Consumer News... For You! January 2022

Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor

Are you still looking for a New Year's Resolution, & hoping to find one that's easy to keep? We have some ideas:

- Check your toilet for leaks once a month.
- Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
- Run the dishwasher only when fully loaded.
- Consider new technology if watering the lawn this summer.

Our website has more water savings tips for the home or business year-round.

Happy New Year!

NIPSCO Gas Rate Case

The OUCC is inviting written public comments in the Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) gas rate case through Jan. 18. Comments received by that date will be filed for the case's formal record. They will also carry equal weight with comments provided at the IURC's Jan. 13 public field hearing in Ft. Wayne. NIPSCO's proposal would raise the monthly residential gas customer charge from $14.00 to $24.50. 

East Chicago residents can submit comments on the local Sanitary District's rate request through Feb. 2. In addition, an IURC public field hearing is scheduled for Jan. 11 in East Chicago. The utility's request would implement new rates in three phases through 2024, paying for aging infrastructure improvements & covering higher operating & maintenance costs.

East Chicago

American Suburban Utilities

American Suburban Utilities (ASU) is seeking permission to raise its flat, monthly residential sewer rate from $59.08 to $99.66. The utility's service territory is in Tippecanoe County, near West Lafayette. ASU's last rate case was in 2016, when it received approval for a 3-phase increase. The 3rd phase was implemented in September 2021. The OUCC expects to file testimony this spring. Consumer comments are invited.




  • The IURC's evidentiary hearing on CenterPoint Energy's proposal to build a new power plant in Posey County is set to start on Jan. 26 & continue through Jan. 31 if needed. A Commission order is expected later this year. The OUCC is recommending denial of CenterPoint Energy's request. The agency's analysis shows that converting the A. B. Brown facility's coal-fired generation units to natural gas would be more cost-effective while meeting customer needs for reliable electricity.
  • All filings are complete in the Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) rate case. The pending settlement agreement would reduce base rates by more than $94 million if approved, while keeping the monthly residential customer charge at its current $15.00 level. A separate agreement received Commission approval in December, including ratepayer protections regarding ownership changes at the Rockport Generating Station.
  • NIPSCO's 5-year electric infrastructure plan has received Commission approval. The OUCC is reviewing Duke Energy's 6-year infrastructure plan with testimony due in mid-February.



Heather R. Poole, CPA is the new Director of the OUCC’s Natural Gas Division. Ms. Poole joined the agency in 2010 & has served as the Gas Division’s Assistant Director for nearly five years. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from Ball State University.

Leja Courter is transferring to the role of Chief Technical Advisor, in which he will focus on financial analysis and research in major cases. Mr. Courter has served with the OUCC for 25 years. He holds bachelor’s degrees in finance & economics from Ball State University and a J.D. from the University of Dayton.

Did you know that our staff puts hundreds of years of technical & legal experience to work for Indiana utility ratepayers each day? Or that we participate in more than 300 cases each year? Our most recent Annual Report offers a summary of the work we're doing, our accomplishments, & the issues we continue to focus on.

Our Annual Report