Bridgman, Michigan.

If approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, the proposed rates would be phased in over two years, beginning in mid-2024 and the second in early 2025.

When the rate increases are fully implemented, customers with a bill of $162.16 would go up to $176.99 a month, according to the release.

I&M’s proposal could decrease if the company is able to acquire state or federal grants or tax credits.

The utility company filed its petition with the IURC on Wednesday. The commission will now set hearing dates and a schedule on the petition.

Rebecca manages the news at WBOI. She joined the staff in December 2017, and brought with her nearly two decades of experience in print journalism, including 15 years as an award-winning reporter for the Journal Gazette in Fort Wayne.