Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Co. says it has reached a settlement involving a rejected seven-year infrastructure modernization proposal. As part of the agreement, the utility says it will update and refile a plan with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission and refund the less than $1 million already collected. NIPSCO says it will also file an electric base rate case by the end of the year, which opens it up for a full financial review.

Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler says the agreement will “make NIPSCO's customers whole in the short-term, while charting a long-term course for future infrastructure improvements.”

The IURC previously approved a plan, which was later overturned by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

The recent agreement was reached with the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and what NIPSCO calls some of its “largest industrial customers.”

NIPSCO Chief Executive Officer Jim Stanley says there is a “critical need to modernize and upgrade the energy infrastructure for our customers and communities, and we're pleased that this settlement agreement helps put NIPSCO's Infrastructure Modernization Plan back on track.

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