NiSource is the main energy source for resourceful Americans living in the Midwest, the South, and New England. The company's utility subsidiaries distribute natural gas to about 3.3 million customers in seven states via 58,000 miles of pipeline. NiSource also generates, transmits, and distributes power to some 798,000 customers in 20 counties in its home state through its largest subsidiary, Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO). NiSource owns one of the largest natural gas transmission and underground storage systems in the US, including a more than 15,000-mile interstate pipeline system.
Through subsidiary Columbia Energy, NiSource owns and operates five distribution subsidiaries that provide natural gas to 2.2 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, and Maryland. NiSource also distributes natural gas to 798,000 in Indiana through NIPSCO. Columbia Gas of Massachusetts distributes natural gas to 303,000 end users in Massachusetts. The company’s Columbia Transmission’s operations are located in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia, and Columbia Gulf’s operations are located in Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming. Several of NiSource's utilities participate in customer choice programs in states with deregulated energy markets. CNS Microwave operates 75 microwave towers in Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
The energy holding company operates in three major business areas: gas distribution; gas transmission and storage; and electric generation, transmission, and distribution. It also provides retail services, as well as telecommunications infrastructure for wireless applications.
NiSource's revenues dropped by 15% in 2012 primarily due to a 23% decrease in Gas Distribution revenues, caused by lower off-system sales primarily as the result of a lower gas rates charged by Columbia of Ohio, and a drop in industrial margins. This was partially offset by a 6% revenue growth in the Electric segment revenues thanks to stronger industrial demand and margins spurred by an improving economy and lower revenue credits.
However, net income increased by 39% in 2012 thanks to a gain on sale of assets and impairment, increased equity earnings in unconsolidated affiliates income (mainly from its Millennium gas storage joint venture due to higher demand and commodity revenues).
NiSource saw a downward trend in revenue from 2008 to 2012, primarily due to the impact of the global economic recession and ongoing lower commodity pricing for natural gas. By contrast, the company reported an upward trend in net income thanks to decreased operating expenses.
NiSource believes that its long-term success lies in developing a portfolio that balances creating more efficiencies in its regulated utility operations while expanding its higher-growth gas transmission and storage businesses.
In 2013, to raise cash the company sold certain retail services business assets (warranty protection solutions and energy efficiency leasing solutions for residential and small business utility customers) to AGL Resources. The deal includes 500,000 existing customer plans in Indiana, Massachusetts, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky.
To boost its gas transmission and storage assets and take advantage of the burgeoning shale gas market, in 2012 the company formed joint ventures with Hilcorp Energy to develop gas production and midstream infrastructure in the Utica shale in Northeastern Ohio and Western Pennsylvania.