Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) will increase its natural gas rates
effective Monday, Oct. 1, per a settlement approved this week by the Indiana
Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).
The newly approved
rates will be phased in over two years, and an average NIPSCO residential
natural gas customer will see an overall increase of approximately $8 per
month instead of $10 as NIPSCO originally proposed.
Terms of the
settlement, according to the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC):
NIPSCO’s original request for additional revenues by $48.9 million.
¥It limits the
monthly residential customer charge increase to $3. NIPSCO first proposed
raising the current $11 charge to $19.50, whereas the settlement sets the
charge at $14.
¥It resolves all
issues regarding tax relief following the federal Tax Cuts & Jobs Act,
including crediting customers for 2018 taxes collected at the former 35
¥It authorizes a
9.85 percent returned on equity (ROE), lower than 10.7 percent ROE
originally proposed by NIPSCO.
¥It phases in the
new rates over the next two years.
will ensure that the utility will have the revenues needed to complete
numerous upgrades throughout its gas transmission and distribution system,
while mitigating the rate impact as much as possible,” Indiana Utility
Consumer Counselor Bill Fine said. “The OUCC is committed to addressing
aging infrastructure, reliability, and safety, as they will continue to be
critical issues for utilities and their customers throughout the nation.”
said, the change for individual commercial and industrial customers will
vary depending on usage patterns, but on average rates for overall
commercial and smaller industrial customers will increase less than
follows an extensive regulatory review and public input process and is based
on a collaborative agreement reached earlier in the year with the Indiana
Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), industrial customers, and the
NIPSCO Gas Supplier Group,” NIPSCO said
affordable energy costs for customers is essential,” NIPSCO President Violet
Sistovaris said. “This balanced outcome allows us to continue to improve
service and provides a platform for continued investments in public safety
and other programs to better serve customers now and into the future.”
“It has been more
than 25 years since NIPSCO’s base natural gas rates have increased, and in
2010, a regulatory review led to a slight decrease,” NIPSCO said. “Since
that time, NIPSCO has repeatedly been the lowest-cost provider in
Indiana--and among the lowest-cost providers in the nation--while improving
service, reliability, and safety to customers. NIPSCO anticipates that, with
the newly approved rates, it will remain among the lowest-cost providers.”
The IURC ruling
does not affect NIPSCO electric rates.