AP NEWS

NIPSCO gas-rate hike approved

September 21, 2018

State regulators have approved a settlement involving Northern Indiana Public Service Co.’s natural gas rates that will increase next month.

It’s one of three utility rate hikes area residents will eventually see.

NIPSCO’s newly approved rates, effective Oct. 1, will be phased in over two years, and an average NIPSCO residential natural gas customer will see an overall increase of about 10 as originally proposed, NIPSCO said Thursday.

Included in the overall bill change will be an increase in the monthly customer charge from 14, which is also lower than what was originally proposed. New rates also account for the lower tax rate associated with the federal tax reform, the utility said.

The change for individual commercial and industrial customers will vary depending on usage, the utility said, but on average, the increase for overall commercial and smaller industrial customers will be less than the original proposal, NIPSCO said.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved the settlement this week. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, industrial customers and NIPSCO reached the agreement, which reduces NIPSCO’s original request by $48.9 million, according to the utility consumer counselor.

NIPSCO serves about 820,000 natural gas and 460,000 electric customers across 32 counties. 

NIPSCO electric rates were not affected by this case.

“This agreement will ensure that the utility will have the revenues needed to complete numerous upgrades throughout its gas transmission and distribution system, while mitigating the rate impact as much as possible,” Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor Bill Fine said. “The OUCC is committed to addressing aging infrastructure, reliability, and safety, as they will continue to be critical issues for utilities and their customers throughout the nation.”

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission also recently approved a rate hike of about 7.26 percent for Indiana Michigan Power. The monthly increase for a typical customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours is $9.41.

On Monday, the utility regulatory commission will hear comments on Fort Wayne City Utilities’ proposed water rate hike.

If approved, the increase, which amounts to about 5.8 percent annually, will be phased in over the next five years. Customers will see the first increase of about 1.43 in 2020; 1.57 in 2022; and $1.67 in 2023.

The IURC hearing will be 6 p.m. Monday at the Homestead High School auditorium, 4310 Homestead Road. 

jchapman@jg.net

AP RADIO
Update hourly