Consumer counselor, IPL reach BlueIndy agreement

Utility agrees to reduced rate increase

INDIANAPOLIS - A tentative agreement between Indianapolis Power & Light and the Office of the Utility Consumer Counselor means an electric car-sharing service is one step closer to reality in Indianapolis.

While the agreement still needs formal approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, IPL and the consumer counselor's office announced Thursday they had settled on an estimated rate increase of 28 cents per month for typical residential customer – roughly 1,000 kilowatt hours.

The increase, reduced from IPL's initial estimate of 44 cents per 1,000 kilowatt hours, was requested by the utility to offset an estimated $16 million to be spent installing up to 1,000 charging stations to support the BlueIndy electric car-sharing service.

Bollore Group, the French company bringing the car-sharing service to Indianapolis, said it picked the city for its first U.S. location because of its size and Mayor Greg Ballard's plan to convert the city's vehicle fleet to electric, natural gas or hybrid vehicles by 2025.

"Indianapolis has always been sort of a green light in the world of cars. That's why we're happy to be here with you today," Chairman Vincent Bollore said at an unveiling earlier this week.

Bollore said he hopes to have 125 cars available by the end of the year at 25 charging sites, including the airport and shopping and cultural districts.

As part of the agreement with IPL, any profit share the city is entitled to will go toward IPL rate mitigation until 125 percent of costs incurred by ratepayers have been recovered.

IPL also agreed to create a new initiative to improve street lighting in its service territory to enhance energy efficiency and public safety.

Indiana State Representative Cherrish Pryor (D-Indianapolis) released a statement Thursday afternoon criticizing the deal.

"We are asking ALL IPL ratepayers – including those who live outside Marion County -- to support a program that will not be available in all areas of the city of Indianapolis, much less the nine other counties in the IPL service area," Cherrish, who represents the 94th District on Indianapolis' northwest side, said. "As I have said before, utility ratepayers must pay for the level of utility service they use. They should not be required to subsidize a private company bringing a new project to our city."

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