Merrillville-based NIPSCO wants to raise rates for what it says will ensure safe operations and service delivery for its customers now and in the future.
Based on NIPSCO’s proposal to state regulators, a residential customer using 70 therms monthly, paying about $55 today, would see an overall increase of roughly $9 per month, or 17%.
The estimated rate change also includes a proposed increase in the monthly customer charge from $14 to $24.50. The utility said its proposed increase in the customer charge will lead to greater bill stability, which benefits customers by reducing bill fluctuation between high-usage and low-usage periods, especially the winter heating months.
NIPSCO cannot change any rates and charges to its customers without the approval of the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The utility has filed paperwork with regulators and if approved, new rates would be phased in over two steps, with the first becoming effective Sept. 1, 2022.
“Maintaining a safe system and ensuring the safety of our customers and communities is ingrained in all facets of the work we do now and it will continue to drive how we operate in the future,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO’s president and chief operating officer. “This request will allow for essential resources and investments to sustain the integrity of our infrastructure while balancing costs and improvements to better serve our customers.”
NIPSCO’s natural gas base rates were most recently approved in 2018. Since that time, NIPSCO has invested about $885 million in system upgrades, technology improvements, and pipeline safety and reliability initiatives to be completed through the end of 2022, with plans for future investments.
The total overall requested increase would generate $115 million annually for the utility.
NIPSCO serves approximately 850,000 natural gas and 480,000 electric customers across 32 counties in northern Indiana.