Business and Economics

NIPSCO Gas Rates Same Through 2020

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September 4, 2013 — NIPSCO customers throughout the Region should enjoy the same natural gas prices for seven more years.

Northern Indiana Public Service Company, or NIPSCO, said today it is keeping its base natural gas rates in place through 2020.

It says the rate plan follows Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) approval of a settlement agreement to extend existing rates for all natural gas customers, “The IURC approved the settlement agreement reached earlier this summer by NIPSCO, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and other key customer stakeholders, which effectively extends the same rates that were approved in the 2010 rate case order. “
NIPSCO says, “For nearly two years, NIPSCO’s natural gas rates have been the lowest in Indiana on average (Source: IURC Natural Gas Residential Bill Survey).”

It says the “key provisions from the settlement agreement approved by the IURC include:
·        No change to NIPSCO’s monthly gas delivery/service charge. The customer charge for residential customers will remain at $11.00, and will continue to separate fixed monthly service costs from variable, usage-driven costs, allowing customers to better track and manage energy usage.
·        Continuation of NIPSCO’s low-income customer heating assistance program for eligible residential natural gas customers.
·        Extension of reduced deposit requirements for eligible low-income customers.
·        Requirement to file another natural gas rate case on or before November of 2020.”

NIPSCO says it has no mark-up and makes no profit on the cost of natural gas billed to its customers, which represents the largest portion of customer bills, averaging two-thirds of an overall bill, “While NIPSCO cannot control market conditions affecting the price of natural gas, the utility does negotiate the best possible price for the natural gas it purchases for its customers.“

Merrillville-based NIPSCO describes itself as, “one of the nine energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI). With more than 712,000 natural gas customers and 457,000 electric customers across the northern third of Indiana, NIPSCO is the largest natural gas distribution company, and the second largest electric distribution company, in the state. NiSource distribution companies serve 3.8 million natural gas and electric customers primarily in seven states. “

NIPSCO’s C-E-O Jim Stanley says this decision is great news for homes and businesses where customers will benefit from some of the lowest natural gas rates in the state.

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