NIPSCO Choice FAQs
Why is NIPSCO offering this program?
NIPSCO purchases your natural gas supply for you and delivers it to your home. As a regulated company, we simply pass along the price we pay for natural gas directly on to you with no markup. This program opens up the marketplace so that other natural gas suppliers can now compete for your business, offering natural gas at competitive prices. The NIPSCO Choice Program makes it easy for you to take full advantage of this competition and selectively shop for the offer that best meets your needs.
NIPSCO is currently the only utility in Indiana offering such alternative supplier options to all its natural gas customers.
Aren't you giving away customers?
No. Regardless of who you choose to supply your natural gas, NIPSCO will still deliver it to your home or business. We will remain the same dedicated company you trust to deliver your natural gas, read your meter, assist you with billing, and respond quickly to any emergency.
Are there certain terms that I should be familiar with in order to better understand what the Choice Suppliers are offering?
Yes. Visit our Glossary of Terms
page to help you better understand important terms used when describing the plans being offered through the NIPSCO Choice program.
Are savings guaranteed?
Only if the Choice Supplier you choose provides a guarantee to be lower than the NIPSCO price. NIPSCO can't guarantee any offer made by Choice Suppliers.
Do I have to make a choice?
No. Participation is voluntary. If you don't choose a supplier, NIPSCO will continue to provide your natural gas at the current regulated rate.
How will I know if I'm eligible to participate?
If your natural gas is currently being supplied by NIPSCO and you have an account in “good credit standing,” you are eligible to participate in the NIPSCO Choice Program. An account in “good credit standing” is one in which the account does not carry a balance in arrears for more than 30 days.
Is there a fee to participate?
There are no application or membership fees attached to your initial enrollment in the NIPSCO Choice Program. In fact, some Choice Suppliers may offer you incentives to sign up. Read your Choice Supplier's contract carefully to determine whether you will be charged a fee for switching from one supplier to another. There will be no charge for switching back to NIPSCO as your supplier should you decide to do so, but there may be an early termination fee from the Choice Supplier.
Is the quality of natural gas the same?
Yes. There are no "grades" of natural gas. The quality and safety of the natural gas are the same as you've always received no matter who supplies it. And NIPSCO still provides safe and reliable delivery of the natural gas to your home and business.
If I choose a new supplier, what services will NIPSCO provide me?
NIPSCO will still be your local natural gas utility. We'll read your meter, respond to emergencies, and maintain company-owned pipelines. NIPSCO will continue to send your billing statement and be available to answer your billing inquiries. Rest assured, we remain fully committed to providing you with the best possible service, whether you purchase your natural gas from NIPSCO or another supplier.
What standards must natural gas suppliers meet?
To qualify for the NIPSCO Choice Program, all suppliers must agree to a Code of Conduct, which requires them to:
- Clearly communicate customers' rights and responsibilities
- Refrain from fraudulent practices
- Submit to a credit check
- Provide collateral
- Provide a means to resolve disputes between the Choice Supplier and the customer
How long will I have to stay with a new supplier, and can I change suppliers?
The length of your contract will be decided between you and your supplier. When your contract expires, you may change suppliers, keep the same supplier or return to NIPSCO as your supplier. Read your supplier contract carefully to see if there might be a fee for early termination, and to learn your rights if you should move during the contract period. Canceling with a supplier and/or becoming active with another supplier may take 1-2 billing cycles.
What if I want NIPSCO to continue as my supplier?
You don't have to do a thing. If you choose not to participate in the NIPSCO Choice Program, we will continue to purchase and deliver natural gas for you just as we always have.
If I change suppliers, how will I be billed?
Your supplier may offer you billing options. You may receive a single invoice from NIPSCO including both your natural gas supply costs and your NIPSCO delivery charges or separate invoices for each (delivery charges from NIPSCO and gas supply costs from the Choice Supplier). Final billing procedures will be up to your supplier, so be sure to ask before you sign.
Can I still use NIPSCO's Budget Payment Plan?
This depends on how your supplier bills you. If your supplier will be billing you directly, you will be unable to remain on the NIPSCO Budget plan. However, if your supplier is one that continues to use NIPSCO to bill you, you may remain on the Budget. Please note that your Budget will be recalculated upon enrollment with a Supplier.
Can I still use the ZapCheck Automatic Payment Service?
This depends on how your supplier bills you. If NIPSCO issues the entire bill, you may remain on ZapCheck. If the supplier bills for the natural gas costs, NIPSCO will continue to offer ZapCheck for our charges.
Check with your supplier before you sign a contract to see if they offer an automatic payment service, too.
Will another natural gas supplier be as reliable as NIPSCO?
The NIPSCO Choice Program has been designed so that you will always have natural gas when you need it no matter who your supplier is. We'll work closely with your supplier to make sure you never run out.
What if I have a dispute with the supplier?
Contact the supplier and try to find a solution. If the supplier fails to make a good-faith attempt to negotiate or resolve customer complaints, please contact NIPSCO. NIPSCO will not terminate nor interrupt the delivery of natural gas to you as a result of a dispute between you and the supplier.
What if I want to cancel, or fail to honor the agreement with the supplier?
You should realize that you're signing a contractual agreement, and you must honor the terms. Be sure to read the entire contract carefully to understand your rights to change suppliers or cancel under reasonable circumstances, such as relocation to an area where the program isn't available. Also, be aware of any cancellation fees that might apply.
How can I get more information?
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) welcomes calls about NIPSCO Choice at 1-888-441-2494. The OUCC is the state agency that represents the interests of Indiana consumers in matters related to the provisions of utility services.
You can also email NIPSCO at email@example.com.
Who will I call for emergencies, such as gas leaks?
Regardless of who you purchase your natural gas from, NIPSCO will continue to be your direct point of contact for any natural gas emergencies.
In its natural state, natural gas is odorless and colorless. For easier detection of gas leaks, NIPSCO adds a distinctive “rotten egg” scent to natural gas. If you notice this odor, immediately take the following actions:
- Do NOT light matches, turn electrical switches on or off, or use a telephone in the building
- If you smell gas inside your home or business, get out immediately.
- From a safe place, call NIPSCO to report the leak at our emergency number 1-800-634-3524 24 hours a day.
- Remain outside until NIPSCO can send someone to check on the source of the odor.
In addition to calling NIPSCO to report a gas leak, it is required by state law to contact 811 to report any damage to our facilities, as well as, 911 if there is a release of gas.