Citizens has filed a petition with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission that if approved would raise the average monthly residential bill about $8.50 in summer 2019, $2.75 in 2020 and $2 in 2021.
Recognizing the impact wastewater rate increases have on household budgets, Citizens is proposing assistance for low-income customers through a program that will provide a 10, 18 or 25 percent discount on bills for customers who qualify for a similar discount program offered to low-income natural gas customers.
Also included in the proposal is the creation of a wastewater infrastructure fund to assist eligible customers with water conservation measures and plumbing repairs. “These increases are necessary to stay the course on our ongoing efforts to complete the DigIndy Tunnel and to rehabilitate our aging sewer system in order to prevent failures such as those that occurred downtown this past summer,” said Citizens President and CEO Jeffrey Harrison.
Over the next seven years, Citizens will complete the 28-mile tunnel, the largest infrastructure project in Indianapolis’ history, to nearly eliminate sewer overflows and restore area waterways to levels not seen in more than 100 years.
Restoring local waterways will enhance recreational opportunities while helping drive neighborhood revitalization and economic development across the city, Harrison said. As a result of $1.2 billion in investments since 2011, Citizens has completed the first 10 miles of the tunnel, doubled the size of its two wastewater treatment plants and rehabilitated more than 80 miles of aging sewers.