Northern Indiana Public Service Company floats natural gas rate hike to cover billions in investments

Published on October 27, 2023 by Chris Galford

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In a filing with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) this week, Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO) requested an increase of 10.6 percent to the monthly bills of the average natural gas residential customer, to fuel both modernization and upgrades.

Those upgrades are owed in part to federal safety and compliance requirements, and the company said that they would include infrastructure modernizations, system improvements and economic development projects. In all, the company intends to invest approximately $1.1 billion by the end of 2024.

For the average natural gas residential customer, this would result in a bill increase of about $8 per month.

“Natural gas is a vital and critical resource to many – ranging from the manufacturing industry to home heating,” Mike Hooper, NIPSCO president, said. “Required investments such as these align with our focus to continually improve customer service, enhance the availability and reliability of our natural gas system, and provide an infrastructure to support new jobs and economic growth.”

NIPSCO, a subsidiary of NiSource, Inc., will now undergo a nearly yearlong regulatory review process that includes public comment on the plan. The company cannot change any rates or charge to customers without express approval from the IURC, and it noted that its electric rates would not be impacted by the request.

If approved, a rate hike would be divided into two steps, with the second occurring no later than March 2025, according to NIPSCO.