NIPSCO wants you to pay at least $11 more each month for your electricity!
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.
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