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The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is inviting Ohio Valley Gas (OVG) customers to comment on its utility’s proposed rate increase.

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), is reviewing the utility’s rate increase request and is scheduled to file testimony on May 15th, 2024. 

While using its legal and technical resources to analyze the request, including examining the utility’s books and operations, the OUCC is inviting written comments from customers through May 8th, 2024.

OVG is seeking a two-step $12 million (35%) increase in its annual operating revenues. According to its filing, they are seeking the increase due to infrastructure improvements and higher operating and maintenance costs.

OVG’s testimony and exhibits show that its request, when fully implemented in September 2025, would raise total residential natural gas charges as shown here:

OVG’s residential gas bills for the ANR, OVGI, and Texas Gas service areas include a monthly $14.54 customer service charge which does not vary based on usage. It would rise to $22.43 under the utility’s request. The remainder of the bill varies by customer usage. OVG’s residential gas bill for the Grandview service area includes a monthly $9.38 customer service charge which would increase to $14.47 under the utility’s request.

OVG’s current base rates received IURC approval in October 2017. Total billing amounts have varied since then due to changes in wholesale commodity costs along with incremental increases to pay for specific infrastructure and federally mandated costs as allowed by Indiana law.

Base distribution rates comprise 50% of a typical customer’s residential natural gas bill. They cover “non-gas” costs such as operating and maintenance expenses and capital infrastructure improvements. The remainder of a typical monthly bill pays for the natural gas itself, which the utility recovers on a dollar-for-dollar basis subject to OUCC review and IURC approval every three months.

OVG provides natural gas service to approximately 28,500 customers across 16 southern and east-central Indiana counties. 

A settlement agreement is possible in any legal proceeding. If an agreement is reached, the settling parties are required to present evidence showing it to be in the public interest. The IURC may approve, deny, or modify any settlement it considers. A final Commission order is expected this fall.

Consumers who wish to submit written comments for the case record can do so via the OUCC’s website at www.in.gov/oucc/2361.htm, by email at uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov, or by mail at Public Comments, Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), 115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 SOUTH, Indianapolis, IN 46204.

The OUCC needs to receive all written consumer comments no later than May 8th, 2024, so that it can consider them in preparing its testimony and file them with the Commission to be included in the case’s formal evidentiary record. Comments should include the consumer’s name, city, & zip code, and a reference to either “IURC Cause No. 46011” or Ohio Valley Gas Rates. Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC’s consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.

In addition, the IURC has scheduled a public field hearing in this case for Thursday, April 18th, 2024, in Connersville at Roberts Park, James Roberts Memorial Building (9 Park Road, Connersville).

The hearing will begin at 6 PM local time and consumers are encouraged to arrive by 5:45 PM for an overview of field hearing procedures and the rate case process. Attendees are required to comply with all local health and safety regulations. No final decisions about the case will be made at the hearing, which is required by state law.

The OUCC is posting case updates online at in.gov/oucc/natural-gas/key-cases-by-utility/ohio-valley-gas-rates/. Case updates are also available through the agency’s monthly electronic newsletter. Consumers can subscribe to the newsletter at in.gov/oucc/news.

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