Commercial & Industrial 

Commercial & Industrial News

Check this news and events page for the latest information on the energy issues facing northern Indiana commercial and industrial businesses.


OCTOBER 2013

NIPSCO Energy Symposium Update

NIPSCO would like to thank those who attended its 2013 Energy Symposium on October 9th.  Below are the presentations from each of the 12 sessions that were offered:

 2013 Symposium - HVAC

 2013 Symposium - Global Energy

 2013 Symposium - Finance Options for Energy Efficiency Projects

 2013 Symposium - Lighting

 2013 Symposium - Compressed Natural Gas (CNG)

 2013 Symposium - Power Factor

 2013 Symposium - NIPSCO Rates

 2013 Symposium - Renewable Power

 2013 Symposium - Pumps and Motors

 2013 Symposium - Compressed Air

 2013 Symposium - Sustainability

 2013 Symposium - UPS/Back-up Power

 

AUGUST 2013

Coming October 9 - NIPSCO Energy Symposium

On October 9, NIPSCO will host an Energy Symposium for its Commercial and Industrial customers at the Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville. The event - offered at NO COST to the customer - will give you the opportunity to move through a variety of workshops that best suit your business needs. Workshop topics include: Power Factor, Lighting, Pumps & Motors efficiency, Air Compressor, NIPSCO Rates, Global Energy, and Sustainability.To register, please fill out the registration form and email to mas@nisource.com.

   2013-nipsco-symposium-invitation

 

JULY 2013

A Message from NIPSCO's CEO: Infrastructure Modernization Plan

Similar to the focus on addressing the nation’s aging roads, bridges and transportation infrastructure, NIPSCO is embarking on a plan to modernize and replace essential parts of its energy infrastructure over the next decade and beyond.

Our Infrastructure Modernization Plan - which was filed Friday with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) - takes a comprehensive, long-term look at the best approach for prioritizing and identifying investments in our electric system which will provide significant benefits to homes and businesses in northern Indiana and across the state.

I believe this plan is truly a significant milestone for our customers, the communities we serve, our employees and the company. We’re reinvesting in our future by strengthening our system, while creating a direct local economic boost with minimal impact on customer bills.

Vast portions of the nation’s electric and natural gas systems were built in the post-World War II era. After more than 50 years, portions of that system are nearing the limits of their original design. NIPSCO’s plan proactively tackles these critical areas before they become problematic.

The first part of our plan outlines $1 billion in investments through the end of the decade to address our electric system, while plans for additional investments to address the company’s natural gas system will be presented later in 2013.

The electric plan will include new or replacement electric transmission and distribution projects for purposes of safety, reliability, system modernization, or economic development. The gas plan is expected to include the extension of natural gas to underserved areas among other key improvements.

Overall, we estimate this plan will support the equivalent of 1,200 direct and indirect jobs associated with the investments outlined through the end of the decade.

As we have done with our recent large-scale projects, we intend to utilize the current expertise of our internal employees whenever possible. And, when contracting external resources is necessary, we will look to hire Indiana-based represented workforce resources whenever possible.

All customers will experience minimal bill impacts, with little to no change in their bills for the first two years of the plan. As we approach 2016, electric bills are projected to see a gradual average increase of 1% annually through 2020.

In addition to the other consumer protections in place, NIPSCO’s plan will receive regular oversight and review by the IURC and other external stakeholders.

With improvements slated in every county we serve, I believe this plan provides tremendous opportunities beyond the investments being made.

As always, we welcome your feedback and input and we look forward to sharing our progress and more details with you in the coming months. More information can be found at NIPSCO.com/modernize in the meantime.

Jim Stanley, NIPSCO CEO

Culver Duck Farms, Inc

In Middlebury, Indiana, a duck farm has taken renewable energy resources a step further - it uses parts of a duck that doesn’t make it to the dinner plate to generate electricity. Offal, or waste product, is placed in an anaerobic digester to produce methane which is collected and then used to fuel the three generators, making Culver Duck another biomass customer participating in NIPSCO’s Feed-in Tariff.

"It's just good stewardship and it should reduce the carbon footprint of the plant," said Tim McLaughlin, Culver Duck’s plant manager. The facility is estimated to help reduce carbon emissions by more than 11,000 tons per year.

Over the long haul, it will also cut energy costs and turn Culver Duck - which processes around 6.5 million ducks per year - into a “zero discharge plant,” according to McLaughlin. That means the facility will largely recycle on site, all the waste and byproducts it generates including the duck offal, which helps fuel the three generators.

When fully operable, the three reciprocating engines can generate up to 1.2 MW. That’s more than Culver Duck’s current 0.7 to 0.8 MW requirement needs and would be enough to meet the energy needs of approximately 400 homes. The heat exhaust from the three generators is also being tapped to heat cleaning water at the facility. Learn More.

Feed-in Tariff and Net Metering Update

With the sunset of NIPSCO’s Experimental Rate 665 Renewable Feed-in Tariff (FIT) approaching at the end of this year, discussions have begun to determine the next phase of NIPSCO’s Renewable Energy Programs.

The FIT program has been an incredible success for NIPSCO customers. Since the inception of the FIT program in July of 2011, approximately 15 MW of renewable energy has been placed into service, with the balance of the 30 MW capacity limit to come on line in the near future. NIPSCO hopes to have the updated FIT program approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission by the 4th quarter of this year. Stay tuned to www.NIPSCO.com  for updates.

Goshen College to Purchase Renewable Energy

Goshen College has elected to begin purchasing all of its electricity from renewable energy sources, making it the first major customer to participate in NIPSCO’s new Green Power Program. This decision to purchase renewable power will reduce its carbon footprint by about 45 percent.

NIPSCO’s Green Power Program is a voluntary program that allows a customer to designate a portion of monthly electric usage to be attributable to power generated by renewable energy sources, such as wind power.

NIPSCO Green Power Program RECs are certified through Green-e® Energy, the nation’s leading renewable energy certification and verification program. Green-e Energy provides independent, third-party certification to ensure that certified renewable energy meets strict environmental and consumer-protection standards.

Read more about the Green Power Program below.

Learn more about Goshen College’s new project.

NIPSCO’s 2nd Annual Energy Symposium

On October 9, 2013, NIPSCO will host its 2nd Annual Energy Symposium in Merrillville for its Commercial and Industrial customers at NO COST to the customer. The event will feature 12 different workshops related to energy and facility efficiency. The topics will be offered during six sessions throughout the day, giving attendees the option to choose those that are of interest. The following workshops are among those to be offered at the event: Power Factor, Lighting, Pumps & Motors efficiency, Air Compressor, NIPSCO Rates, Global Energy, and Sustainability. More information will follow.

NIPSCO Launches Green Power Program

NIPSCO has launched a pilot program that allows customers to designate a portion of their monthly electric usage to be attributable to power generated by renewable energy sources, such as wind power. The Green Power Program is a voluntary program available to all NIPSCO electric customers.

Customers can designate 25, 50 or 100 percent of their monthly electric usage to be attributable to power generated by renewable energy sources. Commercial and industrial customers have the added flexibility to designate five or 10 percent of their monthly usage. Customers may change their participation level or cancel at any time at no added cost.

“We're proud to offer residents and businesses in northern Indiana the opportunity to purchase renewable energy,” said NIPSCO CEO Jim Stanley. “The Green Power Program is a great complement to NIPSCO’s other customer offerings, which include electric vehicle incentives, energy efficiency programs and options that allow customers to generate their own power.”

Participating customers will pay a monthly premium in addition to NIPSCO’s standard, regulated electric rate. The added costs are passed through directly to customers, with no mark up or financial return for NIPSCO. Non-participating customers are not responsible for additional charges associated with making this program available.

NIPSCO’s green power rate is $0.002012 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).

NIPSCO Green Power Program Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) will be certified through Green-e® Energy, the nation’s leading renewable energy certification and verification program, with nearly 300 participating vendors. Green-e® Energy provides independent, third-party certification to ensure that certified renewable energy meets strict environmental and consumer protection standards.

For more information and to enroll, visit NIPSCO.com/GreenPower or call (800) 4NIPSCO (464-7726).

In addition to offering customers the opportunity to participate in green energy programs, NIPSCO continues to make investments in environmental technology at its generating facilities that will further improve air quality. Visit NIPSCO.com/Environment for more information on what NIPSCO is doing to help protect the environment.

About Green-e and Center for Resource Solutions
A program of Center for Resource Solutions, Green-e is North America's leading independent consumer protection program for the sale of renewable energy and greenhouse gas reductions in the retail market. Green-e offers certification and verification of renewable energy and greenhouse gas mitigation products through Green-e Energy, a renewable energy certification program; Green-e Climate, a greenhouse gas emission reduction certification program; and Green-e Marketplace, a program that provides forward-thinking organizations a simple, nationally recognized logo they can use to communicate their renewable energy and climate commitment to their customers and shareholders. Visit www.green-e.org to learn more about Green-e Certified products and programs available in all 50 states.

An Update on the Gary Airport

On June 7, 2013, an Ad Hoc committee of The Gary/Chicago International Airport Authority released a Request for Expressions of Interest and Qualifications (REIQ) from private sector interests to gather a broad array of approaches and ideas to invest in the airport and the surrounding area through a potential public-private partnership (P3).

Tasked by the Airport Authority in March to explore a P3 to accelerate job creation and long-term investment in Gary and the Northwest Indiana region, the Ad Hoc committee continues to work at a brisk pace to develop a P3 model which retains public ownership of the airport and benefits from private sector innovation and access to capital.

“The REIQ is an essential step in attracting creative ideas for a P3 model that reflects all the investment potential of the airport, the City of Gary and the Northwest Indiana region to create good-paying jobs for the long-term,” said Karen Freeman-Wilson, mayor of the City of Gary.

The expansion required relocation of Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern Railroad (EJ&E), a subsidiary of the Canadian National Railroad, tracks that currently sit less than 150 feet from the northwest end of Runway 12-30.

In addition to acquiring and preparing property for the runway expansion program, the Airport has relocated a massive fuel storage tank from along Cline Avenue, restructured a portion of the Cline Avenue access road between Gary Avenue and Chicago Avenue and buried NIPSCO high-voltage power cables previously strung between towers along Cline Avenue. NIPSCO also built an electrical transfer station to accommodate the buried high-voltage cables.

Projects include additional property acquisition and preparation, construction of a vehicle overpass on Airport Road to span the current CSX Railroad and future EJ&E Railroad tracks, construction of two EJ&E Railroad bridges to span Norfolk Southern Railroad tracks, and design of a new Airfield Lighting Vault to replace the current facility that is unable to support the additional electrical capacity required by the runway expansion. Construction of the runway and taxiway extension segments started in 2012. Connection of the segments to the existing runway and taxiway, as well as relocation of ground-based navigation equipment, is slated for 2013.

NIPSCO's departments involved with Gary Airport runway expansion included Electric and Gas Transmission Engineering, Electric and Gas Distribution Engineering, Substation Engineering, Systems Planning, NIPSCO Operation Construction Gas and Electric, Public Affairs and Major Accounts. These groups designed and managed the relocations of high voltage electric (overhead and underground), relocations of gas mains transmission and distribution including all scheduling, permits and services. New high voltage electric and gas mains with services where installed to provide service to Gary Airport and all railroads impacted.

“With an expanded runway and a potential Public-Private Partnership, companies and airlines can now take a look at the airport through a lens they've never had access to before - bigger planes, more passengers, more cargo. The runway expansion and the P3 initiative are poised to unleash the economic development potential of the airport and spur economic growth across Northwest Indiana.”

-Carrie Hightman, NiSource Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer, and member of the Ad Hoc committee.


APRIL 2013

Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. Announces Custom Calendering, Rubber Mixing and Specialty Tire Manufacturing Services

During the fall of 2012, Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. completed a multi-million dollar expansion to their existing rubber mixing facility and ramped up rubber production at their Plymouth, Indiana location. This expansion to their rubber mixing facility is designed to not only cover all of Hoosier's production needs for the present and foreseeable future, but they are planning for future growth by building in substantial capacity. This growth will help accommodate Hoosier Racing Tire's new Custom Mixing business, aimed at helping meet other companies' mixing needs.
With more than 50 years in the race tire business, Hoosier has established itself as a world leader. During that time, they've gathered a dedicated and talented group of people that routinely think 'outside the box' to resolve processing issues that are unique to the manufacturing of racing tires, materials, and racing compounds. Hoosier believes that their rubber mixing expertise, combined with their existing state-of the-art four-roll textile calendering system, could be a great benefit to their prospective customers. They also provide custom product engineering, testing services, compound formulation, and specialty tire manufacturing services.

Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. offers their customers a complete staff of rubber and tire professionals, along with highly specialized equipment designed to test and process the various materials used in the manufacturing of high performance race tires. Whether it is the development of specialty tires, custom calendering of various textile materials, or the production and testing of other rubber products, Hoosier would like to discuss with you how they can help your business succeed. For more information, please contact Jerry Mikesell at 574-784-3409, by email, or visit their website.

Iron Byproduct Recycling Plant Coming to Reynolds

Magnetation, LLC, which recycles iron waste to produce valuable iron ore concentrate, announced plans to build a new iron ore pellet plant in Reynolds, IN, creating approximately 100 new jobs by 2015. The new facility will produce high-quality iron ore pellets, a critical raw material in the steel making process. The company anticipates breaking ground on the plant during the first quarter of 2013. The facility in Reynolds is expected to produce three million metric tonne per year
Magnetation, LLC is a joint venture between Magnetation and AK Steel Corporation. Magnetation reclaims high-quality iron ore concentrate from previously abandoned
iron ore waste stockpiles and tailings basins. Currently Magnetation, LLC owns and operates two reclamation plants located in Keewatin, MN and Taconite, MN. Magnetation will transport iron ore concentrate from its mineral recovery operations in northern Minnesota to its new Reynolds plant. The concentrate will be converted into high-quality iron ore pellets for use by AK Steel Corporation.

President Obama Speaks on American Steel Industry

On February 12, 2013 President Barack Obama gave his State of the Union speech, during which he addressed the corporate manufacturing industry.
The steel industry is a large part of Northwest Indiana.  In 2012, NIPSCO's steel and steel related customers accounted for more than 60% of our total electric load.
Thomas J. Gibson, President and CEO of AISI, commented on the future that President Obama has proposed, highlighting the importance of manufacturing, infrastructure and promoting fair trade. A summary can be found on the AISI website.
The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) is the nation's largest organization that represents steel producers today. AISI and its almost 150 members, including steel makers and steel suppliers to customers of the steel industry, serve as the mediator between the steel industry and the public authority. AISI's member companies are responsible for over 75% of North American steel volumes. 

New Transmission Project - Reynolds to Topeka, IN

NIPSCO will be constructing a new 100 mile 345KV transmission line from Reynolds substation located in Reynolds, IN to Hiple Substation located near Topeka, IN. The transmission line will pass through Burr Oak substation located in Burr Oak, IN on its way to the Hiple substation. The main purposes of this project are to improve the overall reliability of the regional electric system and add more access to lower cost of electricity. This line extension will also allow NIPSCO and consumers greater access to wind, solar, and other renewable energy sources. The route to each substation has not yet been selected. Cities are expected to be avoided due to the availability of large surrounding rural areas. NIPSCO plans on finalizing these routes by the end of 2013. NIPSCO hosted an open house in February to obtain local input on the route of the new transmission line. The attendance was larger than expected and the feedback very positive for both consumers and NIPSCO. In 2014, NIPSCO will acquire the appropriate permits, right of ways, and easements. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2015 and continue through 2018. NIPSCO plans on hiring local labor and businesses before branching out to other resources. This will provide many new jobs and income to Indiana residents and local businesses. If you would like to voice your opinion on the location of the new transmission lines, there will be another open house in July of this year. Exact dates and locations will follow. For more information, visit www.reynoldstopeka.com.

Urschel to Break Ground on New Headquarters in Chesterton

Urschel Laboratories Inc. will begin construction of a new $104 million corporate headquarters and manufacturing plant at Chesterton's Coffee Creek Center this year. The company has entered into a purchase agreement with Lake Erie Land for 160 acres in the Coffee Creek Center, east of Indiana 49 and north of the Indiana Toll Road. The company has retained Tonn and Blank Construction, of Michigan City, to begin working on the new 350,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in the second quarter of 2013. It is expected to be ready for occupancy in spring 2015. The company's more than 300 employees will transfer to the new manufacturing campus at that time. The company will be the largest industrial employer in Chesterton. Urschel Laboratories Inc. designs and manufactures precision food-cutting equipment that is used in the food-processing industry in the U.S. and throughout the world.
 

NIPSCO DSM Initiative for C&I Customers

NIPSCO is offering several Electric Incentive programs to its Commercial and Industrial customers to facilitate the implementation of electric energy-efficiency projects.

For businesses, NIPSCO has a number of great programs for you to save money and energy. The Custom Electric Incentive program offers financial incentives to qualifying customers for  cost-effective energy projects involving the installation of new, high-efficiency equipment or systems to existing facilities.

The Core Program, administered statewide by Energizing Indiana, offers rebates for prescriptive energy efficiency measures.

The New Construction Electric Incentive program provides financial incentives to customers looking to construct a new facility, complete an addition or major renovation project to an existing facility that will include the installation of new, energy-efficient equipment or systems.

Learn more

April is National Safe Digging Month

NIPSCO encourages customers to call 811 before digging. The use of the 811 service line helps avoid damages to NIPSCO's buried pipelines, wires, and cables. Most importantly, it keeps our customers safe.  With the warm weather approaching and many outdoor projects getting under way, NIPSCO wants everyone to stay safe. So before you start that new project, whatever it may be, please call 811. Don't become a statistic! State law requires that a call is placed to 811 at least two business days prior to beginning any excavation.

The 8-1-1 "Call Before You Dig'" hotline is a frees service and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

 


OCTOBER 2012

NIPSCO Energy Symposium Update

NIPSCO would like to thank those who attended its 2012 Energy Symposium on October 10th.  Below are the presentations from each of the 8 sessions that were offered:

 Symposium - 4Rs

 Symposium - Compressed Air

 Symposium - Energy Star/LEED

 Symposium - Lighting Technology

 Symposium - Natural Gas Market and Supply

 Symposium - Power Factor Correction

 Symposium - Pump and Motor Efficiency

  Symposium - Renewable Energy

  

Coming October 10 - NIPSCO Energy Symposium

On October 10, NIPSCO will host an Energy Symposium for its Commercial and Industrial customers at the Radisson Star Plaza in Merrillville. The event - offered at NO COST to the customer - will give you the opportunity to move through a variety of workshops that best suit your business needs. Workshop topics include: Power Factor, Lighting, Pumps & Motors efficiency, Demand Side Management, Air Compressor, Energy Star/LEED Certification, Natural Gas Markets, Renewable Power, and Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. To register, email mas@nisource.com.


Solar power project paying off for Elkhart County man

One of NIPSCO’s Feed-in Tariff (FIT) customers has found a way to make money from NIPSCO.
Marvin Bartel owns a small parcel of land which was previously home to a vegetable garden. It’s there he recently had two solar panel arrays installed, a source of renewable energy. In this sunny area, the solar arrays can create a maximum output of 6.02 kW. Through the FIT Program, customers can sell the renewable energy they generate to NIPSCO and receive a check each month. Bartel receives $.30/kWh generated by his solar array. Mr. Bartel stated the money he receives from NIPSCO covers his monthly bills for electricity, gas, phone and Internet.

Solar Panels
Source WSBT


Although the solar panels don’t generate a lot of energy, Mr. Bartel said he believes the project is very worthwhile and in a small way, helps leave less of a carbon footprint on the Earth in the wider scheme of things. “It seemed to be economically feasible and the right thing to do, for the ecology, for the environment as well, so we decided to go with it,” Bartel said. Mr. Bartel started to deliver electricity to NIPSCO in May and estimates the system should pay off within 15 years.

NIPSCO Celebrates 100-Year Milestone by Honoring Communit y Leaders

In celebration of NIPSCO’s 100th anniversary, we created the Luminary Awards to honor local leaders for their outstanding commitment to strengthening our communities and for lighting the way for others to follow.

Recipients of the 2012 NIPSCO Luminary Awards:

  • Community Leadership – Indiana State Representative Chester Dobis
  • Emergency Response – Retired Fire Chief Howard Buchanon and members of the South Bend Fire Department
  • Education – Chancellor James Dworkin, Purdue University North Central
  • Environmental Stewardship – Mayor Keith Solderquist, Lake Station

In thanks for their commitment to our communities, NIPSCO made a $1,000 contribution to each award winner’s charity of choice.

NIPSCO continues to honor its commitment to provide its customers with safe, reliable and affordable electric and natural gas service, paving the way for a bright future in Northern Indiana.

Safety-Kleen Completes New Oil Blending Facility, Production Ramping Up

SaSafety-Kleen Systems, Inc., has begun blending a variety of engine oils at its new blend facility in East Chicago, Ind.

The facility, which was completed in late June, will allow the company to blend more of its own finished oil products in-house.

"This new facility gives Safety-Kleen the ability to blend a slate of oils for both passenger cars and heavy duty diesel engines, and increase the supply of our environmentally-friendly EcoPower engine oils," said Dave Sprinkle, executive vice president for oil re-refining. "In addition, by controlling the process at our own facility, we ensure a consistently high level of quality control."

Sprinkle said the new facility will have an initial blending capacity of 20 million gallons annually, with the option to increase production by expanding work shifts in the future. Initial production of blended products began on July 2.

Scott Miller, Safety-Kleen's director of oil re-refining, managed construction of the new facility and will oversee operations.

"This new blending capacity improves our position as a direct supplier in the blended finished products market, in addition to being a reliable supplier of base oils," Miller said.

Safety-Kleen is North America's largest used oil re-refiner, annually collecting approximately 200 million gallons of used oil and re-refining approximately 160 million gallons at its two re-refineries in East Chicago and Breslau, Ontario.

"Our existing re-refineries have processed more than 2.5 billion gallons of used oil into high-quality lubricants and by-products since 1988," said Safety-Kleen CEO and President Bob Craycraft.

About Safety-Kleen
Safety-Kleen is a leading North American used oil recycling and re-fining, parts cleaning and environmental solutions company, with approximately 4,300 employees serving more than 200,000 customer locations in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Safety-Kleen provides a broad set of environmentally-responsible products and services that keep North American businesses in balance with the environment. For more information, please visit www.safety-kleen.com or call (800) 669-5740.

Source: Safety-Kleen


ArcelorMittal Energy Fair

The ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor team (led by Larry Fabina, Manager of Continuous Improvement) will be hosting an inaugural Energy Fair on October 3-4, 2012 for the employees of the Burns Harbor facility.  This event will be held concurrent with their annual Health and Safety Fair at the Deerfield Training Facility located within the ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor plant in Porter County.  The goal of the Energy Fair is to keep energy efficiency/savings in the minds of Burns Harbor employees, and to expose employees to the current and future energy reduction projects the ArcelorMittal Burns Harbor facility. 

To support the event, NIPSCO’s “Save in the Shade” booth will be on hand to offer attendees a fun, yet informative way to learn how to manage energy use. Visitors will learn about a variety of NIPSCO programs, including:

1. Appliance Recycling
2. Energy Efficiency Rebates
3. Air Conditioning Cycling
4. Instant savings on CFLs
5. Home Energy Assessments (in conjunction with Energizing Indiana Program)

Beside these money-saving programs for managing energy use at home, NIPSCO provides additional information on the electric and natural gas incentive programs currently being offered to commercial and industrial customers.


The Energizing Indiana C&I Prescriptive Rebate Program, including CFL light bulb giveaway

The Energizing Indiana C&I Prescriptive Rebate Program is specifically designed to help facility managers and building owners achieve cost-effective energy savings. This program includes a prescriptive rebate structure that rewards you with monetary rebates based on installation of the following energy efficient equipment upgrades:

• Lighting
• HVAC and Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs)
• Energy Star ® food service equipment and specialty products

As part of the program promotion, customers received six CFL bulbs to help jumpstart their energy savings.

As an Indiana business, you already qualify to take advantage of a variety of energy efficiency rebates. For information on ways to save energy and money, visit NIPSCO.com/SaveEnergy.


Hoosier Tire and Rubber Corp. Expansion

Hoosier Tire and Rubber Corp., a long-standing employer in the area, recently announced that 20 positions would result from their planned expansion in 2012. The company will be incorporating a rubber mixing plant to their existing facility in Plymouth.

John DeSalle, vice president of manufacturing, said that currently one-third of the rubber used to make the company’s tires is manufactured off-site, in Ohio.  Mixing more rubber locally will greatly reduce Hoosier’s costs, as well as add 16 jobs to their workforce in Plymouth and another four at their headquarters in Lakeville.

“We are quite confident about our future,” said DeSalle during a visit to a recent city council meeting. We think this is a timely investment.”

He added that the 37,000 square foot addition will be built during the summer and will be operational Nov. 1, 2012. The cost of the expansion is about $8 million.

Source: Hoosier Tire

 

 


JULY 2012

 

Powering Youth in Northern Indiana

This year, NIPSCO is working with Boys & Girls Club chapters across our 30-county footprint to make our communities safe, educational and positive for our young people. From helping revamp club facilities to hosting fundraising picnics and raffles, our employees are stepping up to make a difference in our communities.

The kickoff celebration took place at NIPSCO’s Merrillville Headquarters on March 23, 2012. The day included employees speaking about their personal experiences with the Boys & Girls Clubs and how they enhanced their lives.

 

FGD project at R. M. Schahfer Generating Station

NIPSCO is targeting to complete a long-term, capital-intensive, environmental project before the end of 2013 at the company's R. M. Schahfer Generating Station (RMSGS) in Wheatfield, Indiana. The installation of the flue gas desulfurization (FGD) system will operate on Unit 14 at RMSGS and will add to the already installed "scrubbers" operating on four other NIPSCO units. The project has a price tag of approximately $154 million. The project is currently on time and on budget.

NIPSCO's investment in the FGD system will benefit

  • The economy: Many local contractors have been retained for the job and people with specialized skills have been brought in for the project.
  • The environment: The new system will remove 97 percent of the sulfur dioxide (SO1) from the plant's emissions. That will put the plant into compliance with the first of the newly expected Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) clean air requirements that will affect electric utility generating units.
  • Generation outlook: After the FGD installation is complete, Schahfer will have more fuel flexibility as its serves its customers in the most reliable, economical and efficient manner possible.

The FGD system installation is being led by a veteran of FGD installations, Mike Hooper, vice president of major projects for NIPSCO. Before joining NIPSCO, Hooper was involved with FGD installations on 22 individual units for American Electric Power (AEP).

"NIPSCO has very talented and very intelligent folks in the organization," Hooper said. "There's some good power industry experience in northern Indiana. I've found there is a sincere work ethic here as well."

Despite the size and complexity of the project, NIPSCO's number one concern is SAFETY.

 

FGD

 

The new chimney stack shell for the FGD is nearly 500 feet high.
The shell contains enough concrete to build nearly 1.5 miles of a two-lane highway.

 

Hobart High School highlights accomplishment through NIPSCO’s Energy Efficiency Program

ix Perry, Director of Support Services of School City of Hobart, "February is typically the largest electric bill of the year at Hobart High School. Since the Gym/Field house lighting retrofit was completed, our kWh usage at the general service meter was reduced by 24%. Under the new electric rates, Hobart High Schools February 2012 bill showed a $4,000 savings for the month of February over the same month in 2011! To show how far we have come, the kilowatt savings from the High School for February 2009 vs. February 2012 was 109,152 kWh, this is more than enough electricity to power Liberty Elementary, Ridgeview Elementary, George Earle, and the Service Center for an entire month! Based on this information, NIPSCO's incentive program and the lighting retrofit project will pay for itself in 1.5 years. The goal is to take the incentive dollars from this project and apply to the next project until all Hobart schools have upgraded lighting. I am very happy with the results."

 

 

Schools get educated on energy efficiency

Call it a teachable moment. A recent tour of Griffith High School took a small group of visitors through the hallways, into the boiler room, outdoors and even onto the roof - all in an effort to save money and learn how to conserve energy.

The school corporation is taking advantage of two free programs offered to schools - Energizing Indiana's school building assessment program, and Northern Indiana Public Service Co.'s commercial and industrial custom electric incentive program. Representatives from both the state program and the local utility company took the tour. In about two weeks, they will present a joint report to the Griffith school with their findings, recommendations and potential cost savings. View full article

 

 
Energy checkup: Checking the Giffith High School electric meters are
NPSCO managers Eugene Arnold and Dan Garrett along with senior energy
engineer, Scott Blaylock. The men were at the school to help the district save
costs on energy. Photo by Mary Compton ~ For Post-Tribune/Sun-Times Media

 

MISO MVP’s Create Jobs, Benefits for States

As our Regional Transmission Organization, the Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc.(MISO) is an essential link in the safe, cost-effective delivery of electric power across all or parts of 11 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba. As an RTO, MISO assures consumers of unbiased regional grid management and open access to the Transmission facilities under MISO’s functional supervision.

Another important function of MISO is Transmission Planning. Besides ensuring greater reliability across its footprint, MISO identifies areas of congestion and recommends Transmission upgrades.

MISO’s Multi-Value Projects portfolio, or MVP’s, will create thousands of jobs. Estimates range from 28,400 to 74,000 when construction, supplier and downstream opportunities are included. MISO matches the appropriate cost allocation method with each project’s driver and business case. Costs are spread commensurate with benefits, which typically range from 1.8 to 3.0 times the costs.

Regional transmission planning ensures greater reliability throughout MISO, identifying areas of congestion and recommending transmission upgrades.

One such project is scheduled to come to northern Indiana by 2017. An estimated 100-mile long 345 KV line will be constructed from Reynolds Substation in White County to Hiple Substation in LaGrange County.

 

NIPSCO’s Commercial & Industrial Upcoming Customer Events

NIPSCO would like to invite you, our valued Commercial & Industrial customer, to join us at one of our next customer events.  We offer informational meetings, technical assistance workshops (TAP), and an environment to learn more about our commitment to customers.  The following are the events for the 3rd quarter:    

Purdue University Westville TAP (Technical Assistance Program) workshops:

  • Dumpster Dive: July 13, 2012
  • Fundamentals of Lighting: August 10, 2012
  • H20 Conserve: September 14, 2012
  • Compressed Air Systems: October 12, 2012
  • July 31, 2012 & August 14, 2012:
    Commercial & Industrial Energy Summit, where utility and customer leadership is encouraged to explore the critical variables impacting natural gas and electric utility costs and reliability. 
  • October 10, 2012:
    Energy Symposium, an educational opportunity where NIPSCO’s Commercial & Industrial customers will have the chance to move through a variety of workshops that best suit their business needs including: Power Factor, Lighting, Pumps & Motors, and Natural Gas Markets to name a few. (Please view the article below for more information regarding the Energy Symposium.)

These dates are tentative and subject to change.  Notices and invitations will be sent before each event.  If you have any questions, or would like to be added to the distribution list for these events, please email MAS@nisource.com.  Just a friendly reminder, these events are for NIPSCO’s Commercial & Industrial customers only.

 

2012 Energy Symposium

NIPSCO will host an Energy Symposium for its Commercial and Industrial customers in Merrillville, on October 10, 2012 at NO COST to the customer. This event will give customers the opportunity to move through a variety of workshops that best suit their business needs. The topics will be offered during five sessions throughout the day, giving attendees the option to choose those that are of interest. The following workshops are being offered at the event: Power Factor, Lighting, Pumps & Motors efficiency, Demand Side Management, Air Compressor, Energy Star/LEED Certification, Natural Gas Markets, Renewable Power, and Refuse, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. For more information, see the 2012 Energy Symposium brochure.  

 

Inclusion & Diversity at NIPSCO, NiSource

The NiSource and NIPSCO vision is to cultivate and advance an inclusive environment for all employees by recognizing, valuing and celebrating the differences among our workforce, our customers and our communities to achieve our business objectives. A diverse mix of employees can challenge long accepted views and create dynamic environments leading to increased productivity. Diversity may also encourage a wider array of solutions and varied perspectives on a variety of issues. NiSource executives believe that leadership development is key to the organization's success, and will work toward that success in part by strengthening our pipeline of women leaders.

NiSource created the Women in Leadership team, which was designed to enhance NiSource's leadership focus by providing leadership training for our female leaders. An inaugural Women in Leadership Summit was held in November of 2011 for the top level of female leaders at NiSource. In 2012, three regional summits aimed at engaging the company's next level of female leaders were held. 

At the suggestion of the employees participating in the summits, the NiSource women's affinity group was formed - A New DAWN - Developing and Advancing Women at NiSource. A mentor program is also in development to increase the success of women in leadership.

Other efforts to promote Inclusion and Diversity at NiSource/NIPSCO include employee training sessions, focus groups as well as supplier and employee recruitment initiatives.

 


APRIL 2012

 

Track and Report Power Outages Now from Your Mobile Device

The Outage Center on NIPSCO.com provides our customers real-time updates on current electric outages, while offering helpful information to stay safe and informed when a storm hits or an outage occurs.

If you are unable to access the outage map due to a power outage, you can now use a mobile device to check the status of or report an outage.

NIPSCO recognizes that even the smallest interruption to your service can be inconvenient, and it is our commitment to restore your power as quickly and as safely as possible. 

The outage map offers an explanation for the cause of an outage as well as when the power is expected to be back on. Estimated restoration times are calculated by taking several factors into consideration such as historical data, time of day, available resources, weather conditions, the severity of an outage and more.

These online tools are another step forward as we continue to modernize our company and infrastructure. NIPSCO is currently investigating the next phase of this project, which will eventually offer more options to customers who may be interested in signing up to receive detailed outage information via text, e-mail or phone.

 

Lake Station City Hall is Now Net Metering

The City of Lake Station has installed a roof-mounted solar array totaling 82 kW on the $8.5 million City Hall building which opened in October.

Mayor Keith Soderquist has led the charge and recently said “Lake Station will be leading other municipalities into becoming as green and efficient as you can.”

The project also contains three (3) 1.2 kW vertical axis wind turbines. The electricity generated by these two renewable technologies will be used to help offset the electrical usage in this LEED-certified building.

More information on the Net Metering Program

 

References: The Times Newspaper and City of Lake Station’s contractor

New Electric Rates Implemented in December 2011

On December 21, 2011 the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) approved a collaborative settlement reached in July by NIPSCO, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), NIPSCO’s industrial customers and a coalition of eight northern Indiana Municipalities regarding new rates for its more than 457,000 electric customers across northern Indiana.

The impact on individual commercial and industrial customers will vary. Many factors determine commercial and industrial customers’ rates. On average, rates for commercial and industrial customers increase approximately 4.8 to 11 percent per month.

Electric Riders: NIPSCO has developed Tariff Riders that operate in conjunction with other established Rate schedules. All accounting and filed documents are reviewed and approved by the IURC quarterly, semi-annually or annually.

More information on the Electric Riders

NIPSCO Energy Savings Initiative for C&I Customers

NIPSCO is offering several Electric Incentive programs to its Commercial and Industrial customers to facilitate the implementation of electric energy-efficient projects and help you to save money and energy.
  • Custom Electric Incentive Program: offers financial incentives to qualifying customers for the completion of cost-effective energy projects involving the installation of new, high-efficiency equipment or systems to existing facilities.
  • Rebate Program: administered statewide by Energizing Indiana, offers rebates for prescriptive electric energy-efficient measures.
  • New Construction Electric Incentive Program: provides financial incentives to customers looking to construct a new facility, complete an addition or major renovation project to an existing facility that will include the installation of new, energy-efficient equipment or systems.

More energy savings information

Upcoming Events for NIPSCO’s Commercial & Industrial Customers

NIPSCO would like to invite you to join us at one of our next customer events. We offer informational meetings, technical assistance workshops (TAP), and an environment to learn more about NIPSCO’s commitment to their customers. The following are the events for the 2nd quarter:    

 
Purdue University Westville TAP workshops:

  • Green 101: April 27, 2012
  • Demand Management/Pumps: June 8, 2012
  • Dumpster Dive: July 13, 2012

Commercial & Industrial Energy Summit:

  • July 17, 2012 – Where utility and customer leadership is encouraged to explore the critical variables impacting natural gas and electric utility costs and reliability.

These dates are tentative and subject to change.  Notices and invitations will be sent before each event. If you have any questions, or would like to be added to the distribution list for these events, please email MAS@nisource.com. Just a friendly reminder, these events are for NIPSCO’s Commercial & Industrial customers only.

April is National Safe Digging Month

With the warm weather approaching and many outdoor projects getting under way, please remember to call 811 at least two days before starting any digging. One call to 811 helps keep all underground utilities’ pipelines, wires and cables safe from damage. Most importantly, it keeps our customers safe. From digging for a new in-ground swimming pool installation, building a deck, an excavation project, or planting a flower bed, please call the 811 service line.

 


NOVEMBER 2011

 

NIPSCO's Pending Electric Rate Case Remains Under IURC Review

NIPSCO is working harder than ever to keep rates affordable while providing the efficient, reliable energy customers depend on by:

  • Offering programs and educational initiatives to help customers save energy and manage their bill,
  • Keeping customers informed through the online power outage map and estimated restoration times,
  • Reducing service appointments to two-hour windows, and,
  • Reducing deposit requirements for low-income customers.

NIPSCO has not modified its base electric rates in 24 years and this case was filed to address investments made to improve system reliability and environmental technology, including the $330 million purchase of the highly efficient Sugar Creek natural gas-fired power plant in West Terre Haute, Ind., as well as costs associated with customer growth, system upgrades and ongoing maintenance.

NIPSCO and key customer stakeholders reached a settlement agreement earlier this year, which must be reviewed and approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) before new rates can become effective. NIPSCO anticipates that new rates could be effective later this year or early in 2012. View FAQs

IURC Balances Interests of all to Ensure Reliable and Reasonable Priced Utility Service

The IURC is a state agency that oversees various aspects of regulated public utilities' business - including, but not limited to, rates, financing, bonding, environmental compliance plans and service territories. Neither an advocate of the public nor the utilities, the IURC is required by state statute to make decisions that balance the interests of all parties. Its mission is to assure that utilities and others use adequate planning and resources for the provision of safe and reliable utility services at a reasonable cost.

The IURC has several divisions. The Electricity Division monitors and evaluates regulatory and policy initiatives that affect the electric utility industry. The Gas Division monitors and evaluates regulatory policy initiatives as well as natural gas utility performance. The IURC also has a Water/Sewer Division, Telecommunications Division, Video Services Division and Pipeline Safety Division. Each of the divisions investigates specific cases related to Rate Changes, Financing, and other items such as Service Area Matters and Formal Complaints. The IURC is located in Indianapolis. You may find rate filings, statutes and rules, news releases, as well as Hearing and Petition procedures at the IURC website.

Bio Town Ag Generation Facility Connects to NIPSCO Electric Grid

Bio Town Ag, a biomass generation facility located in Reynolds, Ind., connected to the NIPSCO power grid on June 24 and is now delivering electricity to the distribution system.  Bio Town generates electricity by extracting gas from animal waste and using it as fuel for three Jenbacher reciprocating engines.  The engines have a total nameplate capacity of about 3 megawatts (MW).  NIPSCO and Bio Town have entered into a long-term agreement where NIPSCO purchases the generated renewable electricity.  Brian Furrer, President of Bio Town, said "The renewable rate tariff that NIPSCO is offering is a direct contributor to the success of our project."  Bio Town's innovation and trailblazing has increased interest in Renewable Energy projects.  Since the Feed-in Tariff's approval in July, NIPSCO has received 26 applications for renewable energy projects. Additionally, Bio Town is working to increase their generation capacity up to 5 MW by the end of next year.

Learn More About Our Regional Transmission Operator: MISO

Many of NIPSCO's Commercial and Industrial customers are familiar with this acronym, which stands for Midwest Independent Transmission System Operator, Inc., (MISO). As the Regional Transmission Organization (RTO) for 12 states in the north central United States and the Canadian province of Manitoba, MISO is an essential link in the safe, cost-effective delivery of electric power.  MISO exists to provide an independent platform for transparent regional energy markets and help ensure reliable, least-cost delivered energy for all electricity consumers.  MISO manages one of the world's largest energy markets, using security-constrained economic dispatch of Generation, clearing more than $23 billion in gross market charges annually. MISO uses superior tools and processes to maintain and manage reliability. In so doing, they provide enhanced operating and monitoring of the Regional Electric Grid, to make more efficient use of the region's Transmission infrastructure. Learn more by visiting MISO's website.

Modern Forge to Build a Manufacturing Plant in Merrillville

Modern Forge, a metal forging business serving the aerospace, railroad and motorcycle industries, will operate a manufacturing facility next year at 8757 Colorado Street in Merrillville, Ind., after receiving a strong package of local and state incentives. Modern Forge was offered up to $2 million in performance-based tax credits and up to $200,000 in training grants from the Indiana Economic Development Corp., to move to Indiana. Additionally, the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority provided $2 million in incentives and the Merrillville Town Council approved a 10-year tax abatement for the company. Modern Forge's $17 million investment in the city includes upgrading an existing 150,000-square-foot building in Merrillville. The company also will construct a 60,000-square-foot building to complete the state-of-the-art forging operation. The new facility will generate about 250 new jobs. Read more

NIPSCO will Continue to Offer Technical Assistance Program Workshops to C&I Customers

NIPSCO has sponsored eight Energy Efficiency and Green Operation workshops for their Commercial and Industrial customers since August 2010. Presented by the Technical Assistance Program (TAP) of Purdue North Central in Westville, the courses are one-day events addressing individual topics in the area of either energy efficiency or green operation of facilities. The workshops are designed to effectively offer NIPSCO customers quality information that may improve their efficiency, management systems and growth through various engagement methodologies.  In 2012, NIPSCO will offer additional TAP workshops.  A tentative schedule of classes will be distributed once the details are finalized.  For more information on NIPSCO's offering of TAP workshops, please e-mail Major Accounts Support at MAS@nisource.com.

 


JULY 2011

 

NIPSCO Offers Technical Assistance Program Workshops To C&I Customers

NIPSCO has sponsored eight Energy Efficient and Green Operation workshops for their Commercial and Industrial customers since August 2010. Presented by the Technical Assistance Program (TAP) of Purdue North Central in Westville, the courses are one-day events addressing individual topics in the area of either energy efficiency or green operation of facilities. The workshops are designed to effectively offer our customers quality information that may improve their efficiency, management systems and growth through various engagement methodologies. The mission of Purdue’s TAP is to advance Indiana's economic prosperity, health and quality of life.

NIPSCO has sponsored eight Energy Efficient and Green Operation workshops for their Commercial and Industrial customers since August 2010. Presented by the of Purdue North Central in Westville, the courses are one-day events addressing individual topics in the area of either energy efficiency or green operation of facilities. The workshops are designed to effectively offer our customers quality information that may improve their efficiency, management systems and growth through various engagement methodologies. The mission of Purdue’s TAP is to advance Indiana's economic prosperity, health and quality of life.

For more information on NIPSCO’s offering of TAP workshops, please e-mail Major Accounts Support at MAS@nisource.com.

NIPSCO Rate 850 To Expand Current Net Metering and Feed-In Tariff Program
NIPSCO’s Experimental Rate 850 is awaiting Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) approval.  If approved, it will expand NIPSCO’s current electric net metering tariff.  Rate 850 will allow any electric retail customer that operates a solar, wind, biomass or new hydro facility up to 1 megawatt (MW) to net meter.  Net Metering allows customers to offset their electric usage by generating energy through renewable resources.  Experimental Rate 850 also includes a pilot feed-in-tariff program, which provides an opportunity for customers to receive cash payments for energy delivered to NIPSCO from qualifying facilities between 5 kilowatt and 5 MW.  Both programs are subject to specific technology limits.  Learn more

Whiting Refinery Modernization Project – Focus on Safety
In connection with the largest construction project in Indiana history, NIPSCO, BP Amoco and the Fluor Corp., are working together to ensure the safe transport of refinery equipment beneath NIPSCO's high voltage transmission electric lines. To safely transport the equipment modules, which are nearly 50 feet high, de-energizing of one of NIPSCO's 138,000 volt electric lines to Arcelor Mittal Steel's #2 substation in Indiana Harbor was required.

The modules, being transported by crawler from the Indiana Harbor Ship Canal to the BP Whiting Refinery via Dickey Road and 129th Avenue, must maintain National Electric Safety Code clearances at all times. NIPSCO's Major Accounts group has successfully coordinated these moves with Arcelor Mittal, to minimize any disruption to their normal production schedule.  This is an ongoing project. Line clearances are arranged as these very large modules arrive from overseas.

Customer Takes Advantage Of Custom Incentive Program
Country Inn & Suites, a NIPSCO customer in Portage recently took advantage of NIPSCO’s Commercial & Industrial Custom Incentive Program and received $17,000 in rebates. 

The incentive program, which includes rebates for installation of energy efficient technologies, is designed to help customers cut their energy usage and costs. Qualifying C&I customers may utilize the program to fund projects that make their facilities more energy efficient.  A rebate will be issued to the customer at the completion of a qualified project based on the estimated kilowatt hours (kWh) saved due to the new energy efficient upgrades. 

At the completion of the project in Portage, the Country Inn & Suites received a check for switching out their old thermostats with energy efficient units.  The new energy efficient thermostats have motion sensing technology, which will help reduce the energy costs when occupants are not in the rooms. Another great feature of the new thermostats is that they are Wi-Fi capable, which allows management to adjust the settings for each room from a computer.  Within two months, the customer has experienced a $2,000 a month in savings on their NIPSCO bill. View full storyFor more information on how to start a Commercial & Industrial Incentive Program project, please contact your Major Accounts Manager.

Free Resources Pertaining to Motor Repair and Rewinding Available on the EASA website
The Electrical Apparatus Service Association, Inc. (EASA) is an international trade organization of more than 2,100 electromechanical sales and service firms in 58 countries. Through its many engineering and educational programs, EASA provides members with a means of keeping up to date on materials, equipment, and state-of-the-art technology.

The following informative booklets may be downloaded from the EASA website free of charge:

  • ANSI/EASA AR100-2010: Recommended Practice for the Repair of Rotating Electrical Apparatus - Publication Date:  September 2010
  • The Effect of Repair/Rewinding on Motor Efficiency – Publication Date: December 2003
  • Guidelines for Maintaining Motor Efficiency During Rebuilding – Publication Date: November 2007

 


JUNE 2011

 

Kokomo Gas and NIF&L Natural Gas Customers to Become NIPSCO Customers

Effective July 1, Kokomo Gas and Northern Indiana Fuel & Light (NIF&L) natural gas customers will become NIPSCO customers as the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) issued an order this week approving the consolidation of Northern Indiana Fuel & Light (NIF&L) and Kokomo Gas into Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). View our Press Release to learn more. As a result of this merger, some customers may experience transportation and nomination zones changes. View our transportation zone chart to learn about changes to transportation and nomination zones.  

 


MARCH 2011

 

NIPSCO Seeks to Expand Current Net Metering and Feed-In-Tariff Program

NIPSCO filed a petition recently with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) seeking modifications to the company’s current electric net metering tariff. If approved, the revised tariff will include eligible loads up to 100 kilowatts and expand program’s eligibility to all classes of retail customers. The petition also includes addition of a renewable feed-in tariff for electric service. As filed, the pilot feed-in program, subject to specific technology limits, would provide for NIPSCO’s purchase of electricity from eligible renewable generating facilities. Learn more about connecting to our grid.

NIPSCO Offers C&I Customers Incentives to Install High-Efficiency Equipment

The NIPSCO Commercial and Industrial Custom Electric Incentive Program encourages qualifying non-residential customers to complete cost-effective energy projects involving the installation of new, high-efficiency equipment or systems. The program is open to non-residential customers served under NIPSCO Demand Tariff Rates: 823, 824, 825, 826, 832, 833, 836, 844, 845 and 847. Eligible projects consist of the retrofit or replacement of existing equipment and systems including, but not limited to: lighting, HVAC, compressed air, food service, motors, data center, IT systems and other projects resulting in incremental electrical energy savings. Visit our site to learn more about who qualifies and how to apply.

Optimizing Compressed Air Systems Can Help Reduce Energy Costs

Optimizing the operation of compressed air systems, which are used in many industrial facilities, can help reduce energy costs. Often, operators of compressed air systems boost pressure to compensate for system inefficiency issues, such as inconsistent pressure levels. However, adding adequate storage capacity may effectively address the problem without increasing energy consumption.  System leaks also are a major source of wasted energy and inefficiency in compressed air systems.  A Department of Energy publication suggests that an average industrial facility that has not been well maintained could have a leak rate equal to 20 percent of total compressed air capacity. For example:  Operating at 100 pounds per square inch, correcting 10 one-quarter inch leaks in a compressed air system could amount to total annual energy savings of $38,776. (Operating 7,000 hours per year at $.05 per kilowatt-hour)
For more information, visit the Department of Energy Web site.

American Iron and Steel Institute: The Voice of The North American Steel Industry

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) serves as the voice of the North American steel industry in the public policy arena and advances the case for steel as the preferred material of choice in the marketplace. AISI also plays a lead role in the development and application of new steels and steelmaking technology. AISI is comprised of 24 member companies, including integrated and electric furnace steelmakers and 138 associate and affiliate members, who are suppliers to or customers of the steel industry. AISI's member companies represent approximately 75 percent of both U.S. and North American steel capacity. For more news about steel and its applications,view the AISI Web site.

Natural Gas Prices Expected Near $4.10 Per MMBtu In 2011, Lower Than 2010 Average

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in its Short Term Energy Outlook published on March 8 that projected Henry Hub natural gas spot price will average $4.10 per million Btu (MMBtu) for 2011, $0.29 per MMBtu lower than the 2010 average.  Additionally, EIA expects the natural gas market to begin to tighten in 2012, with the Henry Hub spot price increasing to an average of $4.58 per MMBtu. View the entire U.S. EIA Short Term Energy Outlook Report.

 

Region’s Weekly Steel Production Increased To 457,000 Tons Last Week

The Times of Northwest Indiana newspaper reported in early March that estimated year-to-date raw steel production in the United States was 16.3 million tons, up from 14.9 million tons during the comparable 2010 period, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute. To view the article, click here.

 


FEBRUARY 2011

 

Demand Response Resource/Emergency Demand Resource

MEETING NOTICE: As a customer with demand levels of 1 MW or more, you may be interested in participating in this program.  An informational meeting is scheduled to be held on March 1, 2011 at 9AM in Merrillville at the Radisson Star Plaza for customers who may be interested.  To reserve your space at this informational meeting and for more information, please email:  MAS@nisource.com.

NIPSCO’s Proposed Demand Response Resource, Type I
Emergency Demand Response 
 Compliance filing in Cause No. 43566 MISO1
Filed December 10, 2010

In July 2010 the IURC ordered all Indiana electric utilities to file tariffs or riders authorizing retail customers to participate in MISO demand response offerings through the utility.  This filing was prepared in collaboration with other Indiana utility’s with input from industrial customers and Aggregators of Retail Services (ARCs). 

The Rider is available to customers on Rates (823, 824, 825, 826, 832, 833, 834, 835, 836 and 845) who have a sustainable ability to reduce energy requirements.  A customer taking service under this rider may not take power under the temporary, surplus power and back-up & maintenance riders during an event under this rider. A customer with multiple locations may aggregate its load into a single service agreement and participate as an ARC for purposes of this rider.

Demand Response Resource Process

Customer completes  application for registration in the program

  • Customer is registered with MISO
  • Customer is set up in DR (MISO) tool for offer registration

Prior to active participation:

Energy Service Agreement

  • Includes all requirements
    • Required metering installed
    • Includes terms of offer changes
  • Credit check and collateral may be required for non-customer ARCs
  • Payment of annual registration fee
  • Customer is enrolled in DR tool for offer registration
  • Execute Energy Service Agreement

  
Customer post offers in DR tool as default or daily/hourly specific

  • Changes must be made in the tool prior to 8:30 AM CST the day prior to the day the status change will be effective
  • Up to 15 offer changes may be made each calendar month at no charge to the customer/ARC. Additional changes are $100 each. 

Event Notification and Response

  • NIPSCO will notify customer or ARC within 30 minutes of receiving notice of cleared offers from MISO
  • Customer must reduce load as indicated

Energy Settlement

  • Customer is compensated for load reduction when a DRR event is cleared and dispatched
  • There may be penalties imposed for failure to perform based on the terms of the Energy Service Agreement.
  • Payment is the amount received from MISO less NIPSCO’s margin costs, any MISO imposed costs and a 5% administration fee.
  • For customers, credits or charges will appear on the monthly bill.  For ARCs (including customers participating as an ARC), the monthly credit will be issued as a single payment; any debits will be included on a monthly invoice.  In either case any debits are first netted against any credits. 

Power Interruption

  • If power is interrupted to a customer during a DRR event, no event credit is paid

DECEMBER 2010

 

Have a Wonderful and Safe Holiday Season

NIPSCO Major Accounts would like to thank all of its commercial and industrial customers for their business in 2010. Please have a wonderful and enjoyable holiday season with your friends and loved ones. We look forward to a prosperous New Year for all of our customers.

Remember: Safety begins at home. Safety First, Safety Always!

NIPSCO’s Natural Gas and Electric Rate Update

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) implemented last month new natural gas rates approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) on Nov. 4 as part of a settlement agreement with NIPSCO’s key customer stakeholders. The new rates (400 series) are expected to result in a slight decrease for most NIPSCO natural gas customers, including commercial and industrial customers.

Additionally, NIPSCO filed a new electric rate case with the IURC on Nov. 19 that, if approved, would address a number of concerns expressed by customer stakeholders, including commercial and residential customers, regarding the pending electric order issued by the Commission in late August. The impact of the proposed rate filing on individual commercial and industrial customers will vary depending upon their usage patterns and which rate they chose.

BP Refinery Improvement Project to Bring Energy Security to State, U.S.

BP’s $3.8 billion dollar modernization of its refinery in Whiting, Ind., represents the largest private investment ever made in the state. When the Whiting Refinery Modernization Project, or WRMP, is complete in late 2012, the refinery will have the capacity to produce an additional 1.7 million gallons of gasoline per day. 

In addition, the project will bring greater energy security to the Midwest and U.S. as conventional supplies of lighter crude oil diminish and are replaced by heavier oil feedstock.  The modernization project is essential to the long-term viability of the refinery and will sustain full-time jobs in northwest Indiana over the long-term.

The WRMP is also contributing up thousands of local contractor jobs during construction. The project includes the construction of a new coker, crude distillation unit, gas oil hydro treater and sulfur recovery facilities.  The modernization also includes a number of environmental improvements, such as modernized water treatment facilities.

NIPSCO Seeks to Expand Energy Efficiency Programs for Customers

NIPSCO filed a request with the IURC in June to expand its energy efficiency programs available to its electric customers. It is anticipated that the new electric energy efficiency programs will be available to commercial and industrial customers during the first quarter of 2011.

Under the current proposal, NIPSCO is seeking to add the following commercial programs:
• Energy Efficient Lighting/Pumps & Motors Rebate Program
• Air Conditioning Cycling Program
• Commercial & Industrial New Construction Incentive Program
• Custom Incentive Program (which addresses the unique efficiency opportunities of NIPSCO commercial and industrial customers through a custom approach, which can be monitored through pre and post installation inspections.)

NIPSCO will continue to provide additional information to help inform customers of these and any new programs as they become available. Learn more about available energy efficiency programs and other ways customers can better manage their energy usage by visiting www.nipsco.com/saveenergy.

Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE)

The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995 and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the North Carolina Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. Visit the DSIRE website to learn more about state and federal incentives/policies for renewables and efficiency.

Energy Industry News

Natural Gas Prices Expected to Rise Above $4.30 Per MMBtu In 2011
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported last week in its Short Term Energy Outlook published on Dec. 7 that a slight decrease in working inventories could lead to higher natural gas prices in 2011, when the Henry Hub spot price of the fuel is projected to average $4.33 per MMBtu. The average spot price in November 2010 was $3.71 per MMBtu.

 View the U.S. EIA Short Term Energy Outlook report

Region’s Year-To-Date Steel Production Increased Compared To 2009

The Times of Northwest Indiana newspaper reported last week that year-to-date steel production in the Chicago-area, which includes northwest Indiana, was 80.31 million tons, up from 57.06 million tons during the comparable 2009 period. View article

Natural Gas Prices Expected to Rise Slightly in 2011

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in its Short Term Energy Outlook published on Sept. 8 that a slight increase in industrial consumption could lead to higher natural gas prices in 2011, when the Henry Hub spot price of the fuel is projected to average $4.76 per MMBtu. The average spot price in August 2010 was $4.32 per MMBtu.

Use of natural light can reduce energy costs and increase productivity

Daylighting is the admission of a controlled amount of natural sunlight into a building to allow reductions in electric light sources.  While daylighting offers considerable potential for energy savings, the historically high capital cost has restricted its usage.  However, advances in technology may be turning this trend around.

Daylight is electromagnetic radiation that falls in the visible range but even the most advanced electric light sources cannot reproduce the variations of sunlight that occur each day. In a report by the Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute titled The Benefits of Daylight Through Windows, the positive affects of daylighting are explored. These include physically stimulating the visual and circadian systems and psychologically satisfying the desire for daylight and a view.

Correctly designed daylighting systems have the potential to reduce energy costs and emissions, improve life-cycle costs and increase user productivity. For more information on daylighting, view the following websites: www.lrc.rpi.edu  or www.daylighting.org.

 


SEPTEMBER 2010

 

Changes Coming to NIPSCO’s Electric and Natural Gas Rates

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) on Aug. 25 delivered its order on NIPSCO’s 2008 electric rate case. The company is reviewing the order to fully understand its effect on all customer classes, including Commercial and Industrial customers. View our electric order press release for more information on NIPSCO’s electric rate order.

Additionally, NIPSCO reached an agreement last month with its customer stakeholders to settle its pending natural gas rate case. The company filed the settlement with the IURC on Aug. 24 and is expected to receive an order on the proposal later this year. View our rate case page for more information. 

NIPSCO teams with Purdue to Offer Workshops for NIPSCO's Commercial and Industrial Customers

NIPSCO is sponsoring two series of workshops addressing Energy Efficiency and Green Operations for NIPSCO's commercial and industrial customers. Presented by the Technical Assistance Program (TAP) of Purdue North Central in Westville, the courses are one day events addressing individual topics in the area of either Energy Efficiency or Green Operation of facilities.

The workshops are designed to effectively offer our customers quality information that may improve their efficiency, management systems and growth through various engagement methodologies. Upcoming energy efficiency events include: Fundamentals of Lighting/Demand Side Management; Compressed Air Systems/Power Factor Correction; Motor System Management/Pumping Systems. Or join our Green Generalist program, including: Green 101; Sustainability in Practice; Water Conservation; Pollution Solutions; and Dumpster Dive.

Take part in this great opportunity offered by NIPSCO's Major Accounts Department by attending any or all available courses of interest.

For more information, please contact Laura Cardona in NIPSCO Major Accounts. 

Controlling Peak Demand Can Help Lower Electricity Costs

An effective way for commercial and industrial customers to potentially lower the amount paid for electricity under a demand rate structure is to improve load factor by reducing peak or coincidental demand.

Load factor is important because NIPSCO must have enough capacity to satisfy every customer’s peak demand for electricity at any given time. Load factor is a useful indicator to describe the consumption characteristics of electricity over a period of time.

Load factor can be calculated using the following formula:

LF = monthly kWh / monthly peak KW demand X (days of the month) X 24 hours

Demand rate structures are designed to reward customers for operating with a high load factor.
Sometimes simple steps can reduce peak or coincidental demand. Staggering the start up of larger pieces of electrical equipment, for example, can reduce peak demand. Replacing inefficient equipment, adding soft starts or demand shedding controls may also be effective.

View our Load Factor FAQs or contact your NIPSCO Major Accounts representative today for more information on how load factor impacts your bill and how you can make changes to potentially lower your overall electricity costs.

Natural Gas Prices Expected to Rise Slightly in 2011

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in its Short Term Energy Outlook published on Sept. 8 that a slight increase in industrial consumption could lead to higher natural gas prices in 2011, when the Henry Hub spot price of the fuel is projected to average $4.76 per MMBtu. The average spot price in August 2010 was $4.32 per MMBtu.

Natural Gas - Chicago Citygates

Henry Hub Gas Proce

View more information: U.S. Energy Information Administration web site

pdf View the entire U.S. EIA Short Term Energy Outlook report 

Energy Industry Periodicals

Energy Solution Center:

pdf Gas Technology Magazine - Summer 2010 Edition

pdf Energy Solutions for Commercial Buildings Magazine

Have A Question Or A Comment?

Please e-mail NIPSCO Major Accounts Support at MAS@nisource.com.