As we debate NIPSCO's proposed rate hike, we must remember fuel and power, natural gas and electricity respectively, are a commodity and are not to be taken for granted. Be aware of your use — if it is too expensive, I suggest finding a non-powered alternative; reading, learning an instrument or an artistic craft, just to name a few.

I am an electrical engineer who is very environmentally and conservationist minded. I would bike to work everyday if it was not 10 miles away, and I do not watch TV, to give you perspective. I want to keep the natural wonders of the world for future generations, and saving power demand will help with that purpose.

Electricity requires infrastructure and the maintenance thereof. NIPSCO's electrical territory covers the majority of northern Indiana. Do you imagine that the major industrial load covers all of that? No, but more likely mostly the Lake Michigan Shoreline, the rest primarily residential and commercial: Whiting/Dyer to Angola. I am not arguing the whether the rate hike for residential customers is correct, but rather trying to offer one perspective.

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Think about it from the perspective of your actions, not that utility's or others. Electricity is a commodity, not a right, and the infrastructure supplying constant power costs money (and the majority is ancient and not designed to handle the current demand). Remember our settlers — better yet, our ancient ancestors — lived just fine without electricity.

Greg Whelan, Hobart