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AARP sends letter in support of AES Indiana storm outage investigation

Posted at 1:10 PM, Jul 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-15 13:16:51-04

INDIANAPOLIS — AARP has sent a letter to the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in support of an AES Indiana storm coverage investigation.

This comes after advocacy groups filed a formal petition to investigate AES Indiana's practices and procedures for storm outage restoration on Thursday.

"Many of our members and employees endured 2 days or more of being without power mostly in the AES service territory due to the thunderstorm on June 29," AARP Indiana State Director Sarah Waddle wrote in the letter.

The letter asks the IURC to investigate what caused the prolonged outages from June 29 through July 4, including if AES's tree trimming practices are efficient.

"We agree with the petitioners that the Commission should evaluate the practices and procedures, including its reporting requirements, to ensure Indiana ratepayers are receiving the best services under the circumstances and that meaningful investments have been made to protect the reliability and resiliency of its infrastructure," the letter said.

AARP also urges the commission to investigate questions such as:

  • Why did AES not switch to other circuits as utilities are typically able to do?
  • Were major transmission lines or generating plants impacted?
  • Were trees falling on power lines the culprit? Were other utility crews including AEP Ohio called into assist?
  • Why did Duke Indiana customers not suffer a similar fate?

One of the advocacy group that filed the petition on Thursday, The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), is asking for written consumer comments through October 5. Comments must be in writing but can be submitted on their website, via e-mail or U.S. mail.