IPL Files Plan With Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission To Offer Three New Customer Pricing Options
Indianapolis, MA — September 1997 — Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) has filed a plan with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (the Commission) that, if approved, will allow the Company to offer customers the opportunity to try three new customer pricing options, or they may remain on IPL's standard rates. The plan will allow an eligible IPL customer to enter into written agreements to:
- Pay the same bill amount each month for 12 months.
- Pay a guaranteed fixed electric rate for up to three years.
- Purchase environmentally friendly or "green" power.
"This is an important step in a learning process," said IPALCO Chairman John R. Hodowal. "Our customers will have the opportunity to experience purchasing the electricity they use in different ways, and to learn more about how their electric bill is affected by changes in price and usage. At the same time, offering these options will allow Us to gain more information about how our customers prefer to use and purchase electricity."
If approved, one or more of these options may be available to all of IPL's residential customers and to all other IPL customers whose monthly electric demand does not exceed 2,000 kilowatts.
"This is not an effort to lock our customers into a plan in advance of retail competition," Hodowal added. "In fact, if federal or state legislation is passed that provides customers with a choice of electric supplier, all agreements will end."
The Customer Pricing Options will be voluntary. Because the future is uncertain, it is impossible to determine if a customer who subscribes to either the Fixed Bill or Fixed Rate option will pay less or more for electricity than under IPL's standard, regulated rates and charges.
Under the Fixed Bill Option — available only to residential customers who have been at the same location for at least one year— the customer will pay the same charge each month for a year, regardless of how much electricity is used. There will be no bill reconciliation in the twelfth month. This monthly charge will be based on the customer's use at his or her current address for the past 12 months.
Under this option, the customer who wishes to pre-pay the total electric bill for the year will receive a percentage discount. IPL may also give the customer an incentive in the form of products or services that encourage energy efficiency.
Under the Fixed Rate Option, the customer can choose to pay the same fixed rate for electricity for a period of from one to three years. During the length of that contract, the fixed rate will not be affected by increases or decreases in the price of fuel, the addition of pollution control equipment or compliance with new environmental laws or other factors impacting IPL's general rates and charges. For example, if IPL is granted a general rate increase, the rate charged to the customer who has selected a Fixed Rate Option will not change.
The Fixed Rate Option will be offered as a way to encourage IPL's customers to learn more about what goes into the price of electricity and to help them make informed choices when they are able to purchase electricity in a competitive market. Customers may also receive a discount, not to exceed a certain percentage of their annual electric bill, for trying this option.
Besides the passage of federal or state legislation, there are two other situations in which a customer pricing option will be canceled.
If a customer has a change in usage, demand or other qualification criteria that disqualifies him or her for service under the contracted rate, the agreement will terminate.
If a customer moves from the service address covered in the agreement, the agreement for that service address will be terminated.
IPL also will seek to offer "green" power to customers.
"Even though IPL is one of the most environmentally friendly utilities in the Midwest, we understand that some of our customers consider renewable power to be among the best sources of 'green' power. For that reason, we want to offer limited amounts of renewable power for sale," Hodowal said.
"Although 'green' power will be sold at a premium to IPL's current rates and charges, some studies have shown that a percentage of customers might like the idea of displacing electricity generated by coal, even if they have to pay more for it," he added.
All options will need to be approved by the Commission before they can be offered to eligible IPL customers.
Indianapolis Power & Light Company (IPL) is a subsidiary of IPALCO Enterprises, a multi-state energy company providing a variety of energy products and services. IPL provides retail electric service to approximately 415,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Indianapolis and portions of other Central Indiana counties.
IPALCO Enterprises Contact - Marni Lemons, (317) 261-8219