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INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Gail Riecken (D-Evansville) today asked the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to conduct a public hearing in Evansville to give area residents a chance to speak out about Vectren Energy’s proposed rate increase for natural gas customers.

“I am understandably leery whenever utility companies want to increase our rates, particularly under the rules of response that are used by the IURC,” Riecken said. “The most effective way to ensure public awareness is by having hearings in the affected areas that enable the company to explain its reasoning for doing this, and allow the people who pay the freight to have their say about its impact on their everyday lives.”

If approved, the increase – which Vectren claims is needed to pay for improvements to pipelines and other infrastructure – would require customers served by the utility in Southwest Indiana to pay gradual raises in their gas rates over a period of seven years, starting in 2015. The increase would initially be around $1 to $1.50 a month, then increase to around $13 to $14 more per month by 2022.

“Right now, the average customer served by Vectren in Southwest Indiana pays about $570 a year for gas service,” Riecken said. “These increases being proposed by the utility will have a substantial impact on all of us in the service area, but I am particularly concerned about how it will affect seniors and residents on fixed incomes.”

The IURC has scheduled an evidentiary hearing on the case for April 15 in Indianapolis, but while such meetings are open to the public, Riecken noted that participation is usually limited to attorneys and expert witnesses who can speak on technical aspects of the case.

“Setting aside the fact that it is difficult for people to take a day off and travel all the way to Indianapolis to make their feelings known, the evidentiary hearing does not offer much of a chance for the average citizen to speak out,” Riecken noted.

Consumers do have the option of submitting written comments to the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) through the office’s website at www.in.gov/oucc/2361.htm or by mail, email or fax at:

Consumer Services Staff

Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor

115 W. Washington Street, Suite 1500 South

Indianapolis, IN 46204

Email: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov

FAX: 317-232-5923

“Written comments received by the end of this month will be included in the files for the case, but the only true way for this matter to have full public participation is for the IURC to conduct a public hearing in our area,” Riecken said. “That is the responsible public service move that must be made, and I believe there is plenty of time for the IURC to move quickly and let the people know what is happening here.”


  1. I am disgusted with the way Vectren handles gas leaks. There is one house leaking gas from the ground and I have contacted them twice and went to the fire dept. about it. thats been a month ago. Guess what it is still leaking gas out of the ground near the street. Vectren you do not deserve to get a rate increase. Maybe in the future but as of right now you need to concentrate your effort to provide better service!!!!!!!!!! Believe me that if you weren’t the only gas company you would lose a lot of your customers!!!!!!!

  2. Gail, thanks for standing up for us against the most political and self serving corporation in Indiana

  3. Didn’t Vectren hire a show pony as one of it’s top Executive who’s just happened to be former Congressman? Just wondering what technical abilities does he posses to work at Vectren in an Executive capacity?

    • Security guard maybe. He was after all a sheriff once. Maybe even eye candy for that sexy PR girl that is on TV all the time.

  4. Gail,

    Thank You for this request. Utilities that fall under the IURC should be required to have their hearings wherever the dominate share of their customers reside. As you know, right now that is not the case. And this fact has ultimately led to prohibitively expensive logistics and duress on the people within the Vectren map.

    The last time that the IURC visited Evansville, I was there. I kindly asked that they have ALL Vectren related meetings down south here, so that we may have a more broad and greater discussion about the current state of things.

    Further, the IURC just went through a hiring process this week. It is interesting to note that not a single candidate outside of the Indianapolis area was awarded a chance to be interviewed by the Governor and a chance at one of the IURC openings.


    • I appreciate you comments Brent. For my money the IURC is a front for rigged behavior. And Vectren is greed personified. I may not be able to continue to live in my house as my income becomes more fixed with age. And then everyone wonders why the city of Evansville is losing population.

      All regulation needs to be conducted where the business operates. Period. And I, like you, thank Gail for standing up!!

      • despite always paying my bill and having a history with Vectren, they wanted to charge me a huge deposit to transfer a service to my name.

        I figured the IURC was where i shold complain. They recited Vectren’s policy to me and asked if that helped. I told the lady that I already knew their policy. Their policy was my complaint!

        Then it turned into…well, you know how I can be on here sometimes.

        The IURC is a subsidiary of Vectren.

  5. As usual. Gail Riecken pandering to the masses with no real change in the results. Lets pay extra so the IURC people can come to Evansville so Gail can stage a campaign event where she “stands up” for the “little guy”. More hot air than a coal-fired power plant!

    • Get over yourself. So you are in favor of the rate increase? You are welcome to pay my share. This hearing is the only way to combat a monopoly and I for one think it is a tool that should be used to the fullest extent of the law.

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