Fishers Library hosts Duke Energy rate increase hearing


The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission heard more than an hour of public testimony during a field hearing June 27 at the Fishers Library, with speakers overwhelmingly opposed to Duke Energy’s proposed rate increase.

Speakers cited the electricity provider’s multimillion-dollar profits and lack of investment in renewable energy, as well as the financial hardship a rate increase would have on customers, especially those who already are struggling. 

The average 16 percent rate increase, if approved, would be implemented in two phases. Bills would increase about 12 percent in 2025 and 4 percent in 2026. 

The rate increase varies by customer class, though. Residential customers would see a 19 percent rate hike, commercial customers would pay 20 percent more, high-load customers would pay about 11 percent more, and low-load customers would see an approximately 16 percent increase, according to the Duke Energy website. 

Duke Energy estimates that residential bills would increase about $27 a month. However, the Indiana-based Citizens Action Coalition estimates that increase would be closer to $42 a month. 

Duke Energy serves about 900,000 customers in Indiana.

Fishers resident Jason Tomcsi testifies on behalf of AARP and older Indiana residents during the June 27 field hearing related to the Duke Energy rate increase request. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)
Fishers resident Jason Tomcsi testifies on behalf of AARP and older Indiana residents during the June 27 field hearing related to the Duke Energy rate increase request. (Photo by Leila Kheiry)

Fishers resident Jason Tomcsi was the first to testify during the June 27 hearing. He was speaking on behalf of AARP Indiana and older residents throughout Duke Energy’s service area. 

“Many of the Hoosiers most impacted by this request are on low or inflexible incomes, which makes rising electricity bills a challenge when combined with higher groceries, housing and medical costs,” he said. “Any increase, no matter how small, can make a significant impact on these Hoosiers and their families’ budgets.”

Bob Rice, energy manager for Hamilton Southeastern Schools, said the district’s annual power bill is about $3.5 million now and a rate increase would significantly impact the district’s budget. Rice did not outright oppose the rate adjustment, however, and spoke about the contributions Duke Energy has made to the community through sponsorships, grants and collaborations. 

Dorothy Keyes of Fishers said Duke Energy shouldn’t get any rate increase unless that money goes toward renewable energy projects. 

“Duke is wanting to put millions of dollars into the existing coal facility so that they can convert an additional half-million more tons of coal every year from now until 2029,” she said. “Any new money requested should not be put into coal. It should only be put into clean energy. We need to do this for our future.”

Amanda Cross of Carmel also stressed the need for more renewable energy investment. She said allowing the rate increase would reward Duke for using coal. 

“Hoosiers shouldn’t lose their hard-earned money because Duke Energy went against ratepayer wishes and threw good money after bad coal,” she said. “What happens when people have to choose between feeding their children healthy food and keeping the heat on in dangerously cold winters that Duke has made more dangerous with their carbon emissions? What happens when people have to choose between their prescription medication and keeping the AC running so they don’t die of heat exhaustion in heat domes that Duke itself has helped to create?”

Comments received during field hearings and submitted in writing will be considered during the commission’s deliberations. Written comments can be submitted by mail through July 5 to the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, 115 W. Washington St, Suite 1500 South, Indianapolis, IN 46204; or emailed to [email protected]

Evidentiary hearings on the proposed rate adjustment are scheduled to start Aug. 29. A decision is expected in early 2025. 

For more about the proposed rate increase, visit Duke Energy’s website,; the Citizens Action Coalition’s website,; or the commission’s portal for the Duke Energy case,