Duke Energy Cases Before The IURC In Which CAC Has Intervened
File date: 11/23/2021
Order date: 6/15/2022
Status: pending, on appeal
Duke requests approval of its second TDSIC plan. The first was $1.4 billion approved in Cause No. 44720, while this proposal now comes close to $2 billion (over $2.1 billion if you include the economic development project pulled into subdocket 45647-S1). Duke’s six-year transmission plan includes 70 distinct projects on 50 transmission lines, and investment in transmission assets in 115 projects at 103 substations. Duke’s six-year distribution plan includes thousands of projects that include improvements to the distribution assets at 458 substations and 23 project categories touching 1272 distribution circuits. The IURC approved the case, and CAC joined the OUCC's appeal to the Indiana Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals affirmed the IURC’s decision on 3/9/23. The Industrial Group filed a petition for rehearing shortly thereafter. This petition is now pending before the Court of Appeals.
File date: 12/5/2019
Order date: 11/3/2021
Status: pending, will be remanded to the IURC
Subdocket created to deal with coal ash cost issues in 45253. The IURC approved the request, and we appealed to the Indiana Court of Appeals and are now waiting on their decision.
The Indiana Court of Appeals decided in favor of the consumer parties on 2/21/23, reversing in part the Commission’s Order finding that Duke’s proposed federally mandated coal ash costs were appropriate to recover through rates via the Federal Mandate Statute, concluding the Commission improperly allowed Duke to recover costs incurred prior to the date of the Commission’s Order.
The state legislature responded with two bills, House Bill 1417 (2023) and Senate Bill 9 (2023), which were both signed into law on 3/22/23. These bills change Indiana law to overrule the appeals court’s denial of Duke’s request in this case (and to address other cases pending before the Commission).
With the new laws in hand, Duke asked for rehearing by the Court of Appeals, even filing a notice of additional authority regarding Senate Enrolled Act 9. The Court of Appeals denied Duke’s petition for rehearing on 4/27/23. The deadline for parties to file a petition to transfer to the Supreme Court was 5/30/23, but no party, including Duke, filed a petition, thus the Court of Appeals certified its opinion on 6/7/23. The case will be remanded back to the Commission soon.
File Date: 11/9/2022
Order Date: 7/26/23
Duke filed its 2024-2026 Demand Side Management (energy efficiency) plan. CAC filed testimony making many recommendations to strengthen the plan and increase the cost savings to Duke customers.
File date: 7/19/2022
Order date: 6/26/23
Status: dismissed without prejudice
Duke requests recovery of additional future coal ash management costs for post-closure and closure compliance projects required to be undertaken for direct or indirect compliance with federal requirements, estimated at approximately $150 million. These projects would occur at Duke’s Cayuga and Gibson generating stations, as well as Duke’s retired Edwardsport, Gallagher, and Wabash River generating stations. CAC filed testimony recommending the Commission reject many aspects of the cost recovery that Duke is requesting.
On 3/22/23, Gov. Holcomb signed Senate Bill 9 into law, which modified language of the Federal Mandate Statute by allowing a utility to recover costs it “ha[d] incurred” prior to Commission approval. In light of this, the IURC reopened the record and convened an attorneys’ conference to discuss the changes to law. Duke filed a motion to voluntarily dismiss this case and refile under the revised statute, which was granted by the IURC on 6/26/23.
File date: 7/2/2019
Order date: 4/12/2023
Status: settlement approved
This is Duke Energy Indiana LLC’s first rate case since 2004, before Duke Energy merged with Cinergy to become the largest electric investor-owned utility in the State of Indiana and in the nation. We appealed the IURC approval to the Indiana Court of Appeals, which upheld the order. We appealed again to the Indiana Supreme Court, which upheld most of the order, but remanded one part back to the IURC (45253 S1). The Indiana Supreme Court said that Duke should not have been able to recover the $212 million in coal ash costs they spent from 2010-2020 in Indiana, because, absent specific statutory authorization, a utility cannot recoup its past costs already adjudicated under a prior rate case.
A settlement agreement was reached between Duke, the Industrial Group, and the OUCC. Terms include: Duke agrees to provide $70.25 million in refunds to Duke Energy Indiana’s electric customers. Additionally, Duke will provide a $23.2 million annual credit to reflect the write off of the balance of the regulatory asset and the removal of the disallowed costs from base rates.
File Date: 9/26/2022
Order Date: 2/8/2023
Duke is proposing a program under the Alternative Regulatory Plan statute wherein: (1) Deposit amounts for LIHEAP-recipient customers will be reduced to $50; (2) LIHEAP-recipient customers facing arrears greater than $50 will be auto-enrolled in six-month deferred payment plans, rather than three-month plans; and (3) Customers will be given an option to voluntary check a box to round up their monthly electric bill payment to support Duke’s Share the Light fund used for direct customer bill assistance in order to pay up to $300 for energy bills, deposits and reconnection/connection charges. CAC supported the request.
File date: 6/30/2022
Order date: 1/18/2023
Duke has had an agreement with International Paper Company since 1974 to supply high pressure steam service. This agreement, unfortunately, has led to Duke operating the Cayuga coal generation station uneconomically, incurring sizable and foreseeable market losses to the remaining customer base, so that Duke can meet the needs of this contract. We raised these arguments in the self-scheduling investigation, Cause No. 38707 FAC 123-S1, and the Commission told us to raise these particular issues in a docket where the International Paper Contract would be renegotiated, which is this present docket. Unfortunately, the Commission rejected our arguments, approving the amendment to the contract.
File date: 3/1/2021
Order date: 7/6/2022
SEA309 (2017) ended net metering in Indiana. Net metering is a fair and simple way to credit solar owners for the electricity they generate but don’t use themselves. Instead, the solar owner earns a bill credit for energy shared with their neighbors on the electric grid valued at the same rate as electricity purchased from the utility - an even 1:1 swap. As a result of SEA309, Indiana’s investor-owned utilities replaced net metering with an arbitrarily designed Excess Distributed Generation (EDG) tariff that credits new solar customers far less on their monthly bills for the extra electricity they generate.
- The outcome of this case was affected by the outcome of the CenterPoint 45378 case.
- Sarah Bowman at the IndyStar wrote a comprehensive piece about this in November 2022: Advocates, utilities ask Indiana Supreme Court to decide how solar customers are charged.
- In response to the January 2023 Supreme Court Opinion regarding net metering, CAC and our partners at Solar United Neighbors wrote an op-ed (Solar opinion undermines growing industry), which was published by the Indiana Capital Chronicle on January 9th.
File date: 9/23/2021
Order date: 6/1/2022
Duke initially proposed a two-year Electric Transportation Program with the following components: (1) Residential EV Charging Incentive Program, (2) Commercial EV Charging Incentive Program, (3) Electric School Bus Program, (4) Electric Transit Bus Program, (5) Fleet Advisory, and (6) Education and Outreach. After considering the OUCC’s testimony, Duke, in rebuttal testimony, removed the Electric Transit Vehicle component of the program, dropping the overall portfolio cost estimate from $4.3 million to $3.3 million.
File date: 12/2/2021
Order date: 3/2/2022
Duke requested a subdocket to address approval of the proposed $44 million River Ridge Commerce Center Project in Clark County, Indiana, as a targeted economic development project pursuant to the TDSIC statute. Duke said it is working with more than ten industrial and commercial customers seeking sites for new facilities at River Ridge Commerce Center, a business and manufacturing park with over 6,000 acres of land under development.