FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 2, 2023
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
NEWLY APPROVED NIPSCO ELECTRIC RATES TAKE EFFECT BEGINNING IN AUGUST
Balanced outcome supports safe operations, infrastructure improvements, sustainability and enhanced customer experience
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. – Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO) received a decision from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to adjust its electric rates, effective August 2023. The newly approved rates will be phased in over a multi-step process to spread out the changes to customer bills beginning in August 2023, with the remaining changes applied in 2024.
“Customers expect safe, dependable electric service at the lowest cost possible,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO president. “This decision balances new rates in a way that allows NIPSCO to continue making the necessary investments in our infrastructure and technology to serve customers. Meanwhile, this outcome also supports safety, reliability and sustainability, with a significant portion of the investments tied to our energy transition and the addition of new renewable energy projects located in Indiana – which are already providing direct economic benefits to our customers and communities.”
NIPSCO is transitioning to a more balanced energy portfolio. The transition includes renewable energy sources – which are operational and serving customers well – representing more than $800 million in new investments through 2023. In turn, customers benefit by receiving all of the revenue when excess power is generated and sold into the market. Since 2021, more than $60 million in credits has gone back to customers associated with excess power and renewable energy credit sales from the company’s new renewable and existing generating units.
The newly approved rates also support the company's investment of approximately $700 million in electric transmission and distribution system upgrades, technology improvements, and safety and reliability initiatives to be completed by the end of 2023, with plans for similar investments into the future.
How will residential customer bills change?
As a regulated energy provider, NIPSCO cannot change any rates or charges to its customers without the approval of the IURC. NIPSCO’s natural gas rates are not affected by this request.
The IURC decision follows a nearly year-long, extensive review process including public input and collaborative agreement reached with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and the NIPSCO Industrial Group.
Based on a review of the IURC’s decision, the average residential electric customer using 668 kilowatt hours (kwh) per month will see an overall increase of approximately $12 per month (or 10 percent), with the change being phased in over multiple steps beginning in August 2023 and into 2024. This change is lower than the initial proposed monthly increase of approximately $19 per month, or 16.5 percent.
As the company retires its remaining coal-fired generation by 2028, the costs associated with operating and maintaining those facilities will be reduced and eventually eliminated. Included in today’s decision is a component that ensures customers are only paying costs as NIPSCO incurs them, providing a more real-time benefit to customers.
Actual projected bill impacts may vary by customer – including non-residential customers – depending on usage and future potential changes in market prices for commodities like coal.
Additional Customer Benefits:
There are other customer benefits associated with this change, including:
• Continued investments to protect the electric grid against cybersecurity threats
• A broad range of system upgrades to increase reliability
• Modernization of the electric grid with automated technology that pinpoints problems and allows us to make repairs more efficiently
• Enhanced overall customer experience through the introduction of new products and services. Examples of recent enhancements include a mobile app, along with the ability for customers to connect with customer care agents online via live or automated chat, the continuation of energy efficiency programs and more
• NIPSCO funding assistance to Community Action Programs to enable health and safety work for the low-income weatherization program.
Bill payment assistance and energy savings programs are available
As the current economic effects of inflation and other rising costs are being experienced, it’s important to know that help continues to be available. Bill payment assistance programs are available for customers experiencing financial difficulties – including those who are most vulnerable.
Beyond the existing state and federal energy assistance programs and moratorium on winter service disconnections, NIPSCO provides, credit arrangements, budget plans and reduced deposits for eligible customers, including:
• Payment Agreements: NIPSCO has expanded its payment plan agreements to offer its most flexible payment plans to customers that need financial support, including three-, six- and 12-month plans. Customers can learn more and enroll at NIPSCO.com/PaymentPlans.
• LIHEAP Program: LIHEAP support is available to households that are at or below 60 percent of State Median Income (SMI). The program opens on October 2 for online and mail-in applications. Customers can learn more and find out if they qualify at eap.ihcda.in.gov or by calling 2-1-1.
• Township Trustees: A limited amount of energy assistance funds are available
• through local Township Trustee offices. NIPSCO customers are encouraged to contact their local Township Trustee to see what help may be available.
• The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (IERA): Provides up to 18 months of rental and utility assistance for renters. Additional information can be found at https://www.in.gov/ihcda/homeowners-and-renters/rental-assistance/.
As always, any customers experiencing difficulty with paying their bill – regardless of their income – are encouraged to contact our Customer Care Center Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CT at 1-800-464-7726 to determine what help might be available to them. For more information on bill assistance, customers can visit NIPSCO.com/FinancialSupport.
In addition to offering a variety of payment assistance options, NIPSCO offers a number of energy efficiency programs to help lower energy usage and bills. Visit NIPSCO.com/Save for more information on available programs and other ways to save.
Learn more about NIPSCO’s rates at NIPSCO.com/2023electricrates.
About NIPSCO: Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC (NIPSCO), with headquarters in Merrillville, Indiana, has proudly served the energy needs of northern Indiana for more than 100 years. As Indiana’s largest natural gas distribution company and the second-largest electric distribution company, NIPSCO serves approximately 850,000 natural gas and 483,000 electric customers across 32 counties. NIPSCO is part of NiSource’s (NYSE: NI) six regulated utility companies. NiSource is one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.7 million natural gas and electric customers through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. More information about NIPSCO and NiSource is available at NIPSCO.com and NiSource.com.
NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI) is one of the largest fully-regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.3 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across six states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands. The mission of our approximately 7,200 employees is to deliver safe, reliable energy that drives value to our customers. NiSource is a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability - North America Index and is on Forbes lists of America’s Best Employers for Women and Diversity. Learn more about NiSource’s record of leadership in sustainability, investments in the communities it serves and how we live our vision to be an innovative and trusted energy partner at www.NiSource.com. NI-F
The content of our website is not incorporated by reference into this document or any other report or document NiSource files with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements," within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"). Investors and prospective investors should understand that many factors govern whether any forward-looking statement contained herein will be or can be realized. Any one of those factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning our plans, strategies, objectives, expected performance, expenditures, recovery of expenditures through rates, stated on either a consolidated or segment basis, and any and all underlying assumptions and other statements that are other than statements of historical fact. Expressions of future goals and expectations and similar expressions, including "may," "will," "should," "could," "would," "aims," "seeks," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "intends," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," "targets," "forecast,"
and "continue," reflecting something other than historical fact are intended to identify forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that management believes to be reasonable; however, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, forecasts, estimates and expectations discussed in this release include, among other things, our ability to execute our business plan or growth strategy, including utility infrastructure investments; potential incidents and other operating risks associated with our business; our ability to adapt to, and manage costs related to, advances in, or failures of, technology; impacts related to our aging infrastructure; our ability to obtain sufficient insurance coverage and whether such coverage will protect us against significant losses; the success of our electric generation strategy; construction risks and natural gas costs and supply risks; fluctuations in demand from residential and commercial customers; fluctuations in the price of energy commodities and related transportation costs or an inability to obtain an adequate, reliable and cost-effective fuel supply to meet customer demands; the attraction and retention of a qualified, diverse workforce and ability to maintain good labor relations; our ability to manage new initiatives and organizational changes; the actions of activist stockholders; the performance of third-party suppliers and service providers; potential cybersecurity attacks; increased requirements and costs related to cybersecurity; any damage to our reputation; any remaining liabilities or impact related to the sale of the Massachusetts Business; the impacts of natural disasters, potential terrorist attacks or other catastrophic events; the physical impacts of climate change and the transition to a lower carbon future; our ability to manage the financial and operational risks related to achieving our carbon emission reduction goals, including our Net Zero Goal; our debt obligations; any changes to our credit rating or the credit rating of certain of our subsidiaries; any adverse effects related to our equity units; adverse economic and capital market conditions or increases in interest rates; inflation; recessions; economic regulation and the impact of regulatory rate reviews; our ability to obtain expected financial or regulatory outcomes; continuing and potential future impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic; economic conditions in certain industries; the reliability of customers and suppliers to fulfill their payment and contractual obligations; the ability of our subsidiaries to generate cash; pension funding obligations; potential impairments of goodwill; the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings, investigations, incidents, claims and litigation; potential remaining liabilities related to the Greater Lawrence Incident; compliance with applicable laws, regulations and tariffs; compliance with environmental laws and the costs of associated liabilities; changes in taxation; and other matters set forth in Item 1, "Business," Item 1A, "Risk Factors" and Part II, Item 7, "Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations," of our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2022 and our Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2023 and June 30, 2023, some of which risks are beyond our control. In addition, the relative contributions to profitability by each business segment, and the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements relating thereto, may change over time.
All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements. We undertake no obligation to, and expressly disclaim any such obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or changes to the future results over time or otherwise, except as required by law.