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NIPSCO proposes 16.5% electric rate increase on heels of natural gas price hike

MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — Northern Indiana Public Service Co. has proposed a 16.5% electric rate increase over two years, the company announced Monday.

The rate increase will need approval from state authorities.

NIPSCO provides electricity to 470,000 customers and natural gas to 830,000 customers across 32 counties in northern Indiana.

The electric price increase would total $19 per month for a customer who now pays $120 per month, NIPSCO said in a news release. The change would start by September 2023, with the remaining changes applied in March 2024 and July 2024.

The release listed a number of reasons for the requested electric bill hike:

  • Proposing new bill payment assistance programs for income-qualified customers, with a portion funded by NIPSCO.
  • Continuing investments to thwart and protect its electric grid against cybersecurity threats.
  • Upgrading and replacing overhead and underground cable to increase reliability.
  • Modernizing the electric grid with automated technology that identifies problems and outages to enable us to restore service faster.
  • Enhancing the overall customer experience through the introduction of a new 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.

The request comes two months after Merrillville-based NIPSCO received approval from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to increase its natural gas rates in a two-step process beginning in September. The utility said the average residential customer will see an expected overall increase of about $6 per month. NIPSCO initially submitted its request for the gas rate increase in September 2021. The utility said at the time the additional revenue would be used to make infrastructure improvements, including replacing older gas lines.

(Provided Image/NIPSCO)