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Newly Proposed Electric Rates Enable Continued Modernization, Safety and Reliability of NIPSCO’s Electric System for Customers

By: NIPSCO Last Updated: September 19, 2022

Generating cleaner electricity from renewable energy projects and upgrading its electric grid to support the transmission and monitoring of that electricity are some of the key factors leading to NIPSCO’s request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission  (IURC) to adjust its base electric rates next year. NIPSCO is a subsidiary of NiSource Inc.  (NYSE:NI). 

While the proposed increase was filed with the IURC today, it will undergo a thorough regulatory review process, which includes the opportunity for the public to provide input. Any changes to a  customer’s bill that are ultimately approved by the IURC will be phased in over time beginning in  

late 2023 and into 2024, versus a one-time increase. NIPSCO’s last request to change electric rates was in 2018. 

“The investments we’re making provide direct benefits to all our customers, the communities we  serve and the local economy,” said Mike Hooper, NIPSCO president. “Beyond the necessary  upgrades, grid modernization and customer-centric enhancements that are critical to ensure the  level of service our customers expect for the future, a significant portion of the investments are  tied to our future energy transition and the addition of new renewable energy projects located in  Indiana.” 

NIPSCO is transitioning to a more balanced and reliable portfolio. The transition includes renewable energy generation, which represents approximately $840 million in new investments through 2023. In turn, customers directly benefit by receiving a credit on their bills from 100  percent of the revenue associated with the sale of excess power currently being generated by the existing renewable projects and the sales from the upcoming additions. We currently forecast that benefit to be $50 million annually, depending on how much energy is ultimately generated from these sources. 

“While there are near-term costs associated with the investments being made to get our wind and solar projects off the ground, customers are already benefiting from these existing renewable projects and will continue to see cost savings grow in the long term when we’re able to eliminate the costs associated with running our remaining coal-fired electric generating facilities by 2026-2028,” added Hooper. 

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The company is also investing approximately $700 million for 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. 

Other Customer Benefits Associated with This Rate Increase Request: NIPSCO seeks to further its commitment to customers in several ways, including:  

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.  

Based on NIPSCO’s proposal, an average residential electric customer using 668 kilowatt hours  (kwh) per month, paying approximately $120 today, would see an overall increase of approximately $19 per month, or approximately 16.5 percent, spread over multiple years. 

The change would begin to occur by September 2023, with the remaining changes applied in  March 2024 and July 2024.  

As the company retires its remaining coal-fired generation, the costs associated with operating and maintaining those facilities during the transition to more renewable resources will reduce and eventually be eliminated. This proposal ensures customers are only paying costs as  NIPSCO incurs them, and the associated savings of approximately $6 per month will be passed directly back to customers – 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.

Bill payment assistance and energy savings programs are available  

As the current economic effects of inflation and the pandemic 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 low-income customers.  

Outside of the state and federal energy assistance programs and moratorium on winter service  disconnections, NIPSCO provides funding for an additional bill reduction program, credit  arrangements, budget plans and reduced deposits for eligible customers, including:  

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. For more information pertaining to NIPSCO’s request, visit NIPSCO.com/2023electricrates.