Our attorneys have represented large volume consumers and industry participants for decades. In particular, we regularly protect the interests of industrial and manufacturing businesses in Indiana in utility rate proceedings and other energy and utility matters. We work closely with Indiana Industrial Energy Consumers, Inc. (INDIEC), a trade association of many of the largest businesses in the state.
Energy prices and utility services are a vital concern to energy-intensive industries. We bring a depth of experience, comprehensive understanding, and innovative problem-solving to important energy and utility matters involving high financial stakes. Our attorneys are active at all stages of the process: legislative advocacy on energy and utility bills, litigation in regulatory and trial court proceedings, negotiations with utilities and other stakeholders, and appellate work on precedent-setting cases.
Our work has led to hundreds of millions of dollars in refunds and has saved clients billions in rate reductions. We are active in major energy projects, legislative initiatives, regulatory proceedings, and leading appellate decisions on utility law in Indiana. In addition to industrial consumers, our clients include an array of energy enterprises, marketers, municipalities, educational and medical institutions, and small businesses.
Particular areas of focus include:
- Rate cases – A rate case is a comprehensive proceeding in which a utility seeks to increase its basic rates and charges. Our familiarity with Indiana utilities and ratemaking principles enables us to target issues of greatest impact for effective advocacy in highly complex disputes.
- Trackers and riders – Through trackers and riders, utilities can seek periodic rate adjustments specific to defined categories of costs. We are active in threshold cases where the scope of recoverable costs is determined, and in periodic rate proceedings where prompt action may be needed to challenge increases.
- Service disputes – Utilities have a duty to provide reliable service, and sometimes that duty must be enforced. We represent clients in disputes relating to outages and service interruptions, billing and metering problems, and quality of service issues.
- Water and wastewater issues – Water and wastewater regulation involves the interrelation of utility and environmental law, administered by state regulators, municipalities and regional districts. We help clients navigate the challenges arising in rate proceedings, billing disputes, service issues, cost allocation and classification questions, and connection concerns.
- Cogeneration, private energy and renewables projects – As an alternative to paying regulated rates to a monopoly utility, large consumers can meet their own energy needs by installing private facilities such as cogeneration or combined heat and power (CHP) units, waste-to-energy projects, and renewable energy sources. We assist in analyzing options, negotiating agreements, coordinating with the utility, and addressing compliance issues.
- Utility construction projects – For major investments such as power plants and expensive environmental compliance projects, utilities can secure regulatory preapprovals that significantly impact future rates. Effective engagement at the front end can be key to addressing concerns with the planned project, achieving cost-efficiency, and establishing ratepayer protections.
- Purchased power agreements and guaranteed energy savings contracts – School corporations, municipalities and other governmental entities have options to manage energy costs. We assist in evaluating proposals, counseling on energy needs, negotiating agreements, ensuring regulatory compliance, and analyzing issues such as financing and renewable tax credits.
- Telecommunications – For telephone, wireless, internet and cable services, the regulatory process has changed as rapidly as technological advances. We have the perspective and experience to handle interconnection agreements and disputes, and to assist telecommunications businesses, wireless carriers and cable television providers address regulatory compliance issues.
- Affiliate transactions – When a regulated monopoly conducts business with an unregulated affiliate, there are risks involving uncompetitive terms, ratepayer subsidies and erosion of regulatory protections. Our experience includes regulatory challenges to affiliate transactions, antitrust suits, and establishing affiliate guidelines and codes of conduct.
- Territorial disputes – Utilities have service rights in defined territories, but sometimes customer operations cross boundaries or there is a dispute about whether a given activity infringes the utility’s exclusive rights. We are experienced in handling disputes concerning territorial issues, split sites, bypasses, and service area claims.