Vectren Could Raise Rates to Beef Grid

Vectren customers could soon see bigger bills, but not before they fight against proposed hikes.

The energy giant has big plans to fix aging infrastructure, but how does the company cover the half a billion-dollar price tag?

It’ll come from your wallet.

Six years of improvements are on the horizon as Vectren calls for new meters, better substations, transformers, lines, and poles. Long term investments to improve Evansville and the region.

Greg Wathen with the Economic Development Coalition of Southwest Indiana understands the importance of stability to entice growth. “It’s crucial that Vectren make upgrades to ensure reliability,” he says.

Wathen and few others spoke in support of the plan, but most at Tuesday’s meeting with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission are opposed; specifically to the rate increase.

“I like to point out, Vectren is a monopoly,” says Scott Myerly, “we have to buy energy whether we like it or not.”

Before beefing up its grid, Vectren needs $514 million and customers will foot the bill. Officials propose rate increases between 0.8 and 1.7 percent for seven years. It’s all part of the utility’s plan that first needs approval from the state.

“They should go to the market and get loans like anyone else,” Myerly says.

Environmental activist John Blair doesn't hold back, citing his own Vectren bill which he says shows more than 36 cents per kilowatt hour charged. “That is undoubtedly the highest electric rate in the nation,” he says, pausing, “I just don't know where this ends.”

Evansville is one of Vectren’s largest customers, and city attorney Marco DeLucio says they are interested in fair and reasonable rates.

Vectren will file their plan with the state later this week, but it could take as long as seven months to hear if it's approved.

For more information, visit Vectren's Smart Energy Future page.

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