Vectren, Utility Consumer Counselor files settlement on energy grid modernization plan

Published on May 24, 2017 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

Vectren Energy Delivery of Indiana – South (Vectren), the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and a coalition of industrial customers recently filed a settlement agreement regarding Vectren’s seven-year improvement plan to modernize its electric infrastructure.

The electric system improvement plan, which was filed with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in February 2017, originally included more than 800 projects to upgrade parts of substations, as well as transmission and distribution networks that serve seven counties in southwestern Indiana. It was projected
to cost $514 million over the seven-year period.

The settlement agreement reduces the plan’s cost to $446 million. The majority of the reduction comes
from the removal of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) from the plan. Deferral of the costs for AMI was agreed upon in the settlement that allows the company to phase in the technology in the near-term. The request for cost recovery for the project will not occur until the next base rate review proceeding, which will begin in 2023.

“This settlement is an important step in our efforts to ensure our energy grid is resilient and more capable of meeting the energy demands of our customers for years to come, including maintaining the reliability our customers have come to expect,” Carl Chapman, Vectren chairman, president and CEO, said.

Under the settlement, bills would be gradually adjusted beginning in early 2018. In 2018, the typical residential electric customer would pay $1 to $2 more per month. At the end of the seven-year period, the average bill would increase by $16 to $17 per month compared to $18 to $20 per month in the original filing.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission is expected to rule on the settlement by September.