Bill Would Let Utilities Hike Rates, Skip OK ; to Upgrade Infrastructure

By Bradner, Eric | Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current), February 13, 2013 | Go to article overview

Bill Would Let Utilities Hike Rates, Skip OK ; to Upgrade Infrastructure


Bradner, Eric, Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)


INDIANAPOLIS - Utilities could add the costs of their infrastructure upgrades onto customers' bills after expedited regulatory reviews, rather than Indiana's normal in-depth process, under legislation that passed the state Senate on Tuesday. The measure would allow utilities to use cost "trackers" - a deregulatory move that would guarantee gas and electric providers the revenue they need to upgrade their substations, transformers, lines, poles and more.

It cleared the Republican-dominated Senate on a 37-12 vote Tuesday.

It advances to the House despite objections from opponents who said bypassing Indiana's current process for rate hikes would lock customers into higher bills and discourage utilities from making the shift toward renewable energy sources.

"What utility companies want is faster access to consumers' cash. They dictate policy that is against the public interest," said Kerwin Olson, the executive director of the Indianapolis- based Citizens Action Coalition.

The use of cost trackers to help utilities pay for infrastructure upgrades is a trend that has emerged over the past decade. At least 18 states now allow the mechanism for natural gas companies, and at least 11 states do so for water utilities.

Senate Bill 560's author, Sen. Brandt Hershman, R-Lafayette, said the lighting mishap during this year's Super Bowl in New Orleans underscored the need to speed up improvements to utilities' delivery systems.

"It's not something we think about a lot until we have a problem, and yet our infrastructure in this state is aging," he said, adding new groundwork is necessary for renewable energy sources to come online.

"We have to have a grid that not only connects to it but supports it," Hershman said. "Modernization and expansion is not free, nor are federal mandates free."

Hershman's bill includes several other components, including tax incentives to encourage utilities to build natural gas lines into Indiana's rural areas - something he said could save residents there about $1,600 per year.

It would allow utilities that have waited more than 300 days for state regulators to rule on their requests for rate increases to temporarily implement those rate hikes - although they would have to reimburse ratepayers if regulators ultimately rejected their requests.

"I don't have good news over the long term about electric rates, due to things that I have no control over," Hershman said. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bill Would Let Utilities Hike Rates, Skip OK ; to Upgrade Infrastructure
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.