NIPSCO Reminds Customers to Call Before Digging

Indiana_811_logo_200x100NIPSCO reminds anyone with outdoor plans that involve digging to call 811 before doing so. Officials say digging into underground lines is the biggest risk to NIPSCO’s gas system and the leading cause of damage. So-called “blind digging” damages an underground utility line every six minutes, according to Common Ground Alliance. Striking an underground line can harm you and others, disrupt service to an entire neighborhood and potentially result in fines and repair costs. Continue reading

NIPSCO Introduces Power Outage Alerts for Customers

NIPSCO customers can get information about power outages in the palms of their hands by signing up for NIPSCO Alerts. Information about estimated restoration time will be sent via text, email or automated telephone message. The utility does not charge for the service, but individual wireless carriers may charge for text and data usage. Customers with an online account can visit or call 1-800-4NIPSCO (1-800-464-7726) to sign up. Continue reading

Ivy Tech’s Society of Innovators Launches Expedition Innovation 2015: “A Call for Nominations”

 An effort is under way to find the “hidden innovators” of Northwest Indiana. The Ivy Tech Community College Society of Innovators recently announced its seven-county “Expedition Innovation 2015 – ‘A Call for Nominations.’ Between June 2nd and 17th officials with the society will visit each of the seven counties in the region to explain their goals in greater detail. They will be at Kemin Industries in rural North Judson on June 10th and at the Pulaski County CDC/Economic Development office in Winamac the following day.

NIPSCO Director of Economic Development Don Babcock serves on the Society of Innovators board. He says innovation is the foundation of our economy. He adds there are innovators out there who are below the radar that are making important contributions to our region, state and world. He says the Society of Innovators wants to find them. Continue reading

North Judson Town Council Sets Up Revolving Loan Fund

The North Judson Town Council has set up a revolving loan fund to help facilitate the sale of Ray's Super Foods to a grocery store chain.

The North Judson Town Council has set up a revolving loan fund to help facilitate the sale of Ray’s Super Foods to a grocery store chain.

North Judson will still have a grocery store thanks to quick action by the town council. Heartland Markets has signed a letter of intent to buy Ray’s Super Foods on Lane Street. Company officials also asked the town if they could offer any incentives. North Judson Clerk-Treasurer Donna Henry recently spoke with representatives from the State Board of Accounts, who suggested they could set up a revolving loan fund for economic development projects. Continue reading

Utility Provider Encourages Marking Service Lines Prior to Spring Work

A local utility provider is encouraging safety before individuals or businesses begin any spring and summer excavation projects.

NIPSCO says April marks National Safe Digging Month and is encouraging residents to call the national “call-before-you-dig” number 8-1-1 two days prior to starting work. The 48 hour suggestion allows work crews to properly mark utility lines to avoid problems.

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Mayor Gives Update on Monday Power Outage

IMG_3651The power issue in downtown Knox on Monday morning affected 700 homes and businesses.

Knox Mayor Rick Chambers informed the council members last night that City Hall was shut down for the day until repairs were made, and MPI had to close production for the day due to lack of power.

The driver of a garbage hauler dropped off the large recycling bins at City Hall and failed to lower the rack on the truck. That rack caught the telephone lines as he was pulling away from the parking lot and snapped the pole in half. The lines were attached to City Hall.

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Statewide Winter Moratorium Ends, Utility Payment Assistance Still Available

The state-mandated moratorium on utility service disconnection during the winter months is over. However, several forms of payment assistance are still available for low-income families who need help paying their heating bills. These include assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP) Program. It is available to households that fall within 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines and is administered through local community action agencies. LIHEAP-eligible NIPSCO customers may also qualify for additional discounts through the NIPSCO Customer Assistance for Residential Energy, or CARE, program. Applications are made at the same time as those for LIHEAP assistance. Continue reading

Various Assistance Options Available for NIPSCO Customers

NIPSCO customers who are struggling to pay their utility bills are urged to contact the company’s 24-hour Customer Care Center to explore their options. They include state and federal payment assistance as well as resources available from local community action agencies. All three are based on income. Continue reading

NIPSCO Offers Tips to Stay Warm and Save Energy

The continued cold weather means higher utility bills for Hoosiers. NIPSCO offers a variety of energy efficiency rebates that can save money in both the short and long-term. They include up to $450 back, on attic insulation with air sealing, up to $250 back on a 95 percent efficient furnace, a $20 rebate on a programmable thermostat and a $50 rebate on a smart wi-fi thermostat. Customers can schedule a free home energy assessment by calling 1-800-721-7385. Continue reading

NIPSCO Receives Approval for Green Pilot Program

A pilot program started in 2012 has been granted long term approval according to NIPSCO.

The company’s Green Power Rate program is offered to residential, commercial, and industrial customers. Currently there are 940 homes and businesses enrolled in the Green Power Program.
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Transmission Line Project Starting Construction This Year

NIPSCO says they will begin construction this summer on a project that has been in the works for a couple of years.

The Reynolds-Topeka Electric Transmission Line hopes to improve reliability and lower costs for NIPSCO customers. Representatives of the company have held meetings with the public to better plan the line’s route.
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NIPSCO Warns of Bill Payment Scam

NIPSCO warns customers of a scam involving bill payments. Impersonators claiming to be NIPSCO employees call customers, tell them their bills are delinquent and request immediate payment to avoid a service disconnection.

Never give personal information, including Social Security numbers and banking information, to unconfirmed sources. NIPSCO only asks for a Social Security number when a customer is applying for new service or to validate an account holder when a customer calls to obtain account information, complete a transaction or service-related request over the phone. Continue reading

Police Warn of Phone Scam

Several complaints of a phone scam have been received by the Knox City Police Department.

According to police, residents are getting phone calls by people claiming to be from NIPSCO and demanding payment on their bill. The caller threatens the resident that a utility worker will arrive at their residence to shut off power in an hour if the payment is not made during the phone call.

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NIPSCO Now Accepting Winter Energy Assistance Applications

Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) utility customers who may need help paying their heating bills this winter can now sign up for the federal low income energy assistance program. Available assistance includes the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, or LIHEAP. It’s available to households falling within 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Between Dec. 1 and March 15, Indiana natural gas utilities do not disconnect service to customers enrolled in LIHEAP who are behind on their bills. NIPSCO customers enrolled in LIHEAP also qualify for the Customer Assistance for Residential Energy, or CARE, program. It provides further bill reductions to eligible customers. Continue reading

NIPSCO Projects Lower Winter Heating Bills

NIPSCO gas customers can expect to pay less to heat their homes this winter, according to the utility company’s forecast for home heating bills. Projections indicate they will be four percent lower than last year. That means an average savings of $22 over the winter heating season for residential customers. Continue reading

Power Restored Across Kankakee Valley, More Storms Possible

The lights are back on for NIPSCO and Kankakee Valley REMC customers after a strong thunderstorm rolled through the area yesterday afternoon. Neither utility is reporting outages at this time. Yesterday more than 1,000 NIPSCO and 230 Kankakee Valley REMC customers were without power. Continue reading

Expert Says Proposed Coal Regulations Don’t Consider “Big Picture”

The proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulations of coal-fired power plants could hit Hoosier energy consumers hard in the pocketbook. That’s the contention of organizations like Kankakee Valley REMC, NIPSCO and even Gov. Mike Pence, who are all opposed to what they say is an overreaching proposal by EPA to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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Marshall County Detectives Investigating Thefts

Detectives with the Marshall County Sheriff’s Department are looking for information into two recent theft incidents.

It was between June 30 and July 9 when unknown person(s) gained entry into a NIPSCO substation at 18881 15th Road and took a large amount of copper wire and connectors. Three storage units were also damaged and it believed the same person caused the destruction.

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Post-Storm Power Restoration Efforts Continue

Several Starke County residents are still in the dark as a result of Monday’s storms. As of 4:30 this morning, NIPSCO reports 349 customers without power in Knox and 52 in North Judson. Numerous outages are still reported in LaPorte County as well, and a handful of Marshall County NIPSCO customers are still without power. Continue reading

NIPSCO Updates Power Restoration Timeline

NIPSCO officials say most customers in their service area should have electricity by 10 p.m. tonight, and service to the rest should be back on sometime tomorrow. Monday night’s storms left 128,000 total customers across northwest Indiana in the dark. NIPSCO crews and workers from other utility companies in Indiana and surrounding states have been working around the clock since to restore power. As of 11:30 a.m. CDT, 32,000 customers are still without power. Continue reading