So how brutally
cold was this winter?
Somewhere in the
neighborhood of 20 percent colder.
That, from NiSource
Inc.’s quarterly report, released on Wednesday.
In a normal
Northwest Indiana winter, there are 2,892 “heating degree days,” which
measure the demand for energy needed to heat a building. The more heating
degree days, the colder the weather is and the more you spend on natural gas
to heat your home.
In the first
quarter of 2014, however, NiSource recorded 3,437 heating degree
days, that is, fully 18.8 percent more than normal. By way of contrast,
there were only 2,919 heating degree days in the first quarter of 2013, not
even 1 percent more than normal.
customers consumed a total of 156.5 million decatherms of natural gas in the
first quarter of the year, compared to 132.0 million in the year-ago period:
or 18.5 percent more natural gas use this winter than last. Commercial
customers consumed 90.1 million decatherms, compared to only 75.3 million in
the year-ago: or 19.7 percent more.
consumption led to increased sales for NiSource. Its gas distribution
segment posted net revenues of $1.215 billion in the first quarter, compared
to $892.2 billion in the year-ago, an improvement of 36 percent. Its
gas-transportation and storage segment: net revenues of $578.5 million,
compared to $468.5 million in the year ago, an improvement of 23 percent.
revenues, however, had less of an impact on NiSource’s bottom line than one
might think: net income in the first quarter was $266.2 million, compared to
$260.5 in the year-ago. NiSource recorded $50.9 million more in total
operating expenses in the first quarter of 2014, $10.5 million more in
additional unspecified deductions, and $44.3 million more in income taxes
than it did in the first quarter of 2013.