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NIPSCO Gas Rates

Pending Rate Case

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) is requesting a base rate increase for its natural gas utility, which provides service in 32 counties. The utility initially sought to raise annual revenues by nearly $161.9 million. Based on the case evidence and applicable law, the OUCC recommended the request be reduced to $80.1 million in testimony filed in January 2024.

A settlement agreement filed on Mar. 20, 2024 would establish an increase of $120.9 million, a $41 million reduction from the utility's initial request.

  • The OUCC filed testimony supporting the agreement on Mar. 25, 2024. All formal parties to the case have either signed the agreement or agreed to not oppose it.
  • An IURC settlement hearing is scheduled for Apr. 24, 2024.
  • The Commission may approve, deny, or modify any settlement agreement it considers.

Most rate cases take approximately 300 days to complete, and a final Commission order is expected this summer. The OUCC's timeline outlines the steps in the process.

The OUCC is the state agency - separate from the IURC - that represents all consumers in cases before the Commission.

All publicly filed documents in this case (Cause No. 45967) are available on the IURC's website.

Electric rates and services are not at issue in this case. This page will be updated based on case developments.

Current Rates

NIPSCO's natural gas utility provides service in 32 counties. To compare average natural gas bills, see the IURC's monthly residential surveys.

  • 2021-2022 Rate Case (Current Base Rates)

    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 received IURC approval in July 2022.

    • 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):

    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.

  • Gas Costs

    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-69) received IURC approval in February 2024. It will affect bills for March, April, and May.

  • Trackers

    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 received Commission approval of a new, 5-year plan for pipeline safety compliance.