MERRILLVILLE, Ind. – Northern Indiana Public Service Company (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 and the NIPSCO Gas Supplier Group.
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.
“This is a great outcome for our customers, our communities and the company as we continue to focus on increasing value and service across each of those areas,” said NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris. “It also provides a platform for continued investments in public safety and other programs to better serve customers now and into the future.”
What to expect on a customer’s bill
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.
The change for individual commercial and industrial customers will vary depending on usage patterns, but on average, rates for overall commercial and smaller industrial customers would also increase less than the original proposal.
It has been more than 25 years since NIPSCO’s base natural gas rates have increased, and in 2010, a regulatory review led to a slight decrease. Since that time, NIPSCO has repeatedly been the lowest-cost provider in Indiana – and among the lowest-cost providers in the nation – while improving service, reliability and safety to customers.
NIPSCO anticipates that, with the newly proposed rates, it will remain among the lowest-cost providers.
NIPSCO electric rates are not affected.
About NIPSCO: Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), with headquarters in Merrillville, Indiana, has proudly served the energy needs of northern Indiana for more than 100 years. As Indiana’s largest natural gas distribution company and the second-largest electric distribution company, NIPSCO serves approximately 820,000 natural gas and 460,000 electric customers across 32 counties. NIPSCO is part of NiSource’s (NYSE: NI) seven regulated utility companies. NiSource is one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 4 million natural gas and electric customers through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. More information about NIPSCO and NiSource is available at NIPSCO.com and NiSource.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities laws. Many factors govern whether any forward-looking statement contained herein will be or can be realized. Any one of those factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Examples of forward-looking statements in this press release include statements and expectations regarding NiSource’s or any of its subsidiaries’ business, performance, growth, commitments, investment opportunities, and planned, identified, infrastructure or utility investments. All forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that management believes to be reasonable; however, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, forecasts, estimates, plans, expectations and strategy discussed in this press release include, among other things, NiSource’s debt obligations; any changes in NiSource’s credit rating; NiSource’s ability to execute its growth strategy; changes in general economic, capital and commodity market conditions; pension funding obligations; economic regulation and the impact of regulatory rate reviews; NiSource’s ability to obtain expected financial or regulatory outcomes; any damage to NiSource’s reputation; compliance with environmental laws and the costs of associated liabilities; fluctuations in demand from residential and commercial customers; economic conditions of certain industries; the success of NIPSCO’s electric generation strategy; the price of energy commodities and related transportation costs or an inability to obtain an adequate, reliable and cost-effective fuel supply to meet customer demands; the reliability of customers and suppliers to fulfill their payment and contractual obligations; potential impairments of goodwill or definite-lived intangible assets; changes in taxation and accounting principles; potential incidents and other operating risks associated with our business; the impact of an aging infrastructure; the impact of climate change; potential cyber-attacks; construction risks and natural gas costs and supply risks; extreme weather conditions; the attraction and retention of a qualified work force; advances in technology; the ability of NiSource’s subsidiaries to generate cash; tax liabilities associated with the separation of Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc.; NiSource’s ability to manage new initiatives and organizational changes; the performance of third-party suppliers and service providers; the availability of insurance to cover all significant losses and other matters set forth in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” section of NiSource’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017 and in other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. NiSource expressly disclaims any duty to update, supplement or amend any of its forward-looking statements contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, subsequent events or otherwise, except as required by applicable law.