- The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) will allow some energy efficiency programs proposed by Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) to continue, but ruled that the utility must resubmit a revised plan by the end of 2017.
- Consumer groups welcomed the ruling, which they regarded as a first test of Gov. Mike Pence's (R) 2015 energy efficiency law. While efficiency advocates failed to get a time limit for utility bill surcharges inserted in the final version of that bill, NWI.com reports the IRUC imposed its own four-year cap. The Governor's bill would replaces Energizing Indiana, the energy efficiency program terminated by 2014 General Assembly legislation.
- In addition to the four-year cap on surcharges for utility revenue lost to efficiency improvements, the regulators rejected a 15% incentive payment NIPSCO requested completing the program. The IRUC continued support for smart thermostats, efficient appliances and furnaces, and weatherization and recycling programs.
Indiana regulators kept the $50 smart thermostat rebate and the $200-$250 efficient furnace rebate. The IURC continued NIPSCO’s appliance recycling program alongside its income-qualified inefficient appliance replacement and weatherization programs, but ended the monthly $10 rebate, set in the summer, for air conditioner cycling.
The surcharge to a typical NIPSCO electricity customer will drop from $3 to $2.75, and the natural gas surcharge will drop from $1.55 to less than $0.01, according to a utility spokesperson. But a NIPSCO-proposed base rate increase to its typical customer of 11.5% is pending approval from the IURC.