11/04/10 Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) customers have flexibility when it comes to selecting their natural gas supplier.  Thanks to enhancements announced today to the NIPSCO Choice program, customers now have the ability to compare a variety of gas price offerings all in one place on the NIPSCO website.

The NIPSCO Choice Program – started in 1997 – gives customers an opportunity to choose an alternative natural gas supplier. Suppliers offer a variety of fixed, capped and variable pricing options that provide customers flexibility to purchase gas using price options that best meet their needs.

NIPSCO is currently the only utility in the state offering such alternative supplier options to all its customers.

Today, there are 12 approved suppliers offering a variety of product options to NIPSCO customers.  NIPSCO remains responsible for safely delivering the gas through its existing pipeline system to customers who have chosen to purchase their gas from alternative suppliers.

Customers can now find current pricing and plan comparisons offered by the alternative suppliers, including NIPSCO’s current gas prices, by visiting the NIPSCO Choice program online at NIPSCO.com under the “Our Services” section.

“The NIPSCO Choice program is all about providing customers with options.  Whether customers choose to lock-in gas rates with another supplier, or they decide to continue purchasing their gas from NIPSCO, we always encourage customers to make an informed decision,” said Karl Stanley, Vice President of Commercial Operations for NIPSCO.  “With the new online comparison capabilities, customers are now armed with more information than ever before to help them in the decision-making process.”

Customers who receive their gas supply from NIPSCO also have an opportunity to choose service under the company’s DependaBill Program, which provides a fixed monthly bill with no annual reconciliation, or the PPS Program, which allows customers to fix or cap their per-unit cost of natural gas – similar to options offered by alternative suppliers as well.

Participation in the Choice, DependaBill and PPS programs are voluntary to customers, and they are offered in addition to NIPSCO’s traditional, regulated service options which includes the BudgetPlan.

Nearly 165,000 – or 23 percent – of NIPSCO’s total residential and commercial customers have selected one of these alternative services to purchase their natural gas.

The NIPSCO Choice program is approved by the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, and it was developed through a collaborative effort between NIPSCO, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and the natural gas marketers.

Additional information about these programs may be found at NIPSCO.com by visiting the “Our Services” section.