Duke Energy Reaches Settlement on Plant Costs

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The utility's Indiana headquarters is in Plainfield. The utility's Indiana headquarters is in Plainfield.
PLAINFIELD -

Plainfield-based Duke Energy Indiana says it has reached a settlement agreement with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and other consumer groups regarding rate increases to cover operating costs for the utility's Edwardsport coal gasification plant. The utility says, if the agreement is approved, customers will pay $30 million less for such costs.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission must give final approval to the settlement. The agreement is set to remain in effect until Duke Energy's next base rate case, which is expected to be filed in mid-2019 and go into effect in mid-2020. It also will result in customers seeing a 0.5 percent decrease in their bills, which will not be adjusted for costs to the Edwardsport plant until the next base rate case.

"If approved, this agreement saves customers money and provides rate certainty between now and our next base rate review," said Duke Energy Indiana President Melody Birmingham-Byrd. "Importantly, Edwardsport’s performance has been strong, setting a record of 464 days of continuous net generation through April 2018."

The agreement also designates $1.7 million in shareholder funds to be used for low-income energy assistance and renewable energy development. 

In addition to the OUCC, the settlement involved the Indiana Industrial Group and Nucor Steel-Indiana. The utility did not provide an expected time frame for a ruling from the IURC.

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