MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (WANE) - Northern Indiana Public Service Company filed a natural gas ratecase Monday seeking to modernize its rate structure and extendprograms that help customers reduce their gas usage and bettermanage their monthly bills.
Under NIPSCO’s filing, the company’s first gas baserate change in more than 20 years, a typical residentialcustomer’s gas bill will increase by an average of $1.67 permonth, or about 2.65 percent.
“NIPSCO customers have the lowest gas bills in Indiana,and we want to continue offering the lowest bills under thisproposal,” Jimmy Staton, NIPSCO executive vice president andgroup CEO said. “We realize any increase is challenging,which is why we also are seeking approval to extend some of ourmost successful programs helping our customers reduce gas usage andlower their monthly bills.”
NIPSCO’s proposal, filed with the Indiana UtilityRegulatory Commission (IURC), also contains provisions designed toallow the company to maintain the state’s lowest natural gasbills while continuing to invest in northern Indiana’s energyinfrastructure. Such investments will help NIPSCO continue to meetnorthern Indiana’s energy needs now and in the future.
“This filing benefits NIPSCO customers by introducing amuch more contemporary natural gas rate structure along with thecontinuation of important programs to help consumers manage andpotentially reduce their energy use,” Staton noted.“This filing also substantially holds the line on energycosts, which is an important part of our commitment to provideclean, reliable and affordable energy solutions that meet the needsof our customers and support Indiana’s long-term economicgrowth.”
New Rate Structure Offers More Predictable Bills
The proposal provides for a fixed monthly charge for delivery,based on NIPSCO’s cost of providing service, which will helpcustomers to clearly see how their usage affects the gas cost intheir bills. This will offer customers more predictable bills frommonth-to-month and an opportunity to better track their gasuse.
Energy Efficiency and Customer Assistance Programs Extended
Among the beneficial programs that NIPSCO customers can expectfrom this filing, highlights include:
- Cash incentives for buying energy-efficient gas appliances
- Energy assistance for income-eligible customers who arefacing financial challenges
- High-efficiency furnace replacement for qualifyinglow-income households
- Convenient self-service tools to give you more control overyour energy use and your bill
- Incentive programs for new construction homes that meetENERGY STAR guidelines
- Energy efficiency education for local schools to createfuture energy-wise consumers
Staton also noted that NIPSCO has made a decision to reducesecurity deposit requirements for low-income customers. The changewill be implemented in the fall of this year – separatelyfrom the rate case – to coincide with the Energy AssistanceProgram start-up date for the winter heating season.
The IURC will thoroughly review NIPSCO’s proposal beforetaking action. NIPSCO expects the Commission’s review to becompleted by early-2011 or sooner.
Customers with questions regarding NIPSCO’s proposal mayvisit NIPSCO.com for more information.
NIPSCO, with headquarters in Merrillville, Ind., is one of thenine energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI).With over 712,000 natural gas customers and 457,000 electriccustomers across the northern third of Indiana, NIPSCO is thelargest natural gas distribution company, and the second largestelectric distribution company, in the state. NiSource distributioncompanies serve 3.8 million natural gas and electric customersprimarily in seven states. More information about NIPSCO isavailable at www.nipsco.com.
Caution regarding forward-looking statements:
Some of the statements provided herein includeforward-looking information, in addition to historical information.Readers should understand that many factors govern whether anyforward-looking statement contained herein will be or can berealized including, but not limited to the success of regulatoryinitiatives, the regulatory process, regulatory and legislativechanges, as well as the items discussed in the “RiskFactors” section of NiSource Inc.’s 2009 Form 10-K.Such factors could cause actual results to differ materially fromthose projected. All such forward-looking statements are expresslyqualified by these cautionary statements. All forward-lookingstatements are based on assumptions that management believes to bereasonable; however, there can be no assurance that actual resultswill not differ materially. NiSource Inc. expressly disclaims aduty to update any of the forward-looking statements contained inthis release.
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