Westfield mayor disappointed with energy rate case


Westfield Mayor Scott Willis wants Duke Energy to rethink its plan to seek a rate increase for next year.

Duke Energy has submitted a rate request to Indiana utility regulators, seeking an overall 16 percent tiered increase.

The case was filed April 4 with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and reflects an overall average bill increase of approximately 12 percent in 2025 and an additional 4 percent in 2026.

“A modernized electric grid more resistant to power outages, hundreds of miles of new power lines, environmental responsibilities, increased electric grid security and new systems for customer convenience are some of the key parts of Duke Energy’s Indiana rate request submitted to state utility regulators,” the company stated in a news release announcing the request.

However, Willis said the numbers don’t add up.

“I am disappointed with Duke’s pursuit of a utility rate increase from the IURC,” Willis stated. “While I understand the need for investment to maintain infrastructure and ensure reliable service, an increase in utility rates would burden residents when Duke reported a 17 percent increase in profit for 2023. I urge them to explore alternative solutions that prioritize the well-being of our residents and engage in transparent dialogue with the community. As Mayor, I will continue to advocate for the best interests of our residents.”

According to Duke Energy Indiana President Stan Pinegar, the last base increase was in 2020, and since then the company has invested $1.6 billion in the electric grid, power plants and overall system, and helped prevent more than 185,000 power outages.

“We know that utility costs can be a major part of a household and business’s budget and that customers expect us to do our part to keep bills as low as possible,” Pinegar stated. “We have kept our day-to-day operating costs flat since 2020 while we make long-term investments to serve customers. We also are proposing voluntary, ‘time-of-use’ rates to help manage customer bills.”

If approved, the increase will vary among consumers depending on the cost to serve different types of customers, such as residential and business. The total monthly impact of the combined increases for a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month would be about $27.63, according to Duke Energy.

Learn more at duke-energy.com.