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UPDATE (5/27/15): The OUCC, NIPSCO, and industrial customers have reached a settlement agreement regarding NIPSCO's electric infrastructure plan. The agreement was filed with the IURC on May 26, 2015, with the parties scheduled to file settlement testimony this week.
Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) has received Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) approval of a long-term plan for electric transmission, distribution and storage system improvements, including incremental rate recovery of those costs as the projects proceed. The utility refers to the program as its Electric Infrastructure Modernization Plan.
NIPSCO's request was the first to be filed under a law (Senate Enrolled Act 560) passed by the Indiana General Assembly in 2013.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor's (OUCC's) testimony in these cases is summarized in its October 11, 2013 news release. An OUCC news release inviting consumer comments was issued on September 6, 2013.
On March 10, 2014, the OUCC filed a petition for reconsideration, which was denied on May 7. The OUCC has appealed the Commission's order to the Indiana Court of Appeals and filed its brief on August 11, 2014. The Court issued its opinion on April 8, 2015.
On November 25, 2014, NIPSCO received IURC approval for its first rate increase under the approved plan. The first adjustment, to cover the December 2014 through May 2015 billing cycles, will raise a monthly residential electric bill for 1,000 kWh by 18 cents.
A brief summary of the 2013 law
Indiana Code 8-1-39 allows electric and natural gas utilities to submit 7-year infrastructure improvement plans for IURC approval. It requires the IURC to rule within 210 days once such a request is filed.
NIPSCO filed its 7-year electric system improvement plan on July 19, 2013, in IURC Cause No. 44370. In a separately filed case, IURC Cause No. 44371, NIPSCO requested establishment of the methodology for calculating rate recovery of future costs with the first rate increase expected in 2015.
According to the utility's testimony and exhibits:
NIPSCO has received approval of a 7-year natural gas infrastructure plan in a separate case.
All filings in the cases are available by visiting the IURC's Electronic Document System and entering the appropriate docket number.