NIPSCO to ask for 17% hike in rates

Photo by KWON JUNHO on Unsplash

NIPSCO on Wednesday asked the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to approve a 17% rate hike for natural gas.

The proposed increase will go through a regulatory review process, which includes an opportunity for public input, a news release says. If approved, the new gas rate will be phased in through two steps.

Joshauna Nash, NIPSCO spokeswoman, said the company has about 128,365 gas customers in Allen County.

The soonest the first phase would go into effect is Sept. 1, 2022. The increase would grant greater bill stability, which benefits customers by reducing bill fluctuation between high-usage and low-usage periods, especially the winter heating months, a news release said.

Mike Hooper, NIPSCO's president and chief operating officer, said safety is the most important thing.

“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,” he said in a statement. “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. Based on the new proposal, a residential customer who uses 70 therms a month and currently pays $55 would see an overall increase of $9 a month, the statement said.

The estimated change includes a proposed increase in the base monthly charge from $14 to $24.50.

The total requested increase would generate about $115 million annually for NIPSCO.