Chesterton Tribune

NiSource posts solid 2Q performance

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By KEVIN NEVERS

NiSource Inc. is reporting a net income in the second quarter of 2011 of $38.9 million or 14 cents per share, compared to $28.1 million or 10 cents in the year-ago period.

“NiSource delivered another quarter of solid financial and operational performance, punctuated by significant accomplishments involving nearly all aspects of our business plan,” NiSource President and CEO Robert Skaggs Jr. said in a statement released today. “From the settlement of our electric rate case in Indiana, to the achievement of key regulatory, commercial, and infrastructure milestones across each of our businesses, our team continues to create innovative energy solutions for our customers and sustainable value for our shareholders.”

Regulatory and

Improvement Update

•On July 18, the Northern Indiana Public Service Company filed a settlement agreement with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, which if approved would raise electric rates for the average residential customer by 4.5 percent or $3.33 per month, significantly down from the 16.8 percent hike which the IURC initially authorized in August 2010. “Working collaboratively with stakeholders, the settlement represents a balanced agreement that supports NIPSCO’s ability to provide Indiana families, businesses, and industries with the affordable, reliable, and environmentally sustainable power they need now and for the future,” Skaggs said.

•On July 13, the IURC authorized NIPSCO “to purchase customer-generated electricity from renewable energy products,” the company noted. “The program, supported by consumer and environmental groups, also allows customers to generate more of their own electricity using renewable energy to reduce their utility costs.”

•On July 27, the IURC approved NIPSCO’s request to implement new energy-efficiency programs for its electric customers, including appliance recycling, commercial and industrial efficiency project incentives, and expanded energy education.

Operating Income 2Q

•Gas distribution: $46.4 million ($18.5 million year-ago). NiSource attributed the improvement to “increased residential and commercial margins due to NIPSCO’s change from a volumetric-based rate design to one with a higher fixed charge”; and to a reduction in operating expenses of $12.4 million as a result of lower depreciation rates.

•Gas transmission and storage: $84.7 million (74.9 million year-ago). NiSource attributed the improvement to “an increase in demand margin as a result of growth projects placed into service in the second half of 2010 and the impact of the new Columbia Gulf rates, subject to refund, put into effect May 1.”

•Electric: $39.8 million ($49.6 million year-ago). NiSource attributed the results to “decreased residential and commercial margins” and to increased operating expenses of $11.2 million, the latter the result of “higher electric generation costs due to an increase in outage durations and higher employee and administrative expenses.”

•Corporate and other: an operating loss of $7.6 million (an operating loss of $3.8 million).

•Total operating income: $163.3 million ($139.2 million year-ago).

 

 

Posted 8/2/2011