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CAC says–“IPL: Stop investing in the past; Start investing in the future! Tell the IURC to say NO to IPL rate increase!” January 21, 2013

Posted by Laura Arnold in Feed-in Tariffs (FiT), Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL), IPL Rate REP, Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), Uncategorized.
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Do you agree that IPL should stop investing in the past and start investing in the future? Should IPL reconsider renewing and extending Rate REP or feed-in tariff which allows customers to invest in renewable energy and distributed generation?

Click this link below for information from Citizens Action Coalition (CAC) concerning the upcoming field hearing for the IPL Environmental Compliance case in Cause No. 44242.

For details on how to participate in the hearing see: https://indianadg.wordpress.com/2013/01/17/voice-your-view-on-ipl-environmental-compliance-case-12413/

IPL: Stop investing in the past; Start investing in the future! Tell the IURC to say NO to IPL rate increase!.

Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL) is currently seeking permission from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) to raise rates in order to install pollution control equipment on their fleet of aging coal-fired power plants.  IPL’s almost exclusive reliance on coal (approximately 99% of the electricity generated by IPL is from burning coal) continues to expose ratepayers and shareholders to enormous costs and risks and is contributing to significant public health and environmental problems.

It’s time for IPL to begin to diversify their generation portfolio and move into the 21st century by making meaningful investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency.  Investing in renewables and efficiency will reduce ratepayer and shareholder risk, protect our health and the quality of our environment, and put money back into Hoosiers’ pockets by creating jobs and reducing monthly electric bills.

01-13-13 IPL Rate Hike Fact Sheet from Citizens Action Coalition (CAC)

Let us know if you plan to attend the hearing. See you there!!

Midwest Energy News: Indiana coal controversy prompts push for more transparency in utility planning; Impact on IRP Rule? October 14, 2012

Posted by Laura Arnold in Duke Energy, Edwardsport IGCC Plant, Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M), Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Indianapolis Power and Light (IPL), Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), Uncategorized, Vectren.
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See this blog post for details on the upcoming IRP Contemprary Issues Technical Conference. http://wp.me/pMRZi-Td
Original article: http://www.midwestenergynews.com/2012/10/12/indiana-coal-controversy-prompts-push-for-more-transparency-in-utility-planning/Posted on 10/12/2012 by 

The Edwardsport coal-to-gas plant under construction in Indiana. Cost overruns and other controversy surrounding the project have helped drive efforts to reform Indiana’s utility planning process. (Photo via Duke Energy)

For the first time in 17 years, Indiana’s public utility commission is rewriting the state’s rule governing how utilities develop long-term plans to meet electricity demand.

The new rule could force the state’s five investor-owned utilities to face more public scrutiny in developing their plans, and perhaps move more quickly than they might otherwise toward reducing carbon emissions.

But the utilities are pushing back, saying that since they have the most skin in the game, they should have the most say over their plans.

Public comments have already been taken on the rule, known as the Integrated Resource Planning Rule, and the state’s public utility commission will issue the final rule in a few months.

Under Indiana law, utilities must obtain a permit called a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity before beginning construction of a new power plant. To obtain this permit, they must show that the new power plant is needed to meet electricity demand and is the best, most affordable way to do so. They do that via an Integrated Resource Plan, which they have to file with the public utility commission, known as the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).

In the past, the integrated resource plans “have been very black-box procedures,” said Bowden Quinn, conservation organizer for the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club, who has led that group’s effort in pushing for a new rule.

“There was no avenue for participation,” he said. “They just filed them.”

Coal-to-gas plant controversy

IURC began updating the rule in large part because of the perception that they let too much slide on the controversial Edwardsport coal gasification project, which ran significantly over budget and spawned a huge scandal involving cozy relations between Duke Energy and the IURC, said Mike Mullett, an attorney from Columbus, Indiana, who represents the Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club, other environmental groups and the consumer advocacy group Citizens Action Coalition before the IURC.

In that case, the commission issued Duke Energy the certificate of public necessity and convenience, but later, Duke asked for almost $1 billion more than the $1.985 billion they’d originally been approved for, spawning legal action and additional IURC hearings.

“This update is in many respects a response to Edwardsport,” Mullett said.

In particular, the commission sought to push utilities to better estimate financial risk and uncertainty on projects like Edwardsport that embrace new technology. The Edwardsport plant is designed to produce coal gas, and it’s one of two coal gasification plants in the United States that are currently under construction.

The proposed IRP rule raises the bar for utilities in several ways, Mullett said.

The first is increased transparency. At least two public meetings would be required any time an investor-owned utility develops an integrated resource plan (IRP), and more if the public expresses a strong interest. And a new provision called a compliance determination allows the commission to force utilities to redo the planning process if those meetings didn’t happen.

Utilities also “have to have a demand forecast that meets certain best practices,” Mullett said. That plan needs to include a variety of scenarios, including energy efficiency programs, Mullett said. And in a significant departure from the old rule, the IURC must determine whether utilities are actually in compliance with the rule, then issue a ruling saying that they are.

Utilities have objections

The state’s utilities have no problem with more transparency, said Ed Simcox, president of the Indiana Energy Association. “For the company to unveil in an IRP process what their long-range plans are is not objectionable,” he said.

But Indiana’s five investor-owned utilities do object to provisions allowing the state’s regulators to verify whether they’re complying with the new rule. In proposed edits of the rule submitted to the utility regulatory commission the trade group representing the state’s five investor-owned utilities, the Indiana Energy Association, struck that provision entirely. The IEA represents Duke Energy, Vectren, Indiana Power & Light, Indiana Michigan Power, and Nipsco.

They also have problems with another part of the rule that requires them to meet with environmental and ratepayer groups as the plan is being developed, rather than being presented with it after the fact. That gives those groups more input and perhaps influence on utilities’ long-term planning decisions, said Jesse Kharbanda, executive director of the Hoosier Environmental Council.

Such input matters, Kharbanda said, because it will allow advocates to “make sure utilities are properly modeling for prospective carbon rules, changes in renewable energy, capacity and operating costs, and things like combined heat and power.”

But the utilities are “very uneasy because it’s not them having unfettered discretion,” Mullett said. The current director of IURC’s electricity division, who reviews the utility filings, is someone who “asks hard questions and cares about the answers,”  he explained.It’s possible that hard questions from the IURC about whether the utilities are complying with the rule could delay approval of an IRP, which could delay approval of a power plant a utility wants to build. “That could delay a power plant, which could delay them from getting access to the money machine” that electricity ratepayers provide, Mullett maintained.

Simcox says the utilities are not necessarily opposed to more public input while they’re developing IRPs. But, he said, “the devil’s in the details.”

“To advise the public what companies are doing in terms of long-range planning is not an objection. The fine line is this: The companies are the entities that are responsible for producing and delivering power. The buck stops with them. You can’t have outside parties dictate to them what they’re going to do and how and when they’re going to do it.”

Duke CEO Jim Rogers about Edwardsport IGCC plant: ‘Yes, it’s expensive’ October 27, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in Duke Energy, Edwardsport IGCC Plant, Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC), Uncategorized.
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Company tries to explain cost overruns to IURC

Original article http://www.indystar.com/article/20111027/NEWS14/110270360/star-watch-duke-energy-Edwardsport-iurc?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|News

Written by John Russell Indianapolis Star, 11:33 PM, Oct. 26, 2011
Duke Energy CEO James Rogers testified before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission in Indianapolis on Wednesday about cost overruns at the company’s coal-gasification plant in Edwardsport. / Joe Vitti / The Star

Duke Energy Corp.’s troubled power plant in Edwardsport now ranks as the company’s most expensive project ever built per kilowatt of electricity generated, the utility’s chairman admitted under questioning Wednesday.

The massive plant, originally billed as a producer of low-cost energy, has run into numerous construction problems that have pushed its price tag above $3 billion, from an original estimate of $1.9 billion.

Company officials, including Chairman James Rogers, found themselves on the defensive Wednesday, trying to explain how the costs got so out of hand and who should pay the bill.

It’s an issue the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will decide in coming weeks, as it hears from more than a dozen witnesses. The agency will determine whether Duke was prudent in managing the project and should be allowed to bill customers for much of the costs.

So far, the IURC has ruled that customers should pay $2.35 billion of the plant’s cost. Duke wants the commission to increase that to more than $2.7 billion, raising monthly electricity bills for more than 700,000 Indiana households and businesses.

Rogers faced a barrage of questions about the plant’s problems, such as its wildly wrong estimates on the amount of steel, piping and concrete needed to construct the facility, along with labor productivity issues and a costly, unforeseen water-disposal system.

Rogers acknowledged, under questioning by Randall Helmen, chief deputy at the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, that the cost of the Edwardsport plant per kilowatt has climbed to $5,593, up from $3,364 when the regulators originally approved the project in 2007. [Emphasis added.]

That figure takes in the capital costs of the plant, not the annual costs of running it once it goes online. Many of Duke’s other plants or units were built at a fraction of the cost per kilowatt generated by those facilities.

“How is this low-cost energy?” Helmen demanded.

Rogers said he has been disappointed by the soaring costs but maintained that the plant, when completed, will produce cleaner electricity for decades to come.

“Yes, it’s expensive,” Rogers said. “But it will be the cleanest plant in Indiana.”

He said the project is 96 percent complete and should be in service a year from now, adding much-needed generating capacity to Indiana households and businesses as Duke begins to retire other, aging plants.

But Helmen hammered Rogers on the costs, much of which Duke wants customers to pay in the form of higher electricity bills.

“Is there any plant in the whole Duke family anywhere near $5,000 a kilowatt?” Helmen asked. [Empasis added.]

“No sir,” Rogers replied.

Among its vast fleet, Duke owns 14 coal plants, three nuclear plants and more than a dozen oil or gas plants.

Despite the grilling, Duke officials did not budge Wednesday from their position that they prudently managed the project and costs, and that the plant will be good for Indiana, using about 1.5 million tons of coal per year, much of it mined in Southern Indiana, to generate about 618 megawatts of electricity at its peak.

The company said the challenges of building such a large plant — the biggest coal-gasification plant in the world — took it by surprise each time there was a setback. But Duke has said it relied on its outside contractors and engineers for expert guidance.

“With the benefit of hindsight, of course, different choices might have been made as the project unfolded, but that does not equal imprudence under the law,” Kelley Karn, a Duke attorney, said in her opening statement.

She added: “The company is not required to make perfect decisions or even optimal decisions. Rather, as long as the decision falls within the range of reasonable choices at the time it is made, it is a prudent decision.”

The commission also will consider, in a separate hearing, whether Duke hid vital information from regulators, committed fraud or grossly mismanaged the project.

Rogers told the commission Wednesday he has worked hard to get the plant finished, despite the problems. He said he urged the major contractors, Bechtel and General Electric, to “stop pointing fingers” and get the job done.

“I said, let’s finish with the least cost possible and then we’ll sort out who owes what,” Rogers said. “My first priority was to finish the project.”

But a group of large industrial customers wants the commission to hold Duke’s feet to the fire over costs. The utility’s position is “it’s someone else’s fault,” said Jack Wickes, a lawyer at Lewis & Kappes, representing the industrial customers.

“Duke’s assumptions were too rosy,” he said.

A group of public-action groups said the project was a novelty that presented special risks in overall planning and management, and Duke failed to manage the risks.

“Many of those risks have come to fruition,” said Jerry Polk, attorney for Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, one of the public-action groups.

During more than three hours on the witness stand, Rogers repeatedly deferred questions about the project’s engineering setbacks to other executives, who will testify in coming days. He could not describe, for example, where the plant’s main components were located on the property, or the basic layout of the project, even though a huge image of the plant was set on an easel near him.

“I think it’s painfully clear I’m not an engineer, based on my testimony so far today,” he said, eliciting laughter in the room.

Helmen grilled Rogers relentlessly, asking him whether he was familiar with Bechtel’s other projects worldwide, including the Hoover Dam, and about the qualifications of Duke’s early team of engineers.

Rogers said he was familiar with some of Bechtel’s work and said Duke later hired more qualified managers to take over the project.

Follow him on Twitter @johnrussell99

Call Star reporter John Russell at (317) 444-6283.

Watchdog Group Citizens Action Coalition Says State agency heads colluded on gas deal May 3, 2011

Posted by Laura Arnold in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).
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by Chris O’Malley, Indianapolis Business Journal (IBJ)

May 2, 2011
Former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission chief David Hardy and the state’s then-finance director, Jennifer Alvey, improperly discussed the merits of a $6.9 billion contract the Indiana Finance Authority ultimately struck with operators of the Indiana Gasification plant proposed for Rockport, plant opponents alleged Monday.

Former Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission chief David Hardy and the state’s then-finance director, Jennifer Alvey, in 2009 and 2010 secretly and improperly discussed the merits of a $6.9 billion contract the Indiana Finance Authority ultimately struck with operators of a proposed gasification plant, plant opponents allege.

Citizens Action Coalition, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups on Monday presented copies of the e-mail to the commission, which is reviewing whether to approve the project agreement. The environmental groups are on record as opposing the plant.

Such direct, behind-the-scenes communication in such regulatory matters is generally prohibited under state law.

The e-mails show the agency heads discussing the plant as far back as 2009.

“The materials raise due-process concerns and provide evidence of communications that would, to a reasonable person, raise serious questions regarding whether the commission’s impartiality has been compromised in this matter by the advisory role to (the Indiana Finance Authority) in the negotiations,” according to the filing CAC attorney Jerome Polk made Monday with the IURC.

However, IURC administrative law judge Angela Webber denied a request to delay the hearing for 30 days, despite the e-mails.  She ruled that the e-mails were sent more than 30 days prior to the December 2010 filing of the gasification plant case, and they were “procedural and general in nature” rather than substantive.

“That’s nonsense from my perspective,” CAC Program Director Kerwin Olson after the hearing. “The commission is a biased body at this moment in time.”

CAC has until May 13 to offer rebuttal in the case, Olson said.

The IFA plans to purchase synthetic natural gas from the plant over 30 years, which proponents—including would-be plant operator Leucadia National Corp. of New York—have said will save Indiana gas customers more than $100 million by locking in low rates.

But the e-mails obtained by CAC raise serious questions about improprieties, as well as whether the contact had the blessings of Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels’ staff. Daniels has been a supporter of the $2.7 billion gasification plant as part of his “homegrown energy” policy.

Under one of the e-mails obtained by CAC, Alvey appeared to confirm that Daniels adviser David Pippen provided then-IURC chair Hardy with “the run down” on negotiations the state was having with Leucadia.

“I’m preparing for maternity leave but wanted to give you a quick update. Pippen said he gave you the run down that we are holding unless we get some more movement on the guaranteed savings,” read a copy of an e-mail Alvey sent Hardy on Oct. 30, 2009, referring to the negotiations between IFA and Leucadia.

In an Aug. 14, 2009, message, Alvey tells Hardy she would “like to pick your brain confidentially” but adds: “I can’t provide you with much documentation without opening them up to public access.”

In another e-mail, Alvey tells Hardy about efforts to get favorable legislation for the deal involving IFA’s agreement with Leucadia.

Hardy responds: “If you need to meet with my troops, they can in my absence.”

CAC told the commission that “at a minimum, the e-mails provided to date give the appearance of impropriety.”

The group cited state law governing ex parte communications,  which says “administrative adjudications may not be made upon evidence secretly obtained by an administrative agency at a time and place other than that appointed for a hearing.”

Polk said such adjudications may not be made upon information received.

Olson told the commission Monday that he met with Alvey in late September 2010, and she indicated then that she had not talked to commission officials about the IFA’s proposed synthetic natural gas contracts with Leucadia’s Indiana Gasification.

But she said she “was anxious to go across the street and start the process,” Olson said.

“This was not a competitive and public process,” he said.

Alvey left her position early this year for a job in the private sector.

Gov. Mitch Daniels fired Hardy last year in a separate ethics matter after learning that the IURC’s chief attorney, Scott Storms, was presiding over Duke Energy cases even as he was talking to the utility about a job, which he later accepted. He and the head of Duke’s Indiana operations were later fired by Duke when the scandal came to light.

Incriminating e-mails showed that Hardy was aware of Storms’ job-seeking and that he made light of a state ethics commission review of whether Storms had a conflict of interest.

State of Indiana reaches deal on coal gasification plant – CNBC December 17, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Uncategorized.
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Source for article reprinted below. State reaches deal on coal gasification plant – CNBC.

Editor’s Note: There are several different versions of this story floating around. I have decided to re-print the AP version of this story published by CNBC, however, I thought readers might want to read and compare the other versions including from the front page banner story in today’s Indianapolis Star. Tell me what you think? Laura Ann Arnold




Published: Thursday, 16 Dec 2010 | 4:59 PM ET

INDIANAPOLIS – The state’s finance authority said Thursday that it reached a 30-year deal to buy synthetic natural gas from a coal-gasification plant planned for southern Indiana, marking the first time the state has entered into such a venture.

Opponents called the deal an entitlement program and “socialism for corporations,” but Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels said the deal will save Indiana’s natural gas users money by locking in low rates and ensuring a steady supply of synthetic natural gas made from Indiana coal.

“We’re out to pay Hoosiers instead of people elsewhere for the energy we need,” Daniels said. “We’re out to protect ratepayers against the likelihood of higher long-term gas prices. We’re out to put people to work in rural Indiana. And we’re out to become a leader in the high-tech field of cleaner energy. This project does all that.”

Under the deal, the Indiana Finance Authority will spend an estimated $6.9 billion over 30 years to buy synthetic natural gas from Indiana Gasification LLC, a subsidiary of Leucadia National Corporation. The IFA will buy the gas once production begins — as early as 2015 — and will then sell the synthetic gas to the market, where it will be delivered to consumers through existing utilities. If contract prices are lower than market prices, the savings will be split between the company and ratepayers. If contract prices are higher than market prices, ratepayers would be protected by $150 million set aside by the company to cover higher prices.

The company will be responsible for building the $2.65 billion plant planned for the Ohio River town of Rockport in Spencer County. The state would share in profits from byproducts of the coal-gasification process such as sulfuric acid and rare gasses, and the company would give Indiana vitreous slag for free, a byproduct that can be used to build roads.

Officials said Indiana Gasification assumes all the risk for construction of the plant and its operations — so if the plant is not built or does not end up producing synthetic natural gas as planned, the state is not out anything.

“There’s no risk to us,” said Jennifer Alvey, the state’s public finance director.

But Kerwin Olson, the program director for the Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, questioned why the state needed to get involved at all.

“Our position from the get go has been if Leucadia wants to build this plant and sell their gas into the market, go for it,” he wrote in an e-mail to The Associated Press. “But the bottom line is they can’t because it is too risky and Wall St. won’t finance it based on its own merits.”

“The state is delivering Leucadia a market to which they are not entitled,” he wrote.

Alvey said the finance authority’s involvement would mean all natural gas users in Indiana would benefit, not just those from one utility company who might choose to buy the synthetic natural gas. Daniels pointed out that the contract allows the state to direct the gas for use wherever it deems necessary in a state of emergency, meaning the state could still get natural gas even if supplies were interrupted elsewhere because of a hurricane, act of terrorism or other event.

The governor’s office estimates that the plant — first talked about in 2006 — would create 1,000 construction jobs, 200 full-time jobs at the plan and 300 mining jobs.

The roundabout method of using the finance authority as an intermediary partner between the state’s gas utilities and the coal-gasification plant was created after utilities dropped out of negotiations for the synthetic gas contracts in 2008 amid concerns the long contracts would harm their credit.

In 2009, the Indiana General Assembly passed a law that allowed the finance authority to negotiate long-term contracts with the plant, which would turn coal into synthetic natural gas, stripping it of pollutants and carbon dioxide to create a gas similar to real natural gas.

Now that the finance authority has completed negotiations, it will file a petition with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for approval of the project agreements. Indiana Gasification is negotiating a loan guarantee with the U.S. Department of Energy, and an environmental impact study must be done. Depending on the timing of those elements, construction of the plant could begin in early 2012.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.

IURC Approves NIPSCO Natural Gas Rate Settlement; Gas Rates Reduced November 5, 2010

Posted by Laura Arnold in Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC), Uncategorized.
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November 4, 2010

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) today approved a settlement agreement reached by Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO), the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and other key customer stakeholders to resolve NIPSCO’s pending natural gas rate case. The settlement – filed on Aug. 24 – was also signed and agreed upon by the NIPSCO Industrial Group, the NIPSCO Marketer Group and Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana.

The settlement slightly decreases overall rates for all NIPSCO natural gas customer classes while providing continued strong support for low-income customer assistance, energy efficiency and conservation programs.

The newly approved gas base rates should be implemented in the November billing cycle and will be reflected in the gas delivery portion of customer bills.

The settlement delivers not only lower rates but also new customer assistance programs to be in place for the current winter heating season.

“We are pleased with the Commission’s decision, which recognizes the efforts taken by all the parties involved to develop a constructive and customer-focused solution that serves the interests of customers and the public at large,” NIPSCO CEO Jimmy Staton said. “This approval provides a solid platform for continued enhancements to customer service, reliability and our ongoing investment in Indiana’s energy infrastructure. Additionally, this outcome upholds our commitment to offering affordable and competitive gas rates in Indiana, which helps attract and expand businesses here in northern Indiana.”

“The agreement approved today will give customers an overall rate decrease while preserving funding for low-income assistance during these difficult economic times,” said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler. “We received a great deal of helpful consumer input in this case and are very pleased with today’s outcome.”

“The issuance of this order provides much needed rate relief and improvements to payment assistance the CAC has supported for some time,” said Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana Executive Director Grant Smith. “It also offers a reasonable solution to reducing seasonal volatility and a process for continuing gas efficiency programs. It shows what can be achieved when ratepayers and utilities work collaboratively.”

Key provisions approved by the IURC include:

  • NIPSCO will reduce its overall natural gas rates by $14.8 million, based on a $5 million reduction for residential customers and a $9.8 million reduction for commercial and industrial customers.
  • For NIPSCO’s 660,000 residential natural gas customers, the reduction equates to a savings of approximately $7.50 annually per customer. Rates for commercial and industrial classes will also be lower.
  • NIPSCO will adjust its rate design for the residential class to reduce seasonal volatility in customer bills and support energy conservation. This change helps separate fixed monthly service costs from variable, usage-driven costs, allowing customers to better track and manage energy usage. This design will result in an increase to the utility’s monthly gas delivery/service charge from $6.36 to $11.00. However, reductions to the base rate’s volumetric charges will offset the change in the flat monthly delivery/service charge, especially during the winter months.
  • NIPSCO will revise its low-income customer assistance program to make it similar in design to the Universal Service Program currently in place for Citizens Gas and Vectren Energy Delivery, and at the same funding level it contributes to the current Winter Warmth program. NIPSCO will contribute 25 percent of the program’s costs, which under current usage levels total approximately $1.5 million. The first $500,000 of NIPSCO’s funding will be used to continue a hardship program for non-eligible Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program customers.
  • NIPSCO will continue to offer a variety of natural gas energy efficiency and conservation programs. NIPSCO currently provides $1 million in annual funding for these programs and will provide an additional $1 million in funding for future extensions or enhancements to the programs within 30 days following the issuance of the order approving the settlement.
  • The settlement addresses a number of additional natural gas rate related matters, including revision to NIPSCO’s depreciation and amortization expense levels, regulatory treatment of Alternative Regulatory Plan (ARP) revenues and other items.

NIPSCO, with headquarters in Merrillville, Ind., is one of the nine energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. (NYSE: NI). With more than 712,000 natural gas customers and 457,000 electric customers across the northern third of Indiana, NIPSCO is the largest natural gas distribution company, and the second largest electric distribution company, in the state. NiSource distribution companies serve 3.8 million natural gas and electric customers primarily in seven states. More information about NIPSCO is available at http://www.nipsco.com. NI-F.

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) represents Indiana consumer interests before state and federal bodies that regulate utilities. As a state agency, the OUCC’s mission is to represent all Indiana consumers to ensure quality, reliable utility services at the most reasonable prices possible through dedicated advocacy, consumer education, and creative problem solving. To learn more, visit www.IN.gov/OUCC .

Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan, member-based organization that was founded in 1974 and represents residential consumers before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and Indiana General Assembly on utility, energy, environmental and health care policy issues. CAC is located at: 603 E. Washington St., Suite 502; Indianapolis, IN 46204; 317-205-3535. (www.citact.org)

Source: Northern Indiana Public Service Company