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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Ind. Decisions - More on: "Supreme Court rules against NIPSCO: U.S. Steel disputed the way the utility calculated electric rates"

Updating this ILB entry from earlier today, Patrick Guinane of the NWI Times had this report Wednesday on the case:

The Indiana Supreme Court dealt NIPSCO a loss Tuesday in a billing dispute with U.S. Steel.

In 1999, the parties agreed to a long-term contract establishing prices the utility would charge U.S. Steel to supply electricity to the steelmaker's Gary Works plant. One price schedule applied to a fixed number of kilowatt hours per month, and another established the cost of overages.

In 2005, the fixed prices in the contract expired, and U.S. Steel began paying market-based prices. But the steelmaker argued its agreement with NIPSCO applied the higher market-based prices only to its fixed monthly consumption, not overages.

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission agreed with U.S. Steel in 2006. But the Indiana Court of Appeals reversed that decision in 2008 and ordered the regulatory commission to calculate how much U.S. Steel owed NIPSCO.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed the appellate ruling. But it's not clear how much the decision could cost NIPSCO.

"We are in the process of reviewing today's decision, and we need time to evaluate and review the impacts of the court's ruling to determine what the appropriate next steps are, if any," NIPSCO spokesman Nick Meyer said Tuesday.

In a note to the ILB this morning Guinane adds that "on Wednesday I followed up with the IURC and was told the commission never calculated how much U.S. Steel would have owed NIPSCO because the COA ruling was appealed." So it appears we will not know the financial impact of the Indiana Supreme Court ruling unless the parties choose to disclose it.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 25, 2009 12:15 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions