MUNSTER, Ind. (AP) — The state consumer advocate is seeking public input on a proposal from Northern Indiana Public Service Co. to increase natural gas rates by about 20 percent for the average customer over the next two years.

The (Northwest Indiana) Times reports that the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor is seeking written comments. It will also hold public hearings on the request, starting with one Dec. 12 in Fort Wayne.

The Merrillville-based utility provides natural gas to 820,000 customers in 32 counties. If approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, NIPSCO says residential customers now paying $50 a month now would see an overall increase of $10 per month.

NIPSCO says its base natural gas rates haven't increased in more than 25 years.

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Find it on the web at: https://www.in.gov/oucc/

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Information from: The Times, http://www.nwitimes.com