NIPSCO Rate Hike (2019)
UPDATE, December 2019:
The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (“IURC”) approved a proposal by NIPSCO which will allow six large companies to buy most of their energy from outside markets. This decision will shift between $40M and $60M of costs annually from the large companies to NIPSCO’s remaining captive customers. These six large companies will realize significant reductions in their monthly energy bills, while the rest of NIPSCO’s customers will see a hike in their bills. NIPSCO created this proposal in response to the six companies’ threats that they would leave Indiana, and perhaps the United States, unless they were given special subsidies by the IURC. NIPSCO had not confirmed or even investigated the six large companies’ threats to leave northwest Indiana, and that in any case NIPSCO’s plan would not prevent that from happening. The settlement unfairly favors six customers over the homes and businesses that make up the vast majority of NIPSCO customers.
In a positive move, the IURC also approved a settlement reached between NIPSCO, CAC, the OUCC and other parties which requires NIPSCO to submit a low-income assistance program within the next six months, and which lowers NIPSCO’s monthly fixed residential charge by fifty cents a month.
UPDATE, April 2019:
A partial settlement was reached in the case amongst most of the parties, including CAC, which if approved by the IURC, will cut NIPSCO’s requested rate increase in half, and reduce the monthly fixed customer charge to $10.50, down from the current level of $11.00.
However, a second settlement was also reached between NIPSCO and the large industrial customers. CAC and most of the other parties to the case are opposing this second settlement as if approved by the IURC, the settlement promises to shift an extraordinary amount of costs away from industrial customers, and onto commercial and residential customers.
It is inconceivable to CAC that the State of Indiana would raise rates on Hoosier households and small businesses in order to allow large, and profitable, industrial customers to be absolved of their responsibility to pay their fair share of costs, which were incurred in large part, to serve their electric needs. This case is fully briefed and we are waiting on a final order from the IURC, which is expected to be issued in late 2019.
On October 31, 2018, for the second time in 3 years, NIPSCO has filed for another rate hike (Cause Number 45159) at the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). NIPSCO monthly electric bills have already increased nearly 26% over the last ten years, and nearly 40% over the last twenty years. At the same time, Hoosier households struggle with declining and stagnant wages and significant increases in the cost of energy, health care, food, and other necessities. Enough is enough!
NIPSCO wants to increase the fixed monthly charge on your bill from $14 to $17!
The fixed monthly charge is the amount you pay each month regardless of how much energy you use.
- Charging more for using less through higher fixed charges disproportionately hurts households on low- or fixed-incomes.
- It diminishes the longstanding principal of encouraging conservation.
- It also imposes an unfair “tax” on farms, homes and businesses that choose to install solar panels, wind turbines, or other technologies on their property.
NIPSCO wants you to pick up the tab for the sweetheart deals they want to give to their large industrial customers.
NIPSCO is only asking to collect a total of 1.4% more money in this rate case, but they want permission from the IURC to shift an extraordinary amount of costs from the large industrial users of energy (steel mills, refineries, and other manufacturing facilities) to all of their other customers.
If this cost‐shifting is approved, large industrial customers will realize a rate decrease of 18.9%. Every other type of customer (including churches, cities, residential customers, schools, and small businesses) will be saddled with an across the board rate increase of 11.75%.
If NIPSCO wants to give industrial customers a huge rate decrease, they should eat the cost themselves. Forcing everybody else to subsidize sweetheart deals for NIPSCO’s industrial customers is not equitable or fair and should not be allowed.
The other major driver for NIPSCO’s request for a rate hike relates to their recent announcement to retire their coal fleet earlier than they were previously anticipating. NIPSCO is asking the IURC for special accounting treatment to collect from customers the remaining value of those plants more quickly than they are currently approved to do so (early depreciation). However, NIPSCO is not fully committing to retire those plants early. In fact, NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris states in her testimony that NIPSCO “may retire” their coal plants early, without any commitment to do so.
CAC applauds NIPSCO for their recent announcement and fully supports them retiring their coal fleet as soon as possible.
However, CAC will not support special accounting treatment without a binding and firm commitment to retire those coal‐fired power plants.
Read the Fact Sheet
Help us fight the rate hike!
Help us fight the rate hike!