NIPSCO asking for rate hike

The gas utility is asking the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for a rate hike to pay help for operation improvements.

Posted: Dec. 3, 2017 10:32 PM
Updated: Dec. 4, 2017 10:58 AM

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - NIPSCO customers could soon be paying more to heat your home.

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The gas utility is asking the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission for a rate hike to pay help for operation improvements.

However, many people in Fort Wayne aren't happy about the proposed increase.

"I think it's awful," said NIPSCO customer Sylvia Glymph.

Glymph is one of many NIPSCO customers stocking up on groceries at ALDI Sunday.

She said raising the gas rates would hurt many families.

"Saving money on your utilities is very important, especially when you're trying to save money and eat well and send your kids to college and doing all the "right" things you've always been told to do," said Glymph.

NIPSCO is asking the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission to approve a 20% rate hike over the next two years.

The gas company says costumers paying about $50 a month will see about a $10 increase on their monthly bill.

"That is absolutely ridiculous," said Glymph.

"Do I want to keep my gas appliances and my gas heat? Which not a lot of people necessarily have the option of picking up and moving," said NIPSCO customer Mars Whitachre.

Whitachre said she's not worried about an increase breaking the bank for her, however she says there are others that will feel the pinch.

"When stuff like this comes up around the holidays they're trying to think of their little ones and their families. When all of a sudden you're with increased prices in these kinds of bills," she said.

"I'm not terribly fond of it. I mean everyone else is nickle and dimeing everyone else now too. It's expected, everyone else is doing it, so why not them," said NIPSCO customer Jason Buchwald.

These increases are coming as Indiana Michigan Power is also asking regulators to raise rates to pay infrastructure improvements.

They are expected to decide those rates next month.

Customers like Buchwald said he's going to have to make changes around his house.

"Turn off a lot more stuff I guess. I recently became in charge of the house. I'm going to have to stretch my dollar a bit more," said Buchwald.

The first field hearing is scheduled for Monday, December 11, 2017 in Fort Wayne. It will start at 6:00 p.m. local time at the Grand Wayne Convention Center, Calhoun Ballroom A, 120 W. Jefferson Blvd. Consumers are encouraged to arrive no later than 5:45 p.m. for an overview of field hearing procedures and the rate case process.

Consumers who wish to submit written comments for the case record may do so via the OUCC’s Website at www.in.gov/oucc/2361.htm, or by mail, email, or fax:

Mail:
Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Email:
uccinfo@oucc.IN.gov

Fax:
(317) 232-5923

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