Indiana Gas Company, Inc., and Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company v. Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, et al. - 4/11/17

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Tuesday  April 11, 2017 
10:00 AM  EST

10 a.m. 93A02-1604-EX-00943. Appellants/Plaintiffs, Indiana Gas Company, Inc. and Southern Indiana Gas & Electric Company (collectively, “Vectren”), appeal the appellee, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission’s (“the IURC”), denial of their petition to update their seven-year plan under the Transmission, Distribution, and Storage System Improvement Charges and Deferrals statute (“the TDSIC statute”).  Traditionally, a utility’s rates to customers are adjusted through periodic rate cases.  However, in 2013, the Indiana Legislature enacted the TDSIC statute, Indiana Code §§ 8-1-39(1)–(17), to allow utilities to recover their expenses for replacement gas transmission, distribution, or storage projects in a timelier manner.  Under the TDSIC statute, a utility may recover 80% of capital expenditures and costs approved by the IURC, although it must wait to recover the remaining 20% during its next rate case.  In order to recover the 80% under the TDSIC statute, a utility must create a seven-year plan for its eligible transmission, distribution, and storage improvements and must get approval from the IURC for the plan.  Indiana Code § 8-1-39-10 lists the requirements for the contents of a petition for a seven-year plan and for approval of such a plan.  A utility may then petition for an “update” to the seven-year plan under Indiana Code § 8-1-39-9.

Vectren filed a seven-year TDSIC plan in 2013, which the IURC approved.  The original plan included project-by-project details for the first year of the plan and project cost estimates for years two through seven. Vectren and the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (“OUCC”) agreed on an update procedure by which Vectren would “move [its] upcoming year-specific projects into a work-order level of detail,” similar to that which it had provided for year one.  On October 1, 2015, Vectren requested approval for two projects it had not listed in its original seven-year plan.  Vectren contended that it could not have predicted the necessity of the projects when it sought approval of the seven-year plan.  The OUCC and the IURC did not oppose the need for, or cost of, the projects, but the IURC denied Vectren’s petition for the updates on the premise that it did not have the authority to approve projects that were not part of Vectren’s original seven-year plan.

On appeal, the parties ask us to determine whether a utility may add qualifying new projects to its existing seven-year plan under the TDSIC statute’s update process.  Vectren also raises the issue of whether the doctrine of res judicata prevents the IURC from revoking its earlier approval of Vectren’s update plan for its seven-year plan.  Indiana Energy Association has filed a “friend of the court” brief that aligns with Vectren, and Industrial Energy Consumers, Inc. has filed a “friend of the court” brief that aligns with the Appellees-Defendants, the IURC and the OUCC. 

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  2. Access to the court (judiciary branch of government) is the REAL problem, NOT necessarily lack of access to an attorney. Unfortunately, I've lived in a legal and financial hell for the past six years due to a divorce (where I was, supposedly, represented by an attorney) in which I was defrauded of settlement and the other party (and helpers) enriched through the fraud. When I attempted to introduce evidence and testify (pro se) in a foreclosure/eviction, I was silenced (apparently on procedural grounds, as research I've done since indicates). I was thrown out of a residence which was to be sold, by a judge who refused to allow me to speak in (the supposedly "informal") small claims court where the eviction proceeding (by ex-brother-in-law) was held. Six years and I can't even get back on solid or stable ground ... having bank account seized twice, unlawfully ... and now, for the past year, being dragged into court - again, contrary to law and appellate decisions - by former attorney, who is trying to force payment from exempt funds. Friday will mark fifth appearance. Hopefully, I'll be allowed to speak. The situation I find myself in shouldn't even be possible, much less dragging out with no end in sight, for years. I've done nothing wrong, but am watching a lot of wrong being accomplished under court jurisdiction; only because I was married to someone who wanted and was granted a divorce (but was not willing to assume the responsibilities that come with granting the divorce). In fact, the recalcitrant party was enriched by well over $100k, although it was necessarily split with other actors. Pro bono help? It's a nice dream ... but that's all it is, for too many. Meanwhile, injustice marches on.

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  4. I've been denied I appeal court date took a year my court date was Nov 9,2016 and have not received a answer yet

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