Vectren being investigated by IURC - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Vectren being investigated by IURC

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A complaint filed against Vectren Energy concerning renewable energy laws leads to a state investigation.

A local solar power company claims Vectren withheld documents and delayed project for customers trying to harness renewable energy. On Friday night, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission says it's looking into the complaint.

Under Indiana law, Vectren must supply net-metering for renewable energy to residential homes and K-12 schools. They must also provide documents called interconnection agreements, but 14 News found customers who applied for those documents from Vectren back in 2007 and say they still haven't received them.

In 2010, Donya Bengert and her third grade class raised $25,000 for a wind turbine outside Haubstadt Elementary. According to IURC records, Vectren was going to charge the school $12,000 to hook it up until the IURC stepped in.

"We were really disappointed in the beginning and worried because we'd already secured quite a bit of funds," says Bengert.

Brad Morton with Morton Solar says this is just one example of his dealings with Vectren.

"It's very troubling because it makes it very difficult for us to move forward with projects without knowing what the costs are going to be," says Morton.

In his most recent complaint filed April 18, Morton claims Vectren has demonstrated "Malicious Intent to harm his company and customers by delaying projects." He points to Interconnection agreements, customers need to sell-back their energy credits.

14 News found applications filed in October and in March that had not been returned until after we notified Vectren of the issue on Thursday. One of Morton's customers says they haven't received theirs they filed with Vectren in 2007.

"The bottom line is, we are not intentionally stalling," says Chase Kelley with Vectren. "We are not blocking this. We have consistently added customers every year. It's an IURC requirement we are going to comply."

The IURC says it is investigating and Morton says renewable energy needs to be an option for years to come.

"We want to work with Vectren and we want them to be supportive of customers who choose to generate their own power," says Morton.

Indiana's metering laws were changed in recent years. Vectren says it is working with Morton to clear up any issues and is committed to renewable energy efforts.

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