Consumer News... For You! April 2023

811 - Safe Digging

Did you know Indiana law requires you to have your yard marked for underground utility lines before you can put in a mailbox, build a fence, or plant a tree? April is Safe Digging Month across the United States, an important annual reminder as the weather starts to warm up.

Even small digging projects require utility markings because underground lines are often shallower than you’d expect.

Contact Indiana 811 at least two business days before digging. There is no charge to have your lines marked and the 8-1-1 call center is open around the clock, seven days a week. You can also complete the form at Markings are effective for 20 days.

April Spring Cleaning

As Hoosiers start watering lawns and using the air conditioner more often, it's important to remember the steps that will add up to savings.

  • If you water plants or the lawn, do so in the mornings or evenings to prevent evaporation.
  • Check your sprinkler systems to ensure you don’t have leaks.
  • Set your water heater to 115 or 120 degrees.
  • Dust your thermostat. Make sure all vents are clean and uncovered.
  • Be sure your HVAC unit has a clean filter.
  • Set your ceiling fans to turn counterclockwise.

Get more water savings and energy savings tips on our website or by finding us on social media.

Marion Municipal Water

An IURC public field hearing in the Marion water rate case has been scheduled for April 26. It will start at 6:00 p.m. at the Marion Public Library (600 S. Washington St.) in Meeting Room B. Comments presented at the field hearing will carry the same weight as written consumer comments the OUCC receives by May 2.

The OUCC is scheduled to file testimony on May 9.

Marion is proposing a gradual increase to be phased in over the next five years. Under the City’s pending proposal, monthly water charges for a residential customer using 700 cubic feet (approximately 5,200 gallons) would rise from $27.25 to $41.35 when fully implemented in 2028.

NIPSCO Electric Rates

A pending settlement agreement in the Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO) electric rate case would reduce the utility’s request by approximately $103 million. The OUCC, industrial customers, and additional parties have signed on to the agreement. Most of the revenue will pay for renewable generation resources and infrastructure improvements that have previously received Commission approval.

Any settlement before the IURC may be approved, denied, or modified. To approve any agreement, the IURC must find that it is in the public interest.

NIPSCO’s original request would have raised an average monthly residential electric bill – at 668 kilowatt hours (kWh) per month – by $19.69. Under the agreement, the increase would be limited to $12.37 when fully phased in next year. 

A final Commission order is expected this summer. 

Additional Case Updates