Regulators question Citizens Energy's billing practices

INDIANAPOLIS - State regulators plan to investigate Citizens Energy Group for billing practices for gas, water and wastewater, RTV6 learned Wednesday.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission said the primary issues it's investigating are related to the quality of customer service, billing compliance and payment application compliance.

READ: IURC's notice to Citizens Energy Group

The IURC said one in five callers -- 20 percent -- hangs up before being helped due to long wait times when calling the company, and there were times when that figure reached 25 percent.

Beth Roads, general counsel for IURC, wrote that Citizens "has serious issues with its billing practices, including combined billing" and "has been misstating or understating the number of customer complaints regarding its billing practices.

A hearing has been scheduled for April 22 at 11 a.m.

Citizens provides energy to more than 266,000 customers in and around Marion County.

Citizens Energy released the following statement:

"Like the IURC, we are very concerned about the impact of rate increases on our customers. The
reduction in revenue approved by the IURC does create a shortfall in funds for vital infrastructure
investments. Years of under investment by past owners has resulted in a water system that experiences
700 main breaks per year, resulting in $3.5 million in repair costs and 3 billion gallons of wasted water. If
Indianapolis is going to remain a world class city, it is important Citizens makes investments to upgrade
its water system to ensure safety, reliability and water quality."

READ: Full response from Citizens Energy

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