As one community continues to grow with new homes and businesses, officials realized providing all that new development with electric service would be costly.
Instead, Bargersville turned to another local utility to provide that service.
As development happens in the town, Johnson County REMC will be responsible for providing electric service to those homes and businesses.
The reason: the county-wide utility already has the staff and equipment to be able to serve those new customers.
That also allows Bargersville to focus on other services, such as water and sewer, as new development happens, especially along the future Interstate 69, said Niki Balish, utilities administrator. That also allows the town to keep its rates low for its existing 3,600 electric customers, she said.
And for REMC, serving customers in rural areas is already what it does, said Chet Aubin, Johnson County REMC chief executive officer.
Providing service to new customers is costly, including installing the infrastructure needed to bring that service to an area not already served, Aubin said.
Recently, Bargersville, Duke Energy and REMC have been discussing what areas each will serve, he said. Johnson County REMC had also previously partnered with Bargersville to take over maintenance of its system and do construction work, Aubin said.
This summer, Johnson County REMC took on areas along State Road 135 and County Road 144, near State Road 135 and Whiteland Road and some areas along Whiteland Road.
Each of those areas is expected to develop more in the future, and each one is currently underserved, Aubin said.
So that means when a new development, such as a subdivision, comes in, Johnson County REMC will be in charge of connecting those homes with electrical service, and those residents will pay for their energy through REMC.
“Bargersville has water, sewer, electric. It’s cumbersome for them to maintain,” Aubin said.
“We can do this without adding manpower.”