Duke Energy vs. Indiana Utility Regulation Commission - 11/5/12

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Monday  November 5, 2012 
1:30 PM  EST

1:30 p.m. 93A02-1111-EX-1042. A January 2009 ice storm in southern Indiana caused damage to Duke Energy Indiana’s electrical system. Duke filed a petition with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) seeking deferred accounting treatment for its operating expenses relating to this storm. An evidentiary hearing was held, and Scott Storms was the administrative law judge. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) opposed Duke’s request for deferred accounting treatment on grounds that it constituted both retroactive ratemaking and single-issue ratemaking. The IURC approved Duke’s request, and the OUCC appealed. While the OUCC’s appeal was pending before this Court, Storms accepted employment with Duke. After it was discovered that Storms was negotiating employment with Duke while cases involving Duke – including this one – were pending before him, an investigation was launched. Pursuant to Indiana Appellate Rule 37, the OUCC filed a verified motion for stay of appeal and remand. This Court granted the OUCC’s motion and remanded this case to the IURC. In addition, the IURC reopened this case for further review and consideration. When this case was reopened, both Duke and the OUCC presented updated testimony. This time, however, the IURC reached a different result, concluding that Duke’s request for deferred accounting did not merit an exception to the general prohibition against retroactive and single-issue ratemaking. Duke now appeals arguing that the IURC did not have any legal basis to reverse its earlier decision. The Indiana Energy Association appears as Amicus Curiae. 

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