INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis Power & Light Co. has filed a proposal with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission seeking to raise electric rates. The utility says the rate increase would cover the cost of a new natural gas plant in Morgan County.

IPL says, if the request is approved, the typical residential customer would see a monthly increase of less that $14 on their electric bill. The rate increase for business customers would vary depending on rate class and usage, according to the utility. The new rates would go into effect by the end of 2018.

"At IPL, we have a responsibility to find the balance between cleaner energy solutions and affordability while maintaining reliability that our customers expect," said Rafael Sanchez, chief executive officer of IPL. "Our investments in advanced technology have enabled us to significantly reduce our dependence on coal and transition to a more balanced energy mix all while maintaining one of the lowest rates among investor-owned utilities in Indiana."

IPL did not provide an estimated time frame for a ruling from the IURC. A spokesperson for IPL tells Inside INdiana Business the Eagle Valley Generating Station in Martinsville is expected to be fully operational in the first part of 2018.

The utility previously sought to raise rates a year ago for the same purpose, however that request was later withdrawn after the timeline for completion of the natural gas plant had changed.