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Bloomington Electric Company Expands, Hopes For Deregulation

A Bloomington-based company plans to expand its employee base, but its mainly does business outside Indiana.

power line

Photo: Duke Energy (Flickr)

A Duke Energy power line. Duke Energy is one of the energy companies certified to sell electricity in Indiana.

A Bloomington-based electricity wholesale company says it plans to add 75 employees in the next three years. Those employees will not be selling energy in Indiana because of the way the state’s electricity is regulated. The company sells to customers in Illinois.

Chase Energy Corp works with residents and companies to purchase discount electricity from energy providers. Because Indiana’s electricity is regulated and customers must choose from the few major energy companies that are certified through the state, the company cannot sell to Indiana residents.

“Customers don’t have the option to shop for lower electric rates, so we only operate in markets where customers have the option to shop for lower electric rates,” Chase Energy Corp President Marc Phelps says.

The company plans to expand into several other states in the next few years. Phelps says he hopes Indiana will deregulate its electricity, so the company can do business in its home state as well.

The Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Executive Director Kerwin Olson says that is not going to happen.

“There might be some sort of legislation to propose some sort of deregulation model, but we don’t expect that to advance without the blessing of the utilities,” he says. “So anything that passes in the Indiana General Assembly passes because the utilities say it’s ok.”

What Olson says could affect the way electricity is sold in the state is the increase in renewable energy production. He says states are still trying to figure out how to change their utilities laws to regulate renewable electricity, a commodity Chase Energy Corp also sells.

Gretchen Frazee

Gretchen Frazee is a reporter/producer for WFIU and WTIU news. Prior to her current role, Frazee worked as the associate online content coordinator for WFIU/WTIU. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia where she studied multimedia journalism and anthropology. You can follow her on Twitter @gretchenfrazee.

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