The Citizens Action Coalition, a consumer advocacy group, has accused energy company AES Indiana of presenting deceptive information to consumers on how much their energy bills will increase in 2024.
On June 28, AES Indiana requested a rate increase of 13.2%, $17.49 more for a household consuming 1000kWh. They said the rate increase will help cover rising operational costs, impacted by inflation. Around the same time, the company released a bill calculator showing how much more their customers would have to pay.
However, on Aug. 8, CAC released a statement alleging AES Indiana’s rates will actually increase by 18.7%, or $23.65. The group said AES Indiana confirmed these findings, saying that the bill impact calculations were based on 2022 rates, which were much higher than 2023. Because of a more expensive starting rate in 2022, the relative increase appeared to be lower than reality.
In response to the allegations, an AES spokesperson gave the following statement to Fox59:
“AES Indiana has correctly communicated the bill impact to customers by stating that its rate case would increase a residential electric bill for 1,000 kWh of usage by $17.49, or 13.2%, compared to ‘Current Rates.’ AES Indiana recognizes that the term ‘Current Rates’ as used in this rate review comparison may have caused confusion as they do not represent the rates in effect today. ‘Current Rates’ represent the comparison between the rates AES Indiana expects customers would see on a bill in early 2024 compared to the rates customers would see in Summer 2024 after the rate review is completed.”
This contradicts CAC’s claim that AES Indiana confirmed to them the bill impact calculations were based on 2022 numbers.
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, which has the final authority to approve or reject the company’s proposed rate increases, will hold hearings for customers to voice their concerns. The hearings will be at 6 p.m. on both Aug. 24 at the Indianapolis Public Library and Oct. 2nd at New Augusta Public Academy North.