I&M looking to increase rates by almost $30 a month in 2018
“It's probably going to be more people in the dark are using candles or whatever. If you don't pay it's not going to stay,” said Irene McLeod, South Bend Resident.
That’s the response customers have after hearing that Indiana Michigan Power is looking to raise monthly bills across the board by 20%.
More than 400,000 customers could be paying about $30 more a month come July of next year if the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approves I&M’s request to hike up those rates. The goal, to use that money and cut down trees and control vegetation around their power lines.
“They got the equipment and they still want to charge us more for something that's not our fault,” said McLeod.
I&M says it’s part of their new ‘Building the Future’ plan to reduce outages. Something Irene McLeod has been experiencing at her South Bend home since Wednesday afternoon.
“A couple days ago, the tree in the backyard, which is an old tree, one part of it split,” said McLeod.
After 41 years here McLeod says paying that much more every month doesn’t put her mind at ease… or her bank account!.
“I'm just hoping that they don't pass it above our means where we have to let something else go because in our fixed income they don't include increases,”said McLeod.
Many rely on social service organizations in St. Joseph County.
“Real services will help you out a little bit which is a blessing,” said McLeod.
Real services says the proposed plan won’t impact them since they have a set amount on what they offer to clients, however they are sure the plan will affect residents since that dollar amount won’t go as far with a price hike like that.
“You don't really have a choice because after two months they're going to cut you down anyway you know cut you off so all we can really do is pray that they don't increase of that high where we can't pay it because we need electricity,” said McLeod.
More details on that proposed plan: