Northern Indiana Public Service Co. residential natural gas customers can expect to see higher rates Sept. 1.
Merrillville-based NIPSCO received approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to adjust its natural gas rates. The utility said it will phase in the new rates over a two-step process expected in September with a second to follow in March.
The utility said most of the increase will come in September.
“Customers expect service that is dependable and rates at the lowest cost possible,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO’s president and chief operating officer. “This balanced outcome demonstrates a positive path toward continued investments in essential resources that will support safe operations, upgrading aging infrastructure and enhancing our customers’ experience.”
The total overall expected change represents an increase of $71.8 million in revenues annually, the company said.
The IURC decision follows a nearly year-long review process including public input and collaborative agreement reached with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and the NIPSCO Industrial Group.
An average residential customer will see an expected overall increase of about $6 per month, or 10% following the two-step change – which is lower than the previously proposed increase request of 17%. This change also revises the customer charge to approximately $16.33, which is a reduction from the $24.50 proposed, NIPSCO said.
Actual projected bill impacts for commercial and industrial customers may differ as it will depend on usage, rate type and class, the utility said.
NIPSCO last received approval for a gas rate increase in 2018. Since that time, NIPSCO investments include approximately $885 million in system upgrades, technology improvements, and pipeline safety and reliability initiatives to be completed through the end of this year.
The utility said other improvements to its system are planned down the road.