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The Journal Gazette

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 1:00 am

Editorial

State your case

Still time to weigh in on reduced rate hikes

To participate

Visit www.in.gov/oucc/2621.htm for information about and to comment on the NIPSCO rate case.

To comment on how the tax cuts should affect utility rates, go to www.in.gov/oucc/2891.htm.

Your utility bills probably won't be going down anytime soon. But rate increases for NIPSCO gas customers and I&M electricity customers are going to be milder than the companies' original requests.

In January, a few days after the federal tax cut took effect, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission launched an investigation into how those cuts should affect Indiana utility rates.

While that inquiry continues, NIPSCO and I&M have already reduced the increase requests they have pending before the commission.

NIPSCO is now asking for gas rate increases that would bring in $117.9 million in annual revenue. It had originally sought $143.5 million. The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, which is reviewing that request, has extended the period for public comment on NIPSCO's proposal until Feb. 21 and expects to send its testimony to the regulatory commission by the end of the month.

Indiana Michigan Power has reduced its request from $263 million to $191.5 million. In November, the consumer counselor had recommended lowering the request to $125 million.

As always, the regulatory commission will have the final say on both cases. But things seem to be moving in the right direction.

The consumer counselor takes input from utility customers seriously, and its recommendations carry considerable weight with the regulatory commission. There's time for you to weigh in on the tax-cut investigation, as well as the NIPSCO rate request.