This rate adjustment does not impact the natural gas portion of the bill, nor customers in the utility’s Indiana – North or Ohio service territories.

The approval provides for an approximate $28.6m electric rate increase to recover costs associated with approximately $325m in system upgrades that were completed in the three years leading up to the December 2009 filing and modest increases in maintenance and operating expenses.

Vectren president and CEO Carl Chapman said this much-needed cost recovery is critical to the company’s ability to reliably deliver electricity to its customers in southwestern Indiana.

According to the company, the new electric rates are expected to go into effect in early May 2011.