Continuing to Improve Your Service

Facts about NIPSCO’s Gas Regulatory Rate Review

Affordable rates and quality service are important to customers. It’s been more than 25 years since NIPSCO’s natural gas base rates have increased and in 2010, a review led to a slight decrease.

Since that time, NIPSCO has regularly been the lowest cost provider in Indiana—and among the lowest providers in the nation.

Unlike most companies, which can change the price of their product/service without outside approval, regulated energy providers—like NIPSCO—must submit a detailed request to change their rates. The request includes evidence to support the increase and demonstrate how it benefits customers.

The process—referred to as a regulatory rate review or rate case—must be decided by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). The 10–12 month review process includes public input and involvement.

 

Limiting the Impact to Customers

Our proposal works to strike the right balance of cost and service, so that we can provide the level of service customers expect. We anticipate remaining among the lowest-cost providers even with newly proposed rates.

NIPSCO natural gas customers will see a lower rate increase than originally proposed in the company’s pending regulatory rate review, as a result of a collaborative agreement reached with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), industrial customers, the NIPSCO Gas Supplier Group and the United Steelworkers on April 20, 2018.

The proposed agreement is subject to Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) review and approval, and new rates would be phased in over two years with the first phase occurring in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Based on the settlement, if approved as filed, an average residential customer would see an overall increase of approximately $8 per month instead of $10 as in the original proposal.

Included within the overall bill change will be an increase in the fixed monthly customer charge from $11 to $14, which is also lower than what was originally proposed.

New rates will also include the lower tax rate from federal tax reform.
 

Delivering Value and Improved Service

Service and value to customers has continued to improve and NIPSCO’s request seeks to further its commitment.

  • Serving as Indiana’s lowest natural gas cost provider and among the lowest in the nation
  • Providing faster response times to emergency customer calls
  • Upgrading and replacing old, vintage underground pipes with more modern materials
  • Being among industry leaders for fewest leaks on underground lines
  • Reduced service appointment windows
  • Helping to eliminate estimated bills by replacing nearly all customer meters with more advanced meters
  • Offering programs to help customers save energy and become more energy efficient
  • Continuing to provide bill payment assistance for low-income customers
  • Continued use of smart technologies to inspect and detect abnormal pipeline conditions
  • Indiana’s only company that allows customers the option to choose their natural gas provider
 

What costs are changing?

NIPSCO works hard to continually improve service while effectively managing all costs to serve 820,000 customers across 32 northern Indiana counties.

Some of the cost increases and future changes include:

  • More than $400 million in system upgrades, technology improvements and other investments to increase pipeline safety and reliability, with plans for future continued investments
  • Increased costs to comply with state and federal safety standards
  • Residential monthly customer charge estimated to increase to reflect more of the actual fixed costs to serve customers regardless of usage
  • Increased labor and material costs associated with infrastructures and service improvements