IURC approves settlement agreement ending investigation into NIPSCO’s electric rates

MERRILLVILLE, Ind., Sept. 24, 2002 — The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) Monday approved a settlement agreement, which ends an investigation into Northern Indiana Public Service Company’s (NIPSCO) electric rates.

NIPSCO, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and several industrial and commercial customers filed the agreement in June. Under the terms of the approved settlement, NIPSCO’s electric customers will receive bill credits of approximately $55 million each year, for a cumulative total of $225 million for the 49-month term of the agreement.

The electric credits could begin appearing on customers’ billing statements starting in November.

“We’re pleased that this investigation is over,” said NIPSCO President and Chief Executive Officer Barrett Hatches. “The Commission’s order brings a balanced resolution of this issue and represents the hard work of many parties over a lengthy period of time. The agreement also underscores NIPSCO’s continuing commitment to service quality and to economic growth in Northern Indiana.”

Other key elements of the agreement include:

* Current Electric Rates: NIPSCO may only request a rate increase in case of an emergency.
* Economic Development: The company will re-establish an economic development rate designed to promote new business development and job growth in northern Indiana.
* Sharing Mechanism: The IURC may investigate the company’s rates during the term of the agreement. If the commission determines that the company is over-earning in a 12-month period, the amount over-earned will be split with customers. NIPSCO’s allowed net operating income and earnings bank remain unchanged.

NIPSCO, with headquarters in Merrillville, Ind., is one of the 10 energy distribution companies of NiSource Inc. With nearly 700,000 natural gas customers and 430,000 electric customers across the northern third of Indiana, NIPSCO is the largest natural gas distribution company, and the second largest electric distribution company, in the state. NiSource distribution companies serve 3.7 million natural gas and electric customers primarily in nine states. More information about NIPSCO is available at www.nipsco.com .

Source: NIPSCO

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