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The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will hold a public hearing Jan. 3 in Merrillville regarding NIPSCO's proposed gas rate increase.

Northern Indiana Public Service Company customers will have the chance to comment on the utility’s proposal to increase natural gas rates at a hearing next month in Merrillville.

An Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission field hearing is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 3 in the Freshman Lecture Hall at Merrillville High School, 276 E. 68th Place. An overview of field hearing procedures will begin at 5:45 p.m.

Residents will have the opportunity to speak to the commission under oath and on the record. They may also submit written comments.

Staff members of the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, the agency representing consumers' interests in utility cases, will be available to answer questions about the process.

NIPSCO's request would raise rates in two phases, in 2018 and 2019. According to NIPSCO, the request would raise the average monthly natural gas bill, using 69 therms, by $10.35. The impact on specific bills will vary based on usage.

The proposed increase applies to NIPSCO’s base distribution rates, which cover costs associated with delivering gas to customers, including capital improvements and the costs of operations and maintenance.

The OUCC will file its own testimony in the case on Jan. 24. In addition to commenting directly to the IURC, customers may submit written comments to the OUCC via its website at; by mail to Consumer Services Staff, Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor, 115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South, Indianapolis, IN 46204; by email to; or by fax to 317-232-5923

Comments must be submitted no later than Jan. 17.


Transportation Reporter

Andrew covers transportation, real estate, casinos and other topics for The Times business section. A Crown Point native, he joined The Times in 2014, and has more than 15 years experience as a reporter and editor at Region newspapers.