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Indiana Michigan Power customers fight utility increase

Posted: 12:40 AM, Oct 31, 2017
Updated: 2017-10-31 04:41:27Z

MUNCIE, Ind. – Hundreds of people in Muncie attended a city hall meeting Monday to rally against utility increases from Indiana Michigan Power.

Customers impacted by the increase could see about $25 added to their monthly bill.

Viola Boyd, 71, said the increase would impact her monthly social security income.

“I'm a senior citizen, you know. Things are high as it was, everybody's on fixed income. Everything's closed around here. Lot of people not working,” said Boyd. "What are we supposed to do? I'm not gonna wear a sweater or coat in my house. That's ridiculous."

The fixed, monthly customer charge would increase from $7.30 to $18. The monthly charge for small businesses would rise from $9.70 to $19.

“We have an obligation to keep the lights on and the costs affordable,” said Brian Bergsma of Indiana Michigan Power. “We realize any increase is seen as potentially a problem. We're replacing miles of overhead line in this proposal, as well as substation improvements.”

Company officials said the increase will fund improvements, but some customers believe they’re paying for bad business decisions.

If approved, the increase would be implemented in two phases – in July 2018 and January 2019. 

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