OUCC Recommends Lowering Rate Request

Posted: Updated:
NIPSCO is requesting nearly $127 million in new annual operating revenues. NIPSCO is requesting nearly $127 million in new annual operating revenues.

The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor is recommending a significant reduction in a rate increase request by NIPSCO. The OUCC says the proposed hike would discourage energy efficiency.

NIPSCO is seeking nearly $127 million in new annual operating revenues, which would raise monthly residential charges from $11.00 to 20.00 and the monthly small commercial charges from $20.00 to $30.00. The OUCC filed testimony Friday, recommending that the increase be limited to just $15.6 million.

"Between the base rates that were approved in 2011 and the multiple trackers that have effectively allowed NIPSCO to increase its rates since then, the facts show that NIPSCO’s electric utility is essentially financially healthy," said Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler. "The modest rate increase which we recommend today will help ensure that the utility has the revenue necessary to provide safe, reliable electric service throughout northern Indiana. However, in our view the increase should be fairly limited as demonstrated by the OUCC’s thorough analysis of NIPSCO’s request."

The following recommendations were also made:

  • Lowering NIPSCO’s authorized return on equity to 8.7 percent. The utility’s current authorized return is 10.2 percent, and it is requesting an increase to 10.75 percent in this case.
  • Denying the utility’s proposed early retirement date for Bailly Generating Station Unit 8 and corresponding depreciation costs.
  • Modifying various line items pertaining to the electric utility’s operating expenses including personnel costs, operations of environmental compliance equipment, planned outage expenses, and vegetation management.
  • Modifying NIPSCO’s proposed low-income electric assistance program by advocating for the creation of an assistance fund. NIPSCO customers, employees, and shareholders would be able to contribute to the fund voluntarily with the company matching the voluntary contributions.

The OUCC also filed written comments from NIPSCO customers, gathered from a public field hearing in Hammond last month.

NIPSCO has until February 12 to submit rebuttal testimony. An IURC evidentiary hearing is scheduled for February 29 in Indianapolis.

  • Perspectives

    • How to Find a New Audience After Hitting a Marketing Plateau

      It may sound like a marketer’s dream scenario: efforts have proven to be so successful it appears a company has completely saturated their target audience. While it may be a good problem to have, it still may be a problem. Hitting a marketing plateau is an opportunity for companies in any industry to reevaluate, re-energize and come to the table with new ideas for better understanding existing customers and engaging new audiences.



  • Most Popular Stories

    • Eleven Fifty is headquartered at Launch Fishers.

      State to Launch 5G Hub in Downtown Indy

      The state of Indiana has announced plans for what it says is a first-of-its-kind 5G hub. Launching in October, the Indiana 5G Zone aims to "attract business, foster innovation and propel research and development in 5G-enabled advanced technologies." The hub will be located inside the new downtown Indianapolis headquarters of the nonprofit Eleven Fifty Academy. The Indiana 5G Zone will include a 3,000-square-foot research lab, which will be used to develop and test...

    • (photo courtesy of Wes Mills)

      Ethanol Plant to Stop Production, POET Blames EPA

      Ethanol production at an Indiana biofuels plant will be stopped and the owner blames Environmental Protection Agency policies and the oil refining industry. South Dakota-based POET Energy announced the plant in Cloverdale will be placed in “idle production” within several weeks, though no date has been set. The ethanol producer says 100’s of local jobs will be impacted, but the news release did not specifically mention “layoffs” at this point.

    • (Image courtesy of Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District)

      Michigan City Commits $12M to South Shore Track Project

      The Michigan City Common Council has formally committed to contribute $12 million towards the proposed $416 million Double Track project for the South Shore commuter line. Our partners at The Times of Northwest Indiana report the council voted unanimously to pay $7 million upfront and finance the remaining $5 million through a 20-year bond issue. 

    • Fort Wayne Tops 'Hottest Real Estate Markets'

      Fort Wayne just opened its brand new riverfront Promenade Park to pomp and pageantry, hoping to make it a draw to Indiana’s second largest city. But now the Allen County community has something else to celebrate. The editors of Realtor.com declared Fort Wayne as the hottest real estate market in July for the entire country. 

    • Scott Kleine is one of the senior interns at Idea Co-op. (photo courtesy of NineStar Connect)

      Senior Interns Shining at Greenfield Coworking Space

      Wednesday was National Senior Citizen Day and three seniors are being celebrated for their contributions at a coworking space in Hancock County. Idea Co-op, which officially opened its doors earlier this year, has taken on three "senior interns" following a chance encounter at a local Kiwanis meeting in December. Jill Snyder, director of economic and business development for Idea Co-op operator NineStar Connect, says the men approached her with the goal of being involved in...