Two public events regarding Northern Indiana Public Service Company's (NIPSCO's) request for an increase in its electric base rates and charges are scheduled for Wednesday, July 15, 2009 in Michigan City, Indiana. Both events will be held at the Orak Shrine Center at 3848 N. Frontage Road:
- At 1:00 p.m., Central Time, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) will conduct an information meeting to discuss the regulatory process and describe public field hearing procedures.
- At 1:30 p.m., Central Time, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) will conduct a formal public field hearing to accept oral and written consumer comments regarding NIPSCO's electric rates. The field hearing's afternoon session will continue until approximately 4:00 p.m. An evening session for additional comments will begin at 6:00 p.m., Central Time.
- The comments will become part of the evidentiary record considered by the IURC in reaching its final decision. Commissioners are not permitted to answer consumer questions during the formal field hearing.
NIPSCO - a wholly owned subsidiary of NiSource, Inc. - provides electric utility service to approximately 457,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in 20 northern Indiana counties. The utility's current electric base rates were approved in 1987.
Electric utility base rates primarily cover infrastructure, operating and maintenance costs. This case is separate from NIPSCO's quarterly Fuel Adjustment Clause (FAC) process, which allows electric utilities to recover coal and other fuel costs on a dollar-for-dollar basis. FAC cost recovery is subject to OUCC review and IURC approval.
In its testimony in IURC Cause No. 43526, NIPSCO states that its proposed base rate increase is due to growth in operating and maintenance expenses, numerous capital improvements to its transmission and distribution systems, and to the purchase of the Sugar Creek Generating Station in Vigo County.
The OUCC - the state agency representing consumer interests in IURC cases - has filed testimony recommending that NIPSCO's proposed increase be denied.
A number of intervening parties have also filed testimony before the Commission. A public field hearing in this case was also held on March 3, 2009 in Gary, Indiana.
NIPSCO customers who wish to submit written comments regarding this case may do so either during or in advance of the Michigan City public field hearing. Written comments should include the consumer's name, mailing address, and a reference to IURC Cause No. 43526. Consumers can send written comments to the OUCC by mail, fax or the Internet:
- Mail: Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204
- Fax: (317) 232-5923
- E-mail: uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov
- OUCC Website: www.IN.gov/OUCC
A guide to understanding electric rates, tips for managing energy bills, and additional information about the regulatory process are available on the OUCC's Website at www.IN.gov/OUCC.
NIPSCO's natural gas rates, charges and service are not at issue in this case.
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(IURC Cause No. 43526)
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is the state agency that represents residential and business consumer interests in cases before state and federal utility regulatory commissions. To learn more, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC.
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