INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A settlement between Indiana's state consumer advocate and Indiana Michigan Power would significantly cut the utility's proposed rate hike.

The company in September sought a 20 percent rate increase for its Indiana customers to generate $263 million in new revenue.

But Indiana's Office of Utility Consumer Counselor says its settlement with the utility, several cities, companies and advocacy groups calls for a 7.3 percent rate increase that would raise $96.8 million in new revenue.

That's about a third of what the utility originally sought. Some of the decrease was attributed to the recent federal tax cuts.

Consumer Counselor Bill Fine says the settlement would benefit "the full range of I&M's customers" while generating new revenues needed for "safe, dependable service."

Indiana's Utility Regulatory Commission will consider the proposal March 15.