Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

IURC okays extension of NIPSCO alternative natural gas programs

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The Northern Indiana Public Service Company is announcing that the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) has approved a settlement agreement between the utility, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), and natural gas marketers to renew the offering of alternative natural gas programs that provide residential, commercial and industrial customers with options for purchasing natural gas.

According to a statement released today, the renewal will extend the company’s alternative regulatory plan, or ARP, until March 31, 2012.

Initially approved by the IURC in 1997, NIPSCO’s ARP allows the utility’s natural gas customers the option of purchasing natural gas through NIPSCO’s Choice, Dependabill or Price Protection Service Programs (PPS), the statement said.

The NIPSCO Choice Program gives customers an opportunity to choose an alternative natural gas supplier. Suppliers offer a variety of fixed, capped, and variable pricing options that provide customers flexibility to purchase gas using price options that best meet their needs.

Today, there are 12 approved suppliers offering a variety of product options to NIPSCO customers. NIPSCO remains responsible for safely delivering the gas through its existing pipeline system to customers who have chosen to purchase their gas from alternative suppliers.

Customers who receive their gas supply from NIPSCO have an opportunity to choose service under the DependaBill Program, which provides a fixed monthly bill with no annual reconciliation, or the PPS Program, which allows customers to fix or cap their per-unit cost of natural gas—similar to options offered by alternative suppliers as well.

Nearly 165,000—or 23 percent—of NIPSCO’s total residential and commercial customers have selected one of these alternative services to purchase their natural gas.

NIPSCO is currently the only utility in the state offering such alternative supplier options to all its customers.

“Providing customers with a choice in selecting their energy provider was a goal of the ARP when it was first proposed,” said Guy Ausmus, Senior Vice President of Customer Engagement for NIPSCO. “Regardless of the gas supplier chosen by our customers, NIPSCO will continue to provide for the safe and reliable delivery of that natural gas to their homes or businesses.”

As part of the agreement, NIPSCO and the alternative suppliers will be discussing standardized contract language and improvements to NIPSCO’s bill format.

Customers will receive information regarding program changes with their May billing statements.

Additional information about these programs may be found at NIPSCO.com by visiting the “Our Services” section.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted 4/12/2010

 

 

 

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