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NIPSCO suspends shutoffs in response to coronavirus pandemic
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NIPSCO suspends shutoffs in response to coronavirus pandemic

NIPSCO suspends shutoffs in response to coronavirus pandemic

NIPSCO is suspending shutoffs in response to coronavirus pandemic and warning customers it may not be able to handle every service request.

NIPSCO is voluntarily suspending shutoffs for nonpayment during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Merrillville-based utility, which provides both electricity and gas to Northwest Indiana, said the suspension would apply to all of its residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Aimed to mitigate financial hardship many people are suffering during a period of widespread shutdowns and closures, the suspension will stay in effect for the time being.

“The safety of our employees and customers is at the forefront of everything we do at NIPSCO,” NIPSCO President Violet Sistovaris said. “We are taking a proactive, coordinated approach to prevent, mitigate and respond to COVID-19.”

NIPSCO will suspend late payment charges until May 1 and offer flexible payment plans to anyone who's been impacted by or suffered hardship as a result of the global spread of the coronavirus, which infected more than 378,000 and killed more than 16,500 worldwide as of Monday night.

The utility is letting employees work from home if they can and has plans to suspend all non-emergency work if an outbreak occurs. The utility has stopped on some type of work and may not be able to handle every customer request, though starting and stopping utility service remain available.

“Our top priority remains the health and safety of our customers and employees, and we also have a responsibility to support our communities, those who are vulnerable, and the healthcare providers who are on the front lines of this pandemic,” Sistovaris said.

Any customer who was sent a termination notice or is who is struggling to pay their bill should call 1-800-4NIPSCO to make arrangements or see if they qualify for financial assistance programs.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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