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March 25, 2011

03/28/11 Approximately 150,000 NIPSCO customers will take part in an innovative energy-efficiency program – the NIPSCO Home Energy Report – that provides gas and electric customers essential information about their energy usage, ultimately helping to save energy, money and protect the environment.

The report – being mailed this month – anonymously compares customers’ energy use with that of similarly sized homes and demographics, employing the peer-proof theory that people take action when they have comparative information about what others are doing. Customers can view the past 12 months of their energy usage, and compare and contrast their energy consumption and costs with others in the same region.

The Home Energy Report is the latest step in NIPSCO’s ongoing focus to help customers save energy and money, and it falls directly in-line with Indiana’s long-term efforts to achieve measurable reductions in energy consumption across the state. 

“We’ve found that our customers are eager to make their homes more efficient and save money, but they’re not always sure how to do it,” said Debora Owen, executive director of customer service for NIPSCO.  “These reports not only show customers exactly how to achieve savings, but they have a proven track record when it comes to motivating customers to become more energy efficient.”

According to Owen, the company believes an individual electric customer could save approximately 275 kilowatt-hours annually simply through behavioral changes and by taking advantage of the energy-efficiency tips offered in the quarterly report.  Collectively, customers who receive the report could save approximately 41,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually – enough to power more than 3,500 homes or remove more than 2,000 cars from the road.

By comparison, an individual natural gas customer could save approximately nine therms per year.  If every customer who receives the report used the suggested tips, the total savings could result in a reduction of 1,350,000 therms – equivalent to the amount of natural gas needed to provide heat and hot water for approximately 1,500 homes for one year.

Customers are expected to save more than $7 million on their utility bills, cumulatively, in the first year of the Home Energy Report program.

NIPSCO has partnered with OPOWER – an energy-efficiency software company that works with utilities to meet their efficiency goals through effective customer engagement – to design, prepare and deliver the Home Energy Reports.  Using behavioral science and cutting-edge data analytics, the OPOWER platform enables utilities to connect with their customers in a highly targeted fashion, motivating reductions in energy use and increased program participation.

As a proven energy efficiency resource with verified savings, OPOWER’s program will help NIPSCO reach statewide energy efficiency goals of 2% by 2019.

For more information on other available programs and ways to save energy and money, visit