NIPSCO Gas Rates
Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) provides natural gas service in 32 counties. To compare average natural gas bills, see the IURC's monthly residential surveys.
Base rates cover "non-gas" costs for a utility, including operational, maintenance, and capital costs. A natural gas utility is allowed to earn a return on this portion of the bill.
New natural gas base rates and charges for NIPSCO have received IURC approval.
- The Commission's July 27, 2022 order approved a settlement agreement among the OUCC, industrial customers, and NIPSCO. Additional formal parties to the case did not oppose the agreement.
- All documents filed in this case, including testimony supporting the agreement, are available through the IURC's electronic document system.
- The agreement will allow for an increase of approximately $71.8 million, a decrease of $37.9 million from the utility's request.
- The utility's initial request would have increased overall annual revenues by $109.7 million (per corrections filed on Jan. 10, 2022). It would have also raised the monthly residential customer service charge from $14.00 to $24.50, and raised the monthly small general service customer charge (for small commercial customers) from $53.00 to $80.00.
- In testimony filed on Jan. 20, 2022, the OUCC recommended limiting the increase to $56.4 million. The recommendations would have set the monthly residential customer service charge at $15.75, with a $59.75 charge for small commercial customers.
- As approved, the agreement will set the monthly residential customer service charge at $16.50, with a $67.00 charge for small commercial customers.
- The OUCC issued a Jan. 3, 2022 news release to invite public comments, and filed approximately 1,200 pages of consumer comments for the record in this case. An IURC public field hearing was held in Fort Wayne on Jan. 13, 2022.
- The cause number is 45621. Electric rates were not at issue in this case. For an overview of rate case steps, please see the OUCC's timeline.
OUCC Testimony (January 2022):
- Consumer Comments - Volume 1
- Consumer Comments - Volume 2
The utility filed its petition and the following testimony in September 2021. NIPSCO testimony includes:
NIPSCO's previous gas base rates were set in September 2018. In the rate case order, the IURC approved a settlement agreement among the OUCC, industrial customers, and NIPSCO. The OUCC's Sept. 20, 2018 news release offers an overview of the agreement.
Natural gas utilities buy gas for their customers in a competitive wholesale market. Indiana law allows utilities to adjust rates every three months to recover changes in those costs, which can go up or down. These costs comprise a significant portion of a residential bill and are recovered through the Gas Cost Adjustment (GCA) process.
- Utilities may recover wholesale gas costs on a dollar-for-dollar basis but may not profit on them.
- Before adjusting rates to reflect the costs, a utility must demonstrate that it has shopped prudently in the competitive market.
- Each GCA filing requires OUCC review and IURC approval.
NIPSCO's most recent adjustment (Cause No. 43629 GCA-62) received IURC approval on May 25, 2022. It will affect bills for June, July, and August.
State law allows natural gas and electric utilities to seek IURC approval of 5-to-7-year plans for infrastructure improvements. If a plan is approved, the utility may then seek incremental rate increases as the projects proceed. Most costs are recovered through the Transmission, Distribution, and Storage System Improvement Charge (TDSIC). NIPSCO's current gas TDSIC plan received Commission approval in July 2020.
NIPSCO and other gas utilities may also recover federally required pipeline safety costs through a rate tracker. NIPSCO's most recent Federally Mandated Cost Adjustment was approved in December 2021. In Cause No. 45703, NIPSCO is seeking Commission approval of a new, 5-year plan for pipeline safety compliance.
Additional OUCC Resources