NIPSCO requests natural gas rate hike


(WANE) Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is asking the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to increase its natural gas base rates according to a news release issued by the utility Wednesday morning.

The request will go through a regulatory review process which includes public comment before it’s acted upon.  NIPSCO says it’s been 25 years since its base natural gas rates have increased and in 2010 there was a slight decrease following a regulatory review.

The utility says the rate hike is needed to account for higher costs associated with increased state and federal safety standards it must comply with.  The hike will also help NIPSCO pay for improvements to its gas system which serves 820,000 customers in 32 counties in northern Indiana.

If approved, the rate hike would be phased in starting in mid-2018 with the new rates fully in place by early 2019.  NIPSCO estimates that a current residential customer paying $50 per month for 69 therms of usage would see rates goes up by about $10.

NIPSCO says it has regularly been the lowest-cost natural gas provider in Indiana and among the lowest in the state.

Customers will have the ability to comment on the proposed rate hike through written comments directly to the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, at public hearings scheduled by the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and through consumer advocacy groups.

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