Company Quick10K Filing
Quick10K
Nisource
Closing Price ($) Shares Out (MM) Market Cap ($MM)
$27.60 373 $10,290
10-K 2018-12-31 Annual: 2018-12-31
10-Q 2018-09-30 Quarter: 2018-09-30
10-Q 2018-06-30 Quarter: 2018-06-30
10-Q 2018-03-31 Quarter: 2018-03-31
10-K 2017-12-31 Annual: 2017-12-31
10-Q 2017-09-30 Quarter: 2017-09-30
10-Q 2017-06-30 Quarter: 2017-06-30
10-Q 2017-03-31 Quarter: 2017-03-31
10-K 2016-12-31 Annual: 2016-12-31
10-Q 2016-09-30 Quarter: 2016-09-30
10-Q 2016-06-30 Quarter: 2016-06-30
10-Q 2016-03-31 Quarter: 2016-03-31
10-K 2015-12-31 Annual: 2015-12-31
10-Q 2015-09-30 Quarter: 2015-09-30
10-Q 2015-06-30 Quarter: 2015-06-30
10-Q 2015-03-31 Quarter: 2015-03-31
10-K 2014-12-31 Annual: 2014-12-31
10-Q 2014-09-30 Quarter: 2014-09-30
10-Q 2014-06-30 Quarter: 2014-06-30
10-Q 2014-03-31 Quarter: 2014-03-31
10-K 2013-12-31 Annual: 2013-12-31
8-K 2019-04-17 Enter Agreement, Off-BS Arrangement, Exhibits
8-K 2019-03-04 Officers
8-K 2019-02-20 Enter Agreement, Off-BS Arrangement, Exhibits
8-K 2019-02-20 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-12-26 Shareholder Rights, Amend Bylaw, Exhibits
8-K 2018-12-12 Officers, Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-11-30 Shareholder Rights, Amend Bylaw, Other Events, Exhibits
8-K 2018-11-28 Enter Agreement, Exhibits
8-K 2018-11-01 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-11-01 Enter Agreement, Other Events, Exhibits
8-K 2018-10-12 Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-09-26 Officers, Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-09-05 Officers, Exhibits
8-K 2018-08-01 Earnings, Exhibits
8-K 2018-06-06 Enter Agreement, Off-BS Arrangement, Sale of Shares, Shareholder Rights, Amend Bylaw, Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-06-04 Regulation FD, Exhibits
8-K 2018-05-08 Shareholder Vote
8-K 2018-05-02 Sale of Shares
8-K 2018-04-18 Enter Agreement, Off-BS Arrangement, Exhibits
8-K 2018-03-26 Officers
8-K 2018-01-26 Amend Bylaw, Other Events, Exhibits
MGP MGM Growth Properties 9,260
MANH Manhattan Associates 3,730
NWBI Northwest Bancshares 1,810
MSEX Middlesex Water 875
BFRA Biofrontera 322
SYRS Syros Pharmaceuticals 305
SRET Sterling Real Estate Trust 193
CTXR Citius Pharmaceuticals 25
GRMM Grom Social Enterprises 0
INFOR Infor 0
NI 2018-12-31
Item 1. Business
Item 1A. Risk Factors
Item 1B. Unresolved Staff Comments
Item 2. Properties
Item 3. Legal Proceedings
Item 4. Mine Safety Disclosures
Part II
Item 5. Market for Registrant's Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Item 6. Selected Financial Data
Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk
Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data
Item 9. Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure
Item 9A. Controls and Procedures
Item 9B. Other Information
Part III
Item 10. Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance
Item 11. Executive Compensation
Item 12. Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters
Item 13. Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence
Item 14. Principal Accounting Fees and Services
Part IV
Item 15. Exhibits, Financial Statement Schedules
EX-10.45 ni-20181231xex1045.htm
EX-21 ni-20182131xex21.htm
EX-23 ni-20181231xex23.htm
EX-31.1 ni-20181231xex311.htm
EX-31.2 ni-20181231xex312.htm
EX-32.1 ni-20181231xex321.htm
EX-32.2 ni-20181231xex322.htm

Nisource Earnings 2018-12-31

NI 10K Annual Report

Balance SheetIncome StatementCash Flow

10-K 1 ni-20181231x10k.htm 10-K Document
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
FORM 10-K
 
þ
          ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
 
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2018
OR
 
¨
          TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)
 
OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from              to             
Commission file number 001-16189
NiSource Inc.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware                 
    
35-2108964        
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
    
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
801 East 86th Avenue
Merrillville, Indiana
    
46410
(Address of principal executive offices)
    
(Zip Code)
(877) 647-5990
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of each class        
 
Name of each exchange on which registered
 
 
Common Stock
 
New York
 
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:     None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.   Yes þ   No ¨
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Act.   Yes ¨   No þ
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Yes þ   No ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Yes þ   No ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.   ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definition of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12-b-2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer þ
  
Accelerated filer ¨
 
Emerging growth company ¨
Non-accelerated filer ¨
  
Smaller reporting company ¨
 
 
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act).  Yes ¨  No þ
The aggregate market value of the registrant's common stock, par value $0.01 per share (the "Common Stock") held by non-affiliates was approximately $9,506,346,286 based upon the June 29, 2018, closing price of $26.28 on the New York Stock Exchange.
There were 372,494,365 shares of Common Stock outstanding as of February 12, 2019.
Documents Incorporated by Reference
Part III of this report incorporates by reference specific portions of the Registrant’s Notice of Annual Meeting and Proxy Statement relating to the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on May 7, 2019.



CONTENTS
 
 
 
Page
No.
 
 
Item 1.
Item 1A.    
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
 
 
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
 
 
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
 
 
Item 15.

2


DEFINED TERMS
The following is a list of abbreviations or acronyms that are used in this report:

NiSource Subsidiaries, Affiliates and Former Subsidiaries
  
 
Capital Markets (former subsidiary)
  
NiSource Capital Markets, Inc.
Columbia (former subsidiary)
  
Columbia Energy Group
Columbia of Kentucky
  
Columbia Gas of Kentucky, Inc.
Columbia of Maryland
  
Columbia Gas of Maryland, Inc.
Columbia of Massachusetts
  
Bay State Gas Company
Columbia of Ohio
  
Columbia Gas of Ohio, Inc.
Columbia of Pennsylvania
  
Columbia Gas of Pennsylvania, Inc.
Columbia of Virginia
  
Columbia Gas of Virginia, Inc.
Company
 
NiSource Inc. and its subsidiaries, unless otherwise indicated by the context
CPG (former subsidiary)
 
Columbia Pipeline Group, Inc.
NIPSCO
  
Northern Indiana Public Service Company LLC
NiSource ("we," "us" or "our")
  
NiSource Inc.
NiSource Corporate Services
  
NiSource Corporate Services Company
NiSource Finance (former subsidiary)
  
NiSource Finance Corporation
 
 
Abbreviations
  
 
ACE
 
Affordable clean energy
AFUDC
  
Allowance for funds used during construction
AMR
 
Automatic meter reading
AMRP
 
Accelerated Main Replacement Program
AOCI
  
Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income
ASC
  
Accounting Standards Codification
ASU
 
Accounting Standards Update
ATM
 
At-the-market
Board
  
Board of Directors
BTA
 
Build-transfer agreement
CAA
  
Clean Air Act
CAP
 
Compliance Assurance Process
CCGT
  
Combined Cycle Gas Turbine
CCRs
  
Coal Combustion Residuals
CEP
 
Capital Expenditure Program
CERCLA
  
Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (also known as Superfund)
CO2
  
Carbon dioxide
CPP
  
Clean Power Plan
DPU
  
Department of Public Utilities
DSIC
 
Distribution System Investment Charge
DSM
  
Demand Side Management
ECT
  
Environmental Cost Tracker
EERM
  
Environmental Expense Recovery Mechanism
EGUs
 
Electric Utility Steam Generating Units

3


DEFINED TERMS
ELG
 
Effluence limitations guidelines
EPA
  
United States Environmental Protection Agency
EPS
  
Earnings per share
FAC
  
Fuel adjustment clause
FASB
  
Financial Accounting Standards Board
FERC
  
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
FMCA
 
Federally Mandated Cost Adjustment
FTRs
  
Financial Transmission Rights
GAAP
  
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles
GCA
 
Gas cost adjustment
GCR
  
Gas cost recovery
GHG
  
Greenhouse gas
GSEP
 
Gas System Enhancement Program
GWh
  
Gigawatt hours
IRIS
 
Infrastructure Replacement and Improvement Surcharge
IRP
  
Infrastructure Replacement Program
IRS
  
Internal Revenue Service
IURC
  
Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission
LDCs
  
Local distribution companies
LIBOR
 
London inter-bank offered rate
LIFO
  
Last-in, first-out
MGP
  
Manufactured Gas Plant
MISO
  
Midcontinent Independent System Operator
Mizuho
 
Mizuho Corporate Bank Ltd.
MMDth
  
Million dekatherms
MW
  
Megawatts
MWh
  
Megawatt hours
NOL
 
Net Operating Loss
NTSB
 
National Transportation Safety Board
NYMEX
 
The New York Mercantile Exchange
NYSE
 
The New York Stock Exchange
OPEB
  
Other Postretirement and Postemployment Benefits
PCB
  
Polychlorinated biphenyls
PHMSA
 
U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
PISCC
 
Post-in-service carrying charges
PPA
 
Purchase plan agreement
PSC
  
Public Service Commission
PTC
 
Production Tax Credits
PUC
  
Public Utility Commission
PUCO
  
Public Utilities Commission of Ohio
RCRA
 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
ROU
 
Right of use
SAB
 
Staff accounting bulletin
SAVE
 
Steps to Advance Virginia's Energy Plan

4


DEFINED TERMS
Separation
 
The separation of our natural gas pipeline, midstream and storage business from our natural gas and electric utility business accomplished through a pro rata distribution to holders of our outstanding common stock of all the outstanding shares of common stock of CPG. The separation was completed on July 1, 2015.
SEC
  
Securities and Exchange Commission
STRIDE
 
Strategic Infrastructure Development and Enhancement
Sugar Creek
  
Sugar Creek electric generating plant
TCJA
 
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
TDSIC
 
Transmission, Distribution and Storage System Improvement Charge
VIE
  
Variable Interest Entity
VSCC
  
Virginia State Corporation Commission
WCE
 
Whiting Clean Energy
Note regarding forward-looking statements
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains “forward-looking statements,” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"). Investors and prospective investors should understand that many factors govern whether any forward-looking statement contained herein will be or can be realized. Any one of those factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. These forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, statements concerning our plans, strategies, objectives, expected performance, expenditures, recovery of expenditures through rates, stated on either a consolidated or segment basis, and any and all underlying assumptions and other statements that are other than statements of historical fact. All forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that management believes to be reasonable; however, there can be no assurance that actual results will not differ materially.
Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the projections, forecasts, estimates and expectations discussed in this Annual Report on Form 10-K include, among other things, our debt obligations; any changes to the credit rating of our or certain of our subsidiaries; our ability to execute our growth strategy; changes in general economic, capital and commodity market conditions; pension funding obligations; economic regulation and the impact of regulatory rate reviews; our ability to obtain expected financial or regulatory outcomes; our ability to adapt to, and manage costs related to, advances in technology; any changes in our assumptions regarding the financial implications of the Greater Lawrence Incident; potential incidents and other operating risks associated with our business; our ability to obtain sufficient insurance coverage; the outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings, investigations, incidents, claims and litigation; any damage to our reputation, including in connection with the Greater Lawrence Incident; compliance with environmental laws and the costs of associated liabilities; fluctuations in demand from residential and commercial customers; economic conditions of certain industries; the success of NIPSCO's electric generation strategy; the price of energy commodities and related transportation costs; the reliability of customers and suppliers to fulfill their payment and contractual obligations; potential impairments of goodwill or definite-lived intangible assets; changes in taxation and accounting principles; the impact of an aging infrastructure; the impact of climate change; potential cyber-attacks; construction risks and natural gas costs and supply risks; extreme weather conditions; the attraction and retention of a qualified workforce; the ability of our subsidiaries to generate cash; uncertainties related to the expected benefits of the Separation; our ability to manage new initiatives and organizational changes; the performance of third-party suppliers and service providers; and other matters set forth in Item 1A, “Risk Factors” of this report, many of which risks are beyond our control. In addition, the relative contributions to profitability by each business segment, and the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements relating thereto, may change over time.
All forward-looking statements are expressly qualified in their entirety by the foregoing cautionary statements. We undertake no obligation to, and expressly disclaims any such obligation to, update or revise any forward-looking statements to reflect changed assumptions, the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or changes to the future results over time or otherwise, except as required by law.

5


ITEM 1. BUSINESS
NISOURCE INC.

NiSource Inc. is an energy holding company under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005 whose subsidiaries are fully regulated natural gas and electric utility companies serving approximately 4.0 million customers in seven states. NiSource is the successor to an Indiana corporation organized in 1987 under the name of NIPSCO Industries, Inc., which changed its name to NiSource on April 14, 1999.
NiSource is one of the nation’s largest natural gas distribution companies, as measured by number of customers. NiSource’s principal subsidiaries include NiSource Gas Distribution Group, Inc., a natural gas distribution holding company, and NIPSCO, a gas and electric company. NiSource derives substantially all of its revenues and earnings from the operating results of these rate-regulated businesses.
On September 13, 2018, a series of fires and explosions occurred in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover, Massachusetts related to the delivery of natural gas by Columbia of Massachusetts (referred to herein as the “Greater Lawrence Incident”). The Greater Lawrence Incident resulted in one fatality and a number of injuries, damaged multiple homes and businesses, and caused the temporary evacuation of significant portions of each municipality. The Massachusetts Governor’s Office declared a state of emergency, authorizing the Massachusetts DPU to order another utility company to coordinate the restoration of utility services in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover. The incident resulted in the interruption of gas for approximately 7,500 gas meters, the majority of which serve residences and of which approximately 700 serve businesses, and the interruption of other utility service more broadly in the area. Columbia of Massachusetts has replaced the cast iron and bare steel gas pipeline system in the affected area and restored service to nearly all of the gas meters. Refer to Note 18-C. "Legal Proceedings," and E. "Other Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for more information.

NiSource’s reportable segments are: Gas Distribution Operations and Electric Operations. The following is a summary of the business for each reporting segment. Refer to Item 7, “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and Note 22, "Segments of Business," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information for each segment.
Gas Distribution Operations
Our natural gas distribution operations serve approximately 3.5 million customers in seven states and operate approximately 60,000 miles of pipeline located in our service areas described below. Through our wholly-owned subsidiary NiSource Gas Distribution Group, Inc., we own six distribution subsidiaries that provide natural gas to approximately 2.6 million residential, commercial and industrial customers in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland and Massachusetts. Additionally, we distribute natural gas to approximately 832,000 customers in northern Indiana through our wholly-owned subsidiary NIPSCO.
Electric Operations
We generate, transmit and distribute electricity through our subsidiary NIPSCO to approximately 472,000 customers in 20 counties in the northern part of Indiana and engage in wholesale and transmission transactions. NIPSCO owns and operates two coal-fired electric generating stations: four units at R.M. Schahfer located in Wheatfield, IN and one unit at Michigan City located in Michigan City, IN. The two operating facilities have a generating capacity of 2,080 MW. NIPSCO also owns and operates Sugar Creek, a CCGT plant located in West Terre Haute, IN with generating capacity of 571 MW, three gas-fired generating units located at NIPSCO’s coal-fired electric generating stations with a generating capacity of 186 MW and two hydroelectric generating plants with a generating capacity of 16 MW: Oakdale located at Lake Freeman in Carroll County, IN and Norway located at Lake Schahfer in White County, IN. These facilities provide for a total system operating generating capacity of 2,853 MW.
In May 2018, NIPSCO completed the retirement of two coal-burning units (Units 7 and 8) at Bailly Generating Station, located in Chesterton, IN. These units had a generating capacity of approximately 460 MW. Refer to Note 18-E, "Other Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on these retirements.
NIPSCO’s transmission system, with voltages from 69,000 to 765,000 volts, consists of 2,963 circuit miles. NIPSCO is interconnected with five neighboring electric utilities. During the year ended December 31, 2018, NIPSCO generated 69.4% and purchased 30.6% of its electric requirements.
NIPSCO participates in the MISO transmission service and wholesale energy market. MISO is a nonprofit organization created in compliance with FERC regulations to improve the flow of electricity in the regional marketplace and to enhance electric reliability. Additionally, MISO is responsible for managing energy markets, transmission constraints and the day-ahead, real-time, FTR and ancillary markets. NIPSCO transferred functional control of its electric transmission assets to MISO, and transmission service for NIPSCO occurs under the MISO Open Access Transmission Tariff.

6


ITEM 1. BUSINESS
NISOURCE INC.

Business Strategy
We focus our business strategy on our core, rate-regulated asset-based businesses with most of our operating income generated from the rate-regulated businesses. Our utilities continue to move forward on core infrastructure and environmental investment programs supported by complementary regulatory and customer initiatives across all seven states in which we operate. Our goal is to develop strategies that benefit all stakeholders as we address changing customer conservation patterns, develop more contemporary pricing structures, and embark on long-term investment programs. These strategies are intended to improve reliability and safety, enhance customer services and reduce emissions while generating sustainable returns.

In its 2018 Integrated Resource Plan submission to the IURC, NIPSCO laid out a plan to retire the R.M. Schahfer Generating Station (Units 14, 15, 17, and 18) by 2023 and Michigan City Generating Station (Unit 12) by 2028. These units represent 2,080 MW of generating capacity, equal to 72% of NIPSCO’s remaining capacity after the retirement of Bailly Units 7 and 8 in May of 2018. The current replacement plan includes renewable sources of energy, including wind, solar, and battery storage to be obtained through a combination of NIPSCO ownership and PPAs. Refer to Note 18-E, "Other Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of these plans.
Competition and Changes in the Regulatory Environment
The regulatory frameworks applicable to our operations, at both the state and federal levels, continue to evolve. These changes have had and will continue to have an impact on our operations, structure and profitability. Management continually seeks new ways to be more competitive and profitable in this environment.
The Gas Distribution Operations companies have pursued non-traditional revenue sources within the evolving natural gas marketplace. These efforts include the sale of products and services upstream of the companies’ service territory, the sale of products and services in the companies’ service territories, and gas supply cost incentive mechanisms for service to their core markets. The upstream products are made up of transactions that occur between an individual Gas Distribution Operations company and a buyer for the sales of unbundled or rebundled gas supply and capacity. The on-system services are offered by us to customers and include products such as the transportation and balancing of gas on the Gas Distribution Operations company system. The incentive mechanisms give the Gas Distribution Operations companies an opportunity to share in the savings created from such situations as gas purchase prices paid below an agreed upon benchmark and their ability to reduce pipeline capacity charges with their customers.
Increased efficiency of natural gas appliances and improvements in home building codes and standards has contributed to a long-term trend of declining average use per customer. Residential usage for the year ended December 31, 2018 increased primarily due to colder weather in our operating area compared to the prior year. While historically rate design at the distribution level has been structured such that a large portion of cost recovery is based upon throughput rather than in a fixed charge, operating costs are largely incurred on a fixed basis and do not fluctuate due to changes in customer usage. As a result, Gas Distribution Operations have pursued changes in rate design to more effectively match recoveries with costs incurred. Each of the states in which Gas Distribution Operations operate has different requirements regarding the procedure for establishing changes to rate design. Columbia of Ohio restructured its rate design through a base rate proceeding and has adopted a “de-coupled” rate design which more closely links the recovery of fixed costs with fixed charges. Columbia of Massachusetts received regulatory approval of a decoupling mechanism which adjusts revenues to an approved benchmark level through a volumetric adjustment factor. Columbia of Maryland and Columbia of Virginia have regulatory approval for a revenue normalization adjustment for certain customer classes, a decoupling mechanism whereby monthly revenues that exceed or fall short of approved levels are reconciled in subsequent months. In a prior base rate proceeding, Columbia of Pennsylvania implemented a pilot residential weather normalization adjustment. Columbia of Maryland, Columbia of Virginia and Columbia of Kentucky have had approval for a weather normalization adjustment for many years. In a prior base rate proceeding, NIPSCO implemented a higher fixed customer charge for residential and small customer classes moving toward full straight fixed variable rate design.
Natural Gas Competition.    Open access to natural gas supplies over interstate pipelines and the deregulation of the commodity price of gas has led to tremendous change in the energy markets. LDC customers and marketers can purchase gas directly from producers and marketers as an open, competitive market for gas supplies has emerged. This separation or “unbundling” of the transportation and other services offered by pipelines and LDCs allows customers to purchase the commodity independent of services provided by the pipelines and LDCs. The LDCs continue to purchase gas and recover the associated costs from their customers. Our Gas Distribution Operations’ subsidiaries are involved in programs that provide customers the opportunity to purchase their natural gas requirements from third parties and use our Gas Distribution Operations’ subsidiaries for transportation services.
Gas Distribution Operations competes with investor-owned, municipal, and cooperative electric utilities throughout its service areas as well as other regulated and unregulated natural gas intra and interstate pipelines and other alternate fuels, such as propane

7


ITEM 1. BUSINESS
NISOURCE INC.

and fuel oil. Gas Distribution Operations continues to be a strong competitor in the energy market as a result of strong customer preference for natural gas. Competition with providers of electricity has traditionally been the strongest in the residential and commercial markets of Kentucky, southern Ohio, central Pennsylvania and western Virginia due to comparatively low electric rates. Natural gas competes with fuel oil and propane in the Massachusetts market mainly due to the installed base of fuel oil and propane-based heating which has comprised a declining percentage of the overall market over the last few years. However, fuel oil and propane are more viable in today’s oil market.
Electric Competition.    Indiana electric utilities generally have exclusive service areas under Indiana regulations, and retail electric customers in Indiana do not have the ability to choose their electric supplier. NIPSCO faces non-utility competition from other energy sources, such as self-generation by large industrial customers and other distributed energy sources. 
Seasonality
A significant portion of our operations are subject to seasonal fluctuations in sales. During the heating season, which is primarily from November through March, revenues from gas sales are more significant, and during the cooling season, which is primarily June through September, revenues from electric sales are more significant, than in other months.

Other Relevant Business Information
Our customer base is broadly diversified, with no single customer accounting for a significant portion of revenues.
As of December 31, 2018, we had 8,087 employees of whom 3,154 were subject to collective bargaining agreements. Collective bargaining agreements for 1,918 employees are set to expire within one year.
For a listing of certain subsidiaries of NiSource refer to Exhibit 21.
We electronically file various reports with the SEC, including annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K and amendments to such reports, as well as our proxy statements for the Company's annual meetings of stockholders at http://www.sec.gov. Additionally, we make all SEC filings available without charge to the public on our web site at http://www.nisource.com.

8


ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
NISOURCE INC.

Our operations and financial results are subject to various risks and uncertainties, including those described below, that could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, and the trading price of our common stock.
We have substantial indebtedness which could adversely affect our financial condition.
Our businesses are capital intensive and we rely significantly on long-term debt to fund a portion of our capital expenditures and repay outstanding debt, and on short-term borrowings to fund a portion of day-to-day business operations. We had total consolidated indebtedness of $9,132.6 million outstanding as of December 31, 2018. Our substantial indebtedness could have important consequences. For example, it could:

limit our ability to borrow additional funds or increase the cost of borrowing additional funds;
reduce the availability of cash flow from operations to fund working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes;
limit our flexibility in planning for, or reacting to, changes in the business and the industries in which we operate;
lead parties with whom we do business to require additional credit support, such as letters of credit, in order for us to transact such business;
place us at a competitive disadvantage compared to competitors that are less leveraged;
increase vulnerability to general adverse economic and industry conditions; and
limit our ability to execute on our growth strategy, which is dependent upon access to capital to fund our substantial infrastructure investment program.
Some of our debt obligations contain financial covenants related to debt-to-capital ratios and cross-default provisions. Our failure to comply with any of these covenants could result in an event of default, which, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of outstanding debt obligations.
A drop in our credit ratings could adversely impact our cash flows, results of operation, financial condition and liquidity.
The availability and cost of credit for our businesses may be greatly affected by credit ratings. The credit rating agencies periodically review our ratings, taking into account factors such as our capital structure, earnings profile, and, in 2018, the impacts of the TCJA and the Greater Lawrence Incident. In March 2018, Moody’s affirmed our senior unsecured rating of Baa2 and our commercial paper rating of P-2, with stable outlooks. Moody’s also affirmed NIPSCO’s Baa1 rating and Columbia of Massachusetts’s Baa2 rating, with stable outlooks. In May 2018, Standard & Poor’s affirmed our BBB+ senior unsecured ratings and affirmed our commercial paper rating of A-2, but changed the outlook on each rating from stable to negative in September 2018 as a result of potential impacts of the Greater Lawrence Incident. In June 2018, Fitch affirmed our and NIPSCO's long-term issuer default ratings of BBB and upgraded the commercial paper rating to F2 from F3, with stable outlooks. A credit rating is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities, and may be subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating organization.
We are committed to maintaining investment grade credit ratings, however, there is no assurance we will be able to do so in the future. Our credit ratings could be lowered or withdrawn entirely by a rating agency if, in its judgment, the circumstances warrant. Any negative rating action could adversely affect our ability to access capital at rates and on terms that are attractive. A negative rating action could also adversely impact our business relationships with suppliers and operating partners, who may be less willing to extend credit or offer us similarly favorable terms as secured in the past under such circumstances.
Certain of our subsidiaries have agreements that contain “ratings triggers” that require increased collateral in the form of cash, a letter of credit or other forms of security for new and existing transactions if the credit ratings of our or certain of our subsidiaries are dropped below investment grade. These agreements are primarily for insurance purposes and for the physical purchase or sale of gas or power. As of December 31, 2018, the collateral requirement that would be required in the event of a downgrade below the ratings trigger levels would amount to approximately $53.8 million. In addition to agreements with ratings triggers, there are other agreements that contain “adequate assurance” or “material adverse change” provisions that could necessitate additional credit support such as letters of credit and cash collateral to transact business.
If our or certain of our subsidiaries credit ratings were downgraded, especially below investment grade, financing costs and the principal amount of borrowings would likely increase due to the additional risk of our debt and because certain counterparties may require additional credit support as described above. Such amounts may be material and could adversely affect our cash flows, results of operations and financial condition. Losing investment grade credit ratings may also result in more restrictive covenants

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and reduced flexibility on repayment terms in debt issuances, lower share price and greater stockholder dilution from common equity issuances, in addition to reputational damage within the investment community.
We may not be able to execute our business plan or growth strategy, including utility infrastructure investments.
Business or regulatory conditions may result in us not being able to execute our business plan or growth strategy, including identified, planned and other utility infrastructure investments. Our customer and regulatory initiatives may not achieve planned results. Utility infrastructure investments may not materialize, may cease to be achievable or economically viable and may not be successfully completed. Natural gas may cease to be viewed as an economically and environmentally attractive fuel. Certain groups may continue to oppose natural gas delivery and infrastructure investments because of perceived environmental impacts associated with the natural gas supply chain and end use. Energy conservation, energy efficiency, distributed generation, energy storage, policies favoring electric heat over gas heat and other factors may reduce energy demand. Any of these developments could adversely affect our results of operations and growth prospects.
Adverse economic and market conditions or increases in interest rates could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and liquidity.
While the national economy is experiencing modest growth, we cannot predict how robust future growth will be or whether it will be sustained. Deteriorating or sluggish economic conditions in our operating jurisdictions could adversely impact our ability to maintain or grow our customer base and collect revenues from customers, which could reduce revenue growth and increase operating costs. In addition, a rising interest rate environment may lead to higher borrowing costs, which may adversely impact reported earnings, cost of capital and capital holdings. Rising interest rates and negative market or company events may also result in a decrease in the price of our shares of common stock.
We rely on access to the capital markets to finance our liquidity and long-term capital requirements, including expenditures for our utility infrastructure and to comply with future regulatory requirements, to the extent not satisfied by the cash flow generated by our operations. We have historically relied on long-term debt and on the issuance of equity securities to fund a portion of our capital expenditures and repay outstanding debt, and on short-term borrowings to fund a portion of day-to-day business operations. Successful implementation of our long-term business strategies, including capital investment, is dependent upon our ability to access the capital and credit markets, including the banking and commercial paper markets, on competitive terms and rates. An economic downturn or uncertainty, market turmoil, changes in tax policy, challenges faced by financial institutions, changes in our credit ratings, or a change in investor sentiment toward us or the utilities industry generally could adversely affect our ability to raise additional capital or refinance debt. Reduced access to capital markets and/or increased borrowing costs could reduce future net income and cash flows. Refer to Note 14, “Long-Term Debt,” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for information related to outstanding long-term debt and maturities of that debt.
If any of these risks or uncertainties limit our access to the credit and capital markets or significantly increase our cost of capital, it could limit our ability to implement, or increase the costs of implementing, our business plan, which, in turn, could materially and adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows, financial condition and liquidity.
Capital market performance and other factors may decrease the value of benefit plan assets, which then could require significant additional funding and impact earnings.
The performance of the capital markets affects the value of the assets that are held in trust to satisfy future obligations under defined benefit pension and other postretirement benefit plans. We have significant obligations in these areas and hold significant assets in these trusts. These assets are subject to market fluctuations and may yield uncertain returns, which fall below our projected rates of return. A decline in the market value of assets may increase the funding requirements of the obligations under the defined benefit pension and other postretirement benefit plans. Additionally, changes in interest rates affect the liabilities under these benefit plans; as interest rates decrease, the liabilities increase, which could potentially increase funding requirements. Further, the funding requirements of the obligations related to these benefits plans may increase due to changes in governmental regulations and participant demographics, including increased numbers of retirements or changes in life expectancy assumptions. In addition, lower asset returns result in increased expenses. Ultimately, significant funding requirements and increased pension or other postretirement benefit plan expense could negatively impact our results of operations and financial position.

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The majority of our revenues are subject to economic regulation and are exposed to the impact of regulatory rate reviews and proceedings.
Most of our revenues are subject to economic regulation at either the federal or state level. As such, the revenues generated by us are subject to regulatory review by the applicable federal or state authority. These rate reviews determine the rates charged to customers and directly impact revenues. Our financial results are dependent on frequent regulatory proceedings in order to ensure timely recovery of costs. In addition to our ongoing regulatory proceedings, the recovery of the Greater Lawrence pipeline replacement capital investment will be addressed in a future regulatory proceeding as discussed in Note 18, "Other Commitments and Contingencies - E. Other Matters” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements. The outcomes of these proceedings are uncertain. Additionally, the costs of complying with current and future changes in environmental and federal pipeline safety laws and regulations are expected to be significant, and their recovery through rates will also be contingent on regulatory approval.
As a result of efforts to introduce market-based competition in certain markets where the regulated businesses conduct operations, we may compete with independent marketers for customers. This competition exposes us to the risk that certain infrastructure investments may not be recoverable and may affect results of our growth strategy and financial position.
Failure to adapt to advances in technology and manage the related costs could make us less competitive and negatively impact our results of operations and financial condition.
A key element of our business model is that generating power at central station power plants achieves economies of scale and produces power at a competitive cost. We continue to research, plan for, and implement new technologies that produce power or reduce power consumption. These technologies include renewable energy, distributed generation, energy storage, and energy efficiency. Advances in technology and changes in laws or regulations are reducing the cost of these or other alternative methods of producing power to a level that is competitive with that of most central station power electric production or result in smaller-scale, more fuel efficient, and/or more cost effective distributed generation. This could cause power sales to decline and the value of our generating facilities to decline. In addition, customers are increasingly expecting enhanced communications regarding their electric and natural gas services, which, in some cases, may involve additional investments in technology. New technologies may require us to make significant expenditures to remain competitive and may result in the obsolescence of certain of our operating assets.
Our future success will depend, in part, on our ability to anticipate and successfully adapt to technological changes, to offer services that meet customer demands and evolving industry standards, and to recover all, or a significant portion of, any unrecovered investment in obsolete assets. A failure by us to effectively adapt to changes in technology and manage the related costs could harm our ability to remain competitive in the marketplace for our products, services and processes and could have a material adverse impact on our results of operations and financial condition.

The Greater Lawrence Incident has had and may have an additional material adverse impact on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

In connection with the Greater Lawrence Incident, we have incurred and will incur various costs and expenses as set forth
in Note 18 "Other Commitments and Contingencies - C. Legal Proceedings," and " - E. Other Matters" in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
As more information becomes known, including information resulting from the NTSB investigation, management's estimates and assumptions regarding the costs and expenses to be incurred and the financial impact of the Greater Lawrence Incident may change. A change in management’s estimates or assumptions could result in an adjustment that would have a material impact on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows during the period in which such change occurred.
In addition, we are unable to predict the timing and amount of insurance recoveries. Total expenses related to the incident have exceeded the total amount of liability insurance coverage available under our policies. In addition, there may be certain types of damages, expenses or claimed costs, such as fines or penalties, that may be excluded under the policies. Losses for which we are not fully insured or that are not covered by insurance at all could materially adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial position.
We may also incur additional costs associated with the Greater Lawrence Incident, beyond the amount currently anticipated, in connection with investigations by regulators, including the NTSB and Massachusetts DPU, as well as civil litigations. Further, state or federal legislation may be enacted that would require us to incur additional costs by mandating various changes, including changes to our operating practice standards for natural gas distribution operations and safety. If we are unable to recover the capital cost of the gas pipeline replacement in the impacted area or we incur a material amount of other costs that we are unable to recover through rates or offset through operational or other cost savings, our

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financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.
Further, if it is determined that we did not comply with applicable statutes, regulations, rules, tariffs, or orders in connection with the Greater Lawrence Incident or in connection with the operations or maintenance of our natural gas system, and we are ordered to pay a material amount in customer refunds, penalties, or other amounts, our financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.
Our gas distribution activities, as well as generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, involve a variety of inherent hazards and operating risks.
Our gas distribution activities, as well as generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity, involve a variety of inherent hazards and operating risks, including, but not limited to, gas leaks and over-pressurization, downed power lines, damage to our infrastructure by third parties, outages, environmental spills, mechanical problems and other incidents, which could cause substantial financial losses, as demonstrated in part by the Greater Lawrence Incident. In addition, these hazards and risks have resulted and may in the future result in serious injury or loss of life to employees and/or the general public, significant damage to property, environmental pollution, impairment of our operations, adverse regulatory rulings and reputational harm, which in turn could lead to substantial losses for us. The location of pipeline facilities, or generation, transmission, substation and distribution facilities near populated areas, including residential areas, commercial business centers and industrial sites, could increase the level of damages resulting from such incidents. As with the Greater Lawrence Incident, certain incidents have subjected and may in the future subject us to litigation or administrative or other legal proceedings from time to time, both civil and criminal, which could result in substantial monetary judgments, fines, or penalties against us, be resolved on unfavorable terms, and require us to incur significant operational expenses. The occurrence of incidents has in certain instances adversely affected and could in the future adversely affect our reputation, cash flows, financial position and/or results of operations. We maintain insurance against some, but not all, of these risks and losses.
We may be unable to obtain insurance on acceptable terms or at all, and the insurance coverage we do obtain may not provide protection against all significant losses.
Our ability to obtain insurance, as well as the cost and coverage of such insurance, are affected by developments affecting our business; international, national, state, or local events; and the financial condition of insurers. Insurance coverage may not continue to be available at all or at rates or terms acceptable to us. We expect the premiums we pay for our insurance coverage to significantly increase as a result of the Greater Lawrence Incident and market conditions. In addition, our insurance is not sufficient or effective under all circumstances and against all hazards or liabilities to which we are subject. For example, total expenses related to the Greater Lawrence Incident have exceeded the total amount of liability coverage available under our policies. Also, certain types of damages, expenses or claimed costs, such as fines and penalties, may be excluded under the policies. In addition, insurers providing liability insurance to us may raise defenses to coverage under the terms and conditions of the respective insurance policies that could result in a denial of coverage or limit the amount of insurance proceeds available to us. Any losses for which we are not fully insured or that are not covered by insurance at all could materially adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows, and financial position. For more information regarding our insurance programs in the context of the Greater Lawrence Incident, see Note 18, "Other Commitments and Contingencies - C. Legal Proceedings," and " - E. Other Matters" in the Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements.
The outcome of legal and regulatory proceedings, investigations, inquiries, claims and litigation related to our business operations, including those related to the Greater Lawrence Incident, may have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position or liquidity.
We are involved in legal and regulatory proceedings, investigations, inquiries, claims and litigation in connection with our business operations, including the Greater Lawrence Incident, the most significant of which are summarized in Note 18, “Other Commitments and Contingencies” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements. Our insurance is not expected to cover all costs and expenses we may incur relating to the Greater Lawrence Incident and may not fully cover other incidents that may occur in the future. Due to the inherent uncertainty of the outcomes of such matters, there can be no assurance that the resolution of any particular claim or proceeding would not have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, financial position or liquidity. If one or more of such matters were decided against us, the effects could be material to our results of operations in the period in which we would be required to record or adjust the related liability and could also be material to our cash flows in the periods that we would be required to pay such liability.


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We are exposed to significant reputational risks, which make us vulnerable to a loss of cost recovery, increased litigation and negative public perception.
As a utility company, we are subject to adverse publicity focused on the reliability of our services, the speed with which we are able to respond effectively to electric outages, natural gas leaks or events and related accidents and similar interruptions caused by storm damage or other unanticipated events, as well as our own or third parties' actions or failure to act. We are also subject to adverse publicity related to perceived environmental impacts. If customers, legislators, or regulators have or develop a negative opinion of us, this could result in less favorable legislative and regulatory outcomes or increased regulatory oversight, increased litigation and negative public perception. Recently, we have been subject to adverse publicity as a result of the Greater Lawrence Incident, and it is difficult to predict the ultimate impact of this adverse publicity. The foregoing may have continuing adverse effects on our business, results of operations, cash flow and financial condition.
Our businesses are regulated under numerous environmental laws. The cost of compliance with these laws, and changes to or additions to, or reinterpretations of the laws, could be significant. Liability from the failure to comply with existing or changed laws could have a material adverse effect on our business, results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.
Our businesses are subject to extensive federal, state and local environmental laws and rules that regulate, among other things, air emissions, water usage and discharges, and waste products such as coal combustion residuals. Compliance with these legal obligations require us to make expenditures for installation of pollution control equipment, remediation, environmental monitoring, emissions fees, and permits at many of our facilities. These expenditures are significant, and we expect that they will continue to be significant in the future. Furthermore, if we fail to comply with environmental laws and regulations or are found to have caused damage to the environment or persons, even if caused by factors beyond our control, that failure or harm may result in the assessment of civil or criminal penalties and damages against us and injunctions to remedy the failure or harm.
Existing environmental laws and regulations may be revised and new laws and regulations seeking to change environmental regulation of the energy industry may be adopted or become applicable to us. Revised or additional laws and regulations may result in significant additional expense and operating restrictions on our facilities or increased compliance costs, which may not be fully recoverable from customers through regulated rates and could, therefore, impact our financial position, financial results and cash flow. Moreover, such costs could materially affect the continued economic viability of one or more of our facilities.
An area of significant uncertainty and risk are the laws concerning emission of GHG. While we continue to reduce GHG emissions through priority pipeline replacement, energy efficiency, leak detection, and other programs, and expect to further reduce GHG emissions through increased use of renewable energy, GHG emissions are currently an expected aspect of the electric and natural gas business. Revised or additional future GHG legislation and/or regulation related to the generation of electricity or the extraction, production, distribution, transmission, storage and end use of natural gas could materially impact our financial position, financial results and cash flows.
Even in instances where legal and regulatory requirements are already known or anticipated, the original cost estimates for environmental capital projects, remediation of past environmental harm, or pollution reduction strategies and equipment can differ materially from the amount ultimately expended. The actual future expenditures depend on many factors, including the nature and extent of impact, the method of cleanup, the cost of raw materials, contractor costs, and the availability of cost recovery. Changes in costs and the ability to recover under regulatory mechanisms could affect our financial position, financial results and cash flows.
A significant portion of the gas and electricity we sell is used by residential and commercial customers for heating and air conditioning. Accordingly, fluctuations in weather, gas and electricity commodity costs and economic conditions impact demand of our customers and our operating results.
Energy sales are sensitive to variations in weather. Forecasts of energy sales are based on “normal” weather, which represents a long-term historical average. Significant variations from normal weather could have, and have had, a material impact on energy sales. Additionally, residential usage, and to some degree commercial usage, is sensitive to fluctuations in commodity costs for gas and electricity, whereby usage declines with increased costs, thus affecting our financial results. Lastly, residential and commercial customers’ usage is sensitive to economic conditions and factors such as unemployment, consumption and consumer confidence. Therefore, prevailing economic conditions affecting the demand of our customers may in turn affect our financial results.
Our business operations are subject to economic conditions in certain industries.

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Business operations throughout our service territories have been and may continue to be adversely affected by economic events at the national and local level where it operates. In particular, sales to large industrial customers, such as those in the steel, oil refining, industrial gas and related industries, may be impacted by economic downturns. The U.S. manufacturing industry continues to adjust to changing market conditions including international competition, increasing costs, and fluctuating demand for its products.
The implementation of NIPSCO’s electric generation strategy, including the retirement of its coal generation units, may not achieve intended results.
On October 31, 2018, NIPSCO submitted its 2018 Integrated Resource Plan with the IURC setting forth its short- and long-term electric generation plans in an effort to maintain affordability while providing reliable, flexible and cleaner sources of power. The plan evaluated demand-side and supply-side resource alternatives to reliably and cost-effectively meet NIPSCO customers' future energy requirements over the ensuing 20 years. The preferred option within the Integrated Resource Plan sets forth a schedule to retire R.M. Schahfer Generating Station (Units 14, 15, 17, and 18) by 2023 and Michigan City Generating Station (Unit 12) by 2028. The current replacement plan includes renewable sources of energy, including wind, solar, and battery storage. However, there are inherent risks and uncertainties, including changes in market conditions, regulatory approvals, environmental regulations, commodity costs and customer expectations, which may impede NIPSCO’s ability to achieve these intended results. NIPSCO’s future success will depend, in part, on its ability to successfully implement its long-term electric generation plans, to offer services that meet customer demands and evolving industry standards, and to recover all, or a significant portion of, any unrecovered investment in obsolete assets. NIPSCO’s electric generation strategy could require significant future capital expenditures, operating costs and charges to earnings that may negatively impact our financial position, financial results and cash flows.
Fluctuations in the price of energy commodities or their related transportation costs or an inability to obtain an adequate, reliable and cost-effective fuel supply to meet customer demands may have a negative impact on our financial results.
Our electric generating fleet is dependent on coal and natural gas for fuel, and our gas distribution operations purchase and resell much of the natural gas we deliver to our customers. These energy commodities are vulnerable to price fluctuations and fluctuations in associated transportation costs. From time to time, we have also used hedging in order to offset fluctuations in commodity supply prices. We rely on regulatory recovery mechanisms in the various jurisdictions in order to fully recover the commodity costs incurred in providing service. However, while we have historically been successful in the recovery of costs related to such commodity prices, there can be no assurance that such costs will be fully recovered through rates in a timely manner.
In addition, we depend on electric transmission lines, natural gas pipelines, and other transportation facilities owned and operated by third parties to deliver the electricity and natural gas we sell to wholesale markets, supply natural gas to our gas storage and electric generation facilities, and provide retail energy services to customers. If transportation is disrupted, or if capacity is inadequate, we may be unable to sell and deliver our gas and electric services to some or all of our customers. As a result, we may be required to procure additional or alternative electricity and/or natural gas supplies at then-current market rates, which, if recovery of related costs is disallowed, could have a material adverse effect on our businesses, financial condition, cash flows, results of operations and/or prospects.
We are exposed to risk that customers will not remit payment for delivered energy or services, and that suppliers or counterparties will not perform under various financial or operating agreements.
Our extension of credit is governed by a Corporate Credit Risk Policy, involves considerable judgment and is based on an evaluation of a customer or counterparty’s financial condition, credit history and other factors. We monitor our credit risk exposure by obtaining credit reports and updated financial information for customers and suppliers, and by evaluating the financial status of our banking partners and other counterparties by reference to market-based metrics such as credit default swap pricing levels, and to traditional credit ratings provided by the major credit rating agencies. Adverse economic conditions could result in an increase in defaults by customers, suppliers and counterparties.
We have significant goodwill and definite-lived intangible assets. An impairment of goodwill or definite-lived intangible assets could result in a significant charge to earnings and negatively impact our compliance with certain covenants under financing agreements.
In accordance with GAAP, we test goodwill for impairment at least annually and review our definite-lived intangible assets for impairment when events or changes in circumstances indicate the carrying value may not be recoverable. Goodwill also is tested for impairment when factors, examples of which include reduced cash flow estimates, a sustained decline in stock price or market capitalization below book value, indicate that the carrying value may not be recoverable. We have tested and will continue to monitor the goodwill of Columbia of Massachusetts for impairment in connection with the Greater Lawrence Incident. To date,

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these tests do not indicate the need for an impairment of the goodwill balance. We would be required to record a charge in our financial statements for the period in which any impairment of the goodwill or definite-lived intangible assets is determined, negatively impacting the results of operations. A significant charge could impact the capitalization ratio covenant under certain financing agreements. We are subject to a financial covenant under our five-year revolving credit facility, which requires us to maintain a debt to capitalization ratio that does not exceed 70%. A similar covenant in a 2005 private placement note purchase agreement requires us to maintain a debt to capitalization ratio that does not exceed 75%. As of December 31, 2018, the ratio was 61.4%.
Changes in taxation and the ability to quantify such changes could adversely affect our financial results.
We are subject to taxation by the various taxing authorities at the federal, state and local levels where we do business. Legislation or regulation which could affect our tax burden could be enacted by any of these governmental authorities. For example, the TCJA includes numerous provisions that affect businesses, including changes to U.S. corporate tax rates, business-related exclusions, and deductions and credits. The outcome of regulatory proceedings regarding the extent to which the effect of reduced corporate tax rate will be shared with customers and the time period over which it will be shared could significantly impact future earnings and cash flows. Separately, a challenge by a taxing authority, our ability to utilize tax benefits such as carryforwards or tax credits, or a deviation from other tax-related assumptions may cause actual financial results to deviate from previous estimates.
Changes in accounting principles may adversely affect our financial results.
Future changes in accounting rules and associated changes in regulatory accounting may negatively impact the way we record revenues, expenses, assets and liabilities. These changes in accounting standards may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
Aging infrastructure may lead to disruptions in operations and increased capital expenditures and maintenance costs, all of which could negatively impact our financial results.
We have risks associated with aging infrastructure assets. The age of these assets may result in a need for replacement, a higher level of maintenance costs, or unscheduled outages, despite efforts by us to properly maintain or upgrade these assets through inspection, scheduled maintenance and capital investment. In addition, the nature of the information available on aging infrastructure assets may make inspections, maintenance, upgrading and replacement of the assets particularly challenging. The failure to operate these assets as desired could result in gas leaks and other incidents and in our inability to meet firm service obligations, which could adversely impact revenues, and could also result in increased capital expenditures and maintenance costs, which, if not fully recovered from customers, could negatively impact our financial results.
The impacts of climate change, natural disasters, acts of terrorism, accidents or other catastrophic events may disrupt operations and reduce the ability to service customers.
A disruption or failure of natural gas distribution systems, or within electric generation, transmission or distribution systems, in the event of a major hurricane, tornado, terrorist attack, accident or other catastrophic event could cause delays in completing sales, providing services, or performing other critical functions. We have experienced disruptions in the past from hurricanes and tornadoes and other events of this nature. The occurrence of such events could adversely affect our financial position and results of operations. In accordance with customary industry practice, we maintain insurance against some, but not all, of these risks and losses. There is also a concern that climate change may exacerbate the risks to physical infrastructure. Such risks include heat stresses to power lines, storms that damage infrastructure, lake and sea level changes that damage the manner in which services are currently provided, droughts or other stresses on water used to supply services, and other extreme weather conditions. Climate change and the costs that may be associated with its impacts have the potential to affect our business in many ways, including increasing the costs we incur in providing our products and services, impacting the demand for and consumption of our products and services (due to change in both costs and weather patterns), and affecting the economic health of the regions in which we operate.

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A cyber-attack on any of our or certain third-party computer systems upon which we rely may adversely affect our ability to operate.
We are reliant on technology to run our business, which is dependent upon financial and operational computer systems to process critical information necessary to conduct various elements of our business, including the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity, operation of our gas pipeline facilities and the recording and reporting of commercial and financial transactions to regulators, investors and other stakeholders. In addition to general information and cyber risks that all large corporations face (e.g., malware, unauthorized access attempts, phishing attacks, malicious intent by insiders and inadvertent disclosure of sensitive information), the utility industry faces evolving cybersecurity risks associated with protecting sensitive and confidential customer information, electric grid infrastructure, and natural gas infrastructure. Deployment of new business technologies represents a new and large-scale opportunity for attacks on our information systems and confidential customer information, as well as on the integrity of the energy grid and the natural gas infrastructure. Increasing large-scale corporate attacks in conjunction with more sophisticated threats continue to challenge power and utility companies. Any failure of our computer systems, or those of our customers, suppliers or others with whom we do business, could materially disrupt our ability to operate our business and could result in a financial loss and possibly do harm to our reputation.
Additionally, our information systems experience ongoing, often sophisticated, cyber-attacks by a variety of sources, including foreign sources, with the apparent aim to breach our cyber-defenses. Although we attempt to maintain adequate defenses to these attacks and work through industry groups and trade associations to identify common threats and assess our countermeasures, a security breach of our information systems could (i) impact the reliability of our generation, transmission and distribution systems and potentially negatively impact our compliance with certain mandatory reliability standards, (ii) subject us to reputational and other harm associated with theft or inappropriate release of certain types of information such as system operating information or information, personal or otherwise, relating to our customers or employees, (iii) impact our ability to manage our businesses, and/or (iv) subject us to legal and regulatory proceedings and claims from third parties, in addition to remediation costs, any of which, in turn, could have a material adverse effect on our businesses, cash flows, financial condition, results of operations and/or prospects.
Our capital projects and programs subject us to construction risks and natural gas costs and supply risks, and require numerous permits, approvals and certificates from various governmental agencies.
Our business requires substantial capital expenditures for investments in, among other things, capital improvements to our electric generating facilities, electric and natural gas distribution infrastructure, natural gas storage, and other projects, including projects for environmental compliance. We are engaged in intrastate natural gas pipeline modernization programs to maintain system integrity and enhance service reliability and flexibility. NIPSCO also is currently engaged in a number of capital projects, including environmental improvements to its electric generating stations, the construction of new transmission facilities, and new projects related to renewable energy. As we undertake these projects and programs, we may be unable to complete them on schedule or at the anticipated costs. Additionally, we may construct or purchase some of these projects and programs to capture anticipated future growth in natural gas production, which may not materialize, and may cause the construction to occur over an extended period of time.
Our existing and planned capital projects require numerous permits, approvals and certificates from federal, state, and local governmental agencies. If there is a delay in obtaining any required regulatory approvals or if we fail to obtain or maintain any required approvals or to comply with any applicable laws or regulations, we may not be able to construct or operate our facilities, we may be forced to incur additional costs, or we may be unable to recover any or all amounts invested in a project. We also may not receive the anticipated increases in revenue and cash flows resulting from such projects and programs until after their completion
To the extent that delays occur, costs become unrecoverable, or we otherwise become unable to effectively manage and complete our capital projects, our results of operations, cash flows, and financial condition may be adversely affected.
Sustained extreme weather conditions may negatively impact our operations.
We conduct our operations across a wide geographic area subject to varied and potentially extreme weather conditions, which may from time to time persist for sustained periods of time. Despite preventative maintenance efforts, persistent weather related stress on our infrastructure may reveal weaknesses in our systems not previously known to us or otherwise present various operational challenges across all business segments. Further, adverse weather may affect our ability to conduct operations in a manner that satisfies customer expectations or contractual obligations, including by causing service disruptions.

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Failure to attract and retain an appropriately qualified workforce could harm our results of operations.
We operate in an industry that requires many of our employees to possess unique technical skill sets. Events such as an aging workforce without appropriate replacements, the mismatch of skill sets to future needs, or the unavailability of contract resources may lead to operating challenges or increased costs. These operating challenges include lack of resources, loss of knowledge, and a lengthy time period associated with skill development. In addition, current and prospective employees may determine that they do not wish to work for us due to market, economic, employment and other conditions. Failure to hire and retain qualified employees, including the ability to transfer significant internal historical knowledge and expertise to the new employees, may adversely affect our ability to manage and operate our business. If we are unable to successfully attract and retain an appropriately qualified workforce, safety, service reliability, customer satisfaction and our results of operations could be adversely affected.
Some of our employees are subject to collective bargaining agreements. Our collective bargaining agreements are generally negotiated on an operating company basis.  Any failure to reach an agreement on new labor contracts or to negotiate these labor contracts might result in strikes, boycotts or other labor disruptions. Labor disruptions, strikes or significant negotiated wage and benefit increases, whether due to union activities, employee turnover or otherwise, could have a material adverse effect on our businesses, results of operations and/or cash flows.
We are a holding company and are dependent on cash generated by our subsidiaries to meet our debt obligations and pay dividends on our stock.
We are a holding company and conduct our operations primarily through our subsidiaries. Substantially all of our consolidated assets are held by our subsidiaries. Accordingly, our ability to meet our debt obligations or pay dividends on our common stock and preferred stock is largely dependent upon cash generated by these subsidiaries. In the event a major subsidiary is not able to pay dividends or transfer cash flows to us, our ability to service our debt obligations or pay dividends could be negatively affected.
The Separation may result in significant tax liabilities.
The Separation, which was completed in July 2015, was conditioned on the receipt by us of a legal opinion to the effect that the distribution of CPG shares to our stockholders is expected to qualify as tax-free under Section 355 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code (the "Internal Revenue Code"). Even though we have received such an opinion, the IRS could determine on audit that the distribution is taxable. Both us and our stockholders could incur significant U.S. Federal income tax liabilities if taxing authorities conclude the distribution is taxable.
If we cannot effectively manage new initiatives and organizational changes, we will be unable to address the opportunities and challenges presented by our strategy and the business and regulatory environment.
In order to execute on our sustainable growth strategy and enhance our culture of ongoing continuous improvement, we must effectively manage the complexity and frequency of new initiatives and organizational changes. If we are unable to make decisions quickly, assess our opportunities and risks, and implement new governance, managerial and organizational processes as needed to execute our strategy in this increasingly dynamic and competitive business and regulatory environment, our financial condition, results of operations and relationships with our business partners, regulators, customers and stockholders may be negatively impacted.
We outsource certain business functions to third-party suppliers and service providers, and substandard performance by those third parties could harm our business, reputation and results of operations.
Utilities rely on extensive networks of business partners and suppliers to support critical enterprise capabilities across their organizations. Global metrics indicate that deliveries from suppliers are slowing and that labor shortages are occurring in the energy sector. We outsource certain services to third parties in areas including construction services, information technology, materials, fleet, environmental, operational services and other areas. Outsourcing of services to third parties could expose us to inferior service quality or substandard deliverables, which may result in non-compliance (including with applicable legal requirements and industry standards), interruption of service or accidents, or reputational harm, which could negatively impact our results of operations. If any difficulties in the operations of these third-party suppliers and service providers, including their systems, were to occur, they could adversely affect our results of operations, or adversely affect our ability to work with regulators, unions, customers or employees.

Changes in the method for determining LIBOR and the potential replacement of the LIBOR benchmark interest rate could adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

17


ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
NISOURCE INC.

Some of our indebtedness, including borrowings under our revolving credit agreement, bears interest at a variable rate based on LIBOR. From time to time, we also enter into hedging instruments to manage our exposure to fluctuations in the LIBOR benchmark interest rate. In addition, these hedging instruments, as well as hedging instruments that our subsidiaries use for hedging natural gas price and basis risk, rely on LIBOR-based rates to calculate interest accrued on certain payments that may be required to be made under these agreements, such as late payments or interest accrued if any cash collateral should be held by a counterparty. In July 2017, the United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”), which regulates LIBOR, announced that the FCA intends to stop compelling banks to submit rates for the calculation of LIBOR after 2021. It is not possible to predict the effect of these changes, other reforms or the establishment of alternative reference rates in the United Kingdom or elsewhere. In the United States, efforts to identify a set of alternative U.S. dollar reference interest rates include proposals by the Alternative Reference Rates Committee of the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The Alternative Reference Rates Committee has proposed the Secured Overnight Financing Rate ("SOFR") as its recommended alternative to LIBOR, and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York began publishing SOFR rates in April 2018. SOFR is intended to be a broad measure of the cost of borrowing cash overnight that is collateralized by U.S. Treasury securities.
Any changes announced by the FCA, other regulators or any other successor governance or oversight body, or future changes adopted by such body, in the method pursuant to which the LIBOR rates are determined may result in a sudden or prolonged increase or decrease in the reported LIBOR rates. If that were to occur, the level of interest payments we incur may change. In addition, although certain of our LIBOR based obligations provide for alternative methods of calculating the interest rate payable on certain of our obligations if LIBOR is not reported, which include, without limitation, requesting certain rates from major reference banks in London or New York, uncertainty as to the extent and manner of future changes may result in interest rates and/or payments that are higher than, lower than or that do not otherwise correlate over time with, the interest rates or payments that would have been made on our obligations if a LIBOR-based rate was available in its current form.


18


ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS
NISOURCE INC.

None.

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES

Discussed below are the principal properties held by us and our subsidiaries as of December 31, 2018.

Gas Distribution Operations
Refer to Item 1, "Business - Gas Distribution Operations" of this report for further information on Gas Distribution Operations properties.
Electric Operations
Refer to Item 1, "Business - Electric Operations" of this report for further information on Electric Operations properties.
Corporate and Other Operations
We own the Southlake Complex, our 325,000 square foot headquarters building located in Merrillville, Indiana.
Character of Ownership
Our principal properties and our subsidiaries principal properties are owned free from encumbrances, subject to minor exceptions, none of which are of such a nature as to impair substantially the usefulness of such properties. Many of our subsidiary offices in various communities served are occupied under leases. All properties are subject to routine liens for taxes, assessments and undetermined charges (if any) incidental to construction. It is our practice to regularly pay such amounts, as and when due, unless contested in good faith. In general, the electric lines, gas pipelines and related facilities are located on land not owned by us or our subsidiaries, but are covered by necessary consents of various governmental authorities or by appropriate rights obtained from owners of private property. We do not, however, generally have specific easements from the owners of the property adjacent to public highways over, upon or under which our electric lines and gas distribution pipelines are located. At the time each of the principal properties were purchased a title search was made. In general, no examination of titles as to rights-of-way for electric lines, gas pipelines or related facilities was made, other than examination, in certain cases, to verify the grantors’ ownership and the lien status thereof.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
For a description of our legal proceedings, see Note 18-C "Legal Proceedings" in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES
Not applicable.


19


SUPPLEMENTAL ITEM. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT
NISOURCE INC.

The following is a list of the Executive Officers of the Registrant, including their names, ages, offices held and other recent business experience, as of February 1, 2019.
 
Name
 
Age
 
Office(s) Held in Past 5 Years
Joseph Hamrock
 
55

 
President and Chief Executive Officer of NiSource since July 1, 2015.

 
 
 
 
Executive Vice President and Group Chief Executive Officer of NiSource from May 2012 to July 2015.

Donald E. Brown
 
47

 
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of NiSource since June 2016.
 
 
 
 
Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of NiSource from July 2015 to June 2016.
 
 
 
 
Executive Vice President, Finance Department of NiSource from March 2015 to July 2015.
 
 
 
 
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of UGI Utilities, a division of UGI Corporation (gas and electric utility company) from 2010 to March 2015.


Peter T. Disser
 
50

 
Vice President, Internal Audit of NiSource since January 2019.
 
 
 
 
Chief Operating Officer of NiSource Corporate Services from September 2018 through December 2018.
 
 
 
 
Vice President, Audit of NiSource from November 2017 to September 2018.
 
 
 
 
Vice President of Planning and Analysis of NiSource from June 2016 to November 2017.

 
 
 
 
Chief Financial Officer of NIPSCO from 2012 to June 2016.

Carrie J. Hightman
 
61

 
Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer of NiSource since 2007.
Violet G. Sistovaris
 
57

 
Executive Vice President and President, NIPSCO since October 2016.
 
 
 
 
Executive Vice President, NIPSCO from June 2015 to October 2016.
 
 
 
 
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of NiSource from May 2014 to June 2015.
 
 
 
 
Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer of NiSource Corporate Services from 2008 to May 2014.
Suzanne K. Surface
 
54

 
Chief Services Officer of NiSource since January 2019.
 
 
 
 
Vice President, Audit of NiSource from September 2018 through December 2018.
 
 
 
 
Vice President, Transformation Office of NiSource from August 2018 to September 2018.
 
 
 
 
Vice President, Corporate Services Customer Value of NiSource Corporate Services from November 2017 to August 2018.
 
 
 
 
Vice President, Audit of NiSource from July 2015 to November 2017.
 
 
 
 
Vice President Regulatory Strategy and Support of NiSource from July 2009 through June 2015.
Pablo A. Vegas
 
45

 
Executive Vice President and President, Gas Utilities since January 2019.
 
 
 
 
Executive Vice President and Chief Restoration Officer of NiSource Corporate Services since September 2018 through December 2018.
 
 
 
 
Executive President, Gas Segment and Chief Customer Officer of NiSource from May 2017 to September 2018.
 
 
 
 
Executive Vice President and President, Columbia Gas Group from May 2016 to May 2017.

 
 
 
 
President and Chief Operating Officer of American Electric Power Ohio Company from May 2012 to May 2016.


20


PART II
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
NISOURCE INC.

NiSource’s common stock is listed and traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “NI.”
Holders of shares of NiSource’s common stock are entitled to receive dividends if and when declared by NiSource’s Board out of funds legally available, subject to the prior dividend rights of holders of our preferred stock or the depositary shares representing such preferred stock outstanding, and if full dividends have not been declared and paid on all outstanding shares of preferred stock in any dividend period, no dividend may be declared or paid or set aside for payment on our common stock. The policy of the Board has been to declare cash dividends on a quarterly basis payable on or about the 20th day of February, May, August, and November. At its February 1, 2019 meeting, the Board declared a quarterly common dividend of $0.20 per share, payable on February 20, 2019 to holders of record on February 11, 2019.
Although the Board currently intends to continue the payment of regular quarterly cash dividends on common shares, the timing and amount of future dividends will depend on the earnings of NiSource’s subsidiaries, their financial condition, cash requirements, regulatory restrictions, any restrictions in financing agreements and other factors deemed relevant by the Board. There can be no assurance that NiSource will continue to pay such dividends or the amount of such dividends.
As of February 12, 2019, NiSource had 20,064 common stockholders of record and 372,494,365 shares outstanding.

21


PART II
ITEM 5. MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES
NISOURCE INC.

The graph below compares the cumulative total shareholder return of NiSource’s common stock for the last five years with the cumulative total return for the same period of the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Utility indices. On July 1, 2015, NiSource completed the Separation. Following the Separation, NiSource retained no ownership interest in CPG. The Separation is treated as a special dividend for purposes of calculating the total shareholder return, with the then-current market value of the distributed shares being deemed to have been reinvested on the Separation date in shares of NiSource common stock. A vertical line is included on the graph below to identify the periods before and after the Separation.
tsrtablea01.jpg
The foregoing performance graph is being furnished as part of this annual report solely in accordance with the requirement under Rule 14a-3(b)(9) to furnish stockholders with such information, and therefore, shall not be deemed to be filed or incorporated by reference into any filings by NiSource under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act.
The total shareholder return for NiSource common stock and the two indices is calculated from an assumed initial investment of $100 and assumes dividend reinvestment, including the impact of the distribution of CPG common stock in the Separation.

22


ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
NISOURCE INC.

The selected data presented below as of and for the five years ended December 31, 2018, are derived from our Consolidated Financial Statements. The data should be read together with the Consolidated Financial Statements including the related notes thereto included in Item 8 of this Form 10-K.  
Year Ended December 31, (dollars in millions except per share data)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2015
 
2014
Statement of Income Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Operating Revenues
$
5,114.5

 
$
4,874.6

 
$
4,492.5

 
$
4,651.8

 
$
5,272.4

Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Shareholders
(65.6
)
 
128.5

 
331.5

 
198.6

 
256.2

Balance Sheet Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total Assets
21,804.0

 
19,961.7

 
18,691.9

 
17,492.5

 
24,589.8

Capitalization
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Stockholders’ equity
5,750.9

 
4,320.1

 
4,071.2

 
3,843.5

 
6,175.3

Long-term debt, excluding amounts due within one year
7,105.4

 
7,512.2

 
6,058.2

 
5,948.5

 
8,151.5

Total Capitalization
$
12,856.3

 
$
11,832.3

 
$
10,129.4

 
$
9,792.0

 
$
14,326.8

Per Share Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic Earnings (Loss) Per Share ($)
$
(0.18
)
 
$
0.39

 
$
1.02

 
$
0.63

 
$
0.81

Diluted Earnings (Loss) Per Share ($)
$
(0.18
)
 
$
0.39

 
$
1.01

 
$
0.63

 
$
0.81

Other Data:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dividends declared per common share ($)
$
0.78

 
$
0.70

 
$
0.64

 
$
0.83

 
$
1.02

Common shares outstanding at the end of the year (in thousands)
372,363

 
337,016

 
323,160

 
319,110

 
316,037

Number of common stockholders
19,889

 
21,009

 
22,272

 
30,190

 
25,233

Dividends declared per Series A preferred share ($)
$
28.88

 
$

 
$

 
$

 
$

Capital expenditures
$
1,814.6

 
$
1,753.8

 
$
1,490.4

 
$
1,367.5

 
$
1,339.6

Number of employees
8,087

 
8,175

 
8,007

 
7,596

 
8,982

 
In the second quarter of 2018, we completed the sale of 24,964,163 shares of $0.01 par value common stock at a price of $24.28 per share in a private placement to selected institutional and accredited investors and issued 400,000 shares of Series A preferred stock resulting in $400.0 million of gross proceeds or $393.9 million of net proceeds, after deducting commissions and sales expenses. Additionally, in the fourth quarter of 2018 we issued 20,000 shares of Series B preferred stock resulting in $500.0 million of gross proceeds or $486.1 million of net proceeds, after deducting commissions and sales expenses.
During 2018 we recorded a loss of approximately $757 million for third-party claims and approximately $266 million for other incident-related expenses in connection with the Greater Lawrence Incident. Columbia of Massachusetts recorded $135 million for insurance recoveries through December 31, 2018. The amounts set forth above do not include the estimated capital cost of the pipeline replacement, which is set forth in " - E. Other Matters - Greater Lawrence Pipeline Replacement."
During the second quarter of 2018 we executed a tender offer for $209.0 million of outstanding notes consisting of a combination of our 6.80% notes due 2019, 5.45% notes due 2020 and 6.125% notes due 2022. During the third quarter of 2018, we redeemed $551.1 million of outstanding notes representing the remainder of our 6.80% notes due 2019, 5.45% notes due 2020 and 6.125% notes due 2022. In conjunction with our debt retired, we recorded a $45.5 million loss on early extinguishment of long-term debt primarily attributable to early redemption premiums.
The decrease in net income during 2017 was due primarily to increased tax expense as a result of the impact of adopting the provisions of the TCJA and a loss on early extinguishment of long-term debt, as discussed below.
During the second quarter of 2017, we executed a tender offer for $990.7 million of outstanding notes consisting of a combination of our 6.40% notes due 2018, 6.80% notes due 2019, 5.45% notes due 2020, and 6.125% notes due 2022. In conjunction with the debt retired, we recorded a $111.5 million loss on early extinguishment of long-term debt, primarily attributable to early redemption premiums.
Prior to the Separation, CPG closed the placement of $2,750.0 million in aggregate principal amount of senior notes. Using the proceeds from this offering, CPG made cash payments to us representing the settlement of inter-company borrowings and the payment of a one-time special dividend. In May 2015, using proceeds from the cash payments from CPG, we settled two bank term loans in the amount of $1,075.0 million and executed a tender offer for $750.0 million consisting of a combination of its 5.25% notes due 2017, 6.40% notes due 2018 and 4.45% notes due 2021. In conjunction with the debt

23


ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
NISOURCE INC.

retired, we recorded a $97.2 million loss on early extinguishment of long-term debt, primarily attributable to early redemption premiums.

24


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
NISOURCE INC.

Index
Page
Executive Summary
Summary of Consolidated Financial Results
Results and Discussion of Segment Operations
Gas Distribution Operations
Electric Operations
Off Balance Sheet Arrangements

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
This Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (Management’s Discussion) analyzes our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows and those of our subsidiaries. It also includes management’s analysis of past financial results and certain potential factors that may affect future results, potential future risks and approaches that may be used to manage those risks. See "Note regarding forward-looking statements" at the beginning of this report for a list of factors that may cause results to differ materially.
Management’s Discussion is designed to provide an understanding of our operations and financial performance and should be read in conjunction with our Consolidated Financial Statements and related Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this annual report.
We are an energy holding company under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005 whose subsidiaries are fully regulated natural gas and electric utility companies serving customers in seven states. We generate substantially all of our operating income through these rate-regulated businesses which are summarized for financial reporting purposes into two primary reportable segments: Gas Distribution Operations and Electric Operations.
Refer to the “Business” section under Item 1 of this annual report and Note 22, "Segments of Business," in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion of our regulated utility business segments.
Our goal is to develop strategies that benefit all stakeholders as we address changing customer conservation patterns, develops more contemporary pricing structures and embarks on long-term infrastructure investment programs. These strategies are intended to improve reliability and safety, enhance customer services and reduce emissions while generating sustainable returns. Additionally, we continue to pursue regulatory and legislative initiatives that will allow residential customers not currently on our system to obtain gas service in a cost effective manner. Refer also to the discussion of Electric Supply within our Electric Operations Segment discussion for additional information on our long term electric generation strategy.
Greater Lawrence Incident: The Greater Lawrence Incident occurred on September 13, 2018. During the year ended December 31, 2018, we recorded a loss of approximately $757 million for third-party claims and approximately $266 million for other incident-related expenses in connection with the Greater Lawrence Incident. The amounts set forth above do not include the estimated capital cost of the pipeline replacement described below and as set forth in " - E. Other Matters - Greater Lawrence Pipeline Replacement."
We estimate that total costs related to third-party claims as set forth in Note 18, "Other Commitments and Contingencies - C. Legal Proceedings," will range from $757 million to $790 million, depending on the final outcome of ongoing reviews and the number, nature, and value of third-party claims. We expect to incur a total of $330 million to $345 million in other incident-related costs.
We also expect to incur expenses for which we cannot estimate the amounts of or the timing at this time, including expenses associated with government investigations and fines, penalties or settlements with governmental authorities in connection with the Greater Lawrence Incident.
Columbia of Massachusetts recorded $135 million for insurance recoveries during 2018. Of this amount, $5 million was collected during 2018. We are currently unable to predict the amount and timing of future insurance recoveries. To the extent that we are not successful in collecting reimbursement in the amount recorded for such recoveries as of December 31, 2018, it could result in a charge to earnings.

25


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
NISOURCE INC.

Columbia of Massachusetts paid approximately $167 million for the replacement of the entire affected 45-mile cast iron and bare steel pipeline system that delivers gas to those impacted in the Greater Lawrence Incident during 2018. We estimate this replacement work will cost between $220 million and $230 million in total. Columbia of Massachusetts has provided notice to its property insurer of the Greater Lawrence Incident and discussions around the claim and recovery have commenced. The recovery of any capital investment not reimbursed through insurance will be addressed in a future regulatory proceeding. The outcome of such a proceeding is uncertain. If at any point Columbia of Massachusetts concludes it is probable that any portion of this capital investment is not recoverable through customer rates, that portion of the capital investment, if estimable, would be immediately charged to earnings.
As discussed in Note 8, "Regulatory Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, Columbia of Massachusetts withdrew its petition for a base rate revenue increase, resulting in delayed increases in forecasted revenues and cash flows beginning the first quarter of 2019.
Additionally, as discussed in Note 6, "Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets," we concluded the Greater Lawrence Incident was a triggering event requiring a quantitative analysis of goodwill for the Columbia of Massachusetts reporting unit. While no impairment of the goodwill balance was recorded in 2018, future unfavorable events that transpire at Columbia of Massachusetts could trigger the need for another quantitative analysis and a goodwill impairment loss would be required if it's determined Columbia of Massachusetts fair value is less than its book value.
Refer to Note 18-C and E, "Legal Proceedings" and "Other Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, "Summary of Consolidated Financial Results," "Results and Discussion of Segment Operation - Gas Distribution Operations," and "Liquidity and Capital Resources" in this Management's Discussion, and Part I. Item 1A. "Risk Factors" for additional information related to the Greater Lawrence Incident.
Summary of Consolidated Financial Results
Our operations are affected by the cost of sales. Cost of sales for the Gas Distribution Operations segment is principally comprised of the cost of natural gas used while providing transportation and distribution services to customers. Cost of sales for the Electric Operations segment is comprised of the cost of coal, related handling costs, natural gas purchased for the internal generation of electricity at NIPSCO and the cost of power purchased from third-party generators of electricity.
The majority of the cost of sales are tracked costs that are passed through directly to the customer resulting in an equal and offsetting amount reflected in operating revenues. As a result, we believe net revenues, a non-GAAP financial measure defined as operating revenues less cost of sales (excluding depreciation and amortization), provides management and investors a useful measure to analyze profitability. The presentation of net revenues herein is intended to provide supplemental information for investors regarding operating performance. Net revenues do not intend to represent operating income, the most comparable GAAP measure, as an indicator of operating performance and is not necessarily comparable to similarly titled measures reported by other companies.

26


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.


For the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, operating income and a reconciliation of net revenues to the most directly comparable GAAP measure, operating income, was as follows:
Year Ended December 31, (in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017
 
2017 vs. 2016
Operating Income
$
124.7

 
$
921.2

 
$
866.1

 
$
(796.5
)
 
$
55.1

Year Ended December 31, (in millions, except per share amounts)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017
 
2017 vs. 2016
Operating Revenues
$
5,114.5

 
$
4,874.6

 
$
4,492.5

 
$
239.9

 
$
382.1

Cost of sales (excluding depreciation and amortization)
1,761.3

 
1,518.7

 
1,390.2

 
242.6

 
128.5

Total Net Revenues
3,353.2

 
3,355.9

 
3,102.3

 
(2.7
)
 
253.6

Other Operating Expenses
3,228.5

 
2,434.7

 
2,236.2

 
793.8

 
198.5

Operating Income
124.7

 
921.2

 
866.1

 
(796.5
)
 
55.1

Total Other Deductions, Net
(355.3
)
 
(478.2
)
 
(352.5
)
 
122.9

 
(125.7
)
Income Taxes
(180.0
)
 
314.5

 
182.1

 
(494.5
)
 
132.4

Net Income (Loss)
(50.6
)
 
128.5

 
331.5

 
(179.1
)
 
(203.0
)
Preferred dividends
(15.0
)
 

 

 
(15.0
)
 

Net Income (Loss) Available to Common Shareholders
(65.6
)
 
128.5

 
331.5

 
(194.1
)
 
(203.0
)
Basic Earnings (Loss) Per Share
$
(0.18
)
 
$
0.39

 
$
1.03

 
$
(0.57
)
 
$
(0.64
)
Basic Average Common Shares Outstanding
356.5

 
329.4

 
321.8

 
27.1

 
7.6

On a consolidated basis, we reported a loss to common shareholders of $65.6 million or $0.18 per basic share for the twelve months ended December 31, 2018 compared to net income available to common shareholders of $128.5 million or $0.39 per basic share for the same period in 2017. The decrease in net income during 2018 was primarily due to expenses related to the Greater Lawrence Incident restoration, dilution resulting from preferred stock dividend commitments and other changes in operating income, as discussed below, partially offset by the effects of implementing the TCJA and higher losses on early extinguishment of long-term debt expenses in 2017.
Operating Income
For the twelve months ended December 31, 2018, we reported operating income of $124.7 million compared to $921.2 million for the same period in 2017. The decreased operating income was primarily due to increased operation and maintenance expenses related to the Greater Lawrence Incident, decreased net revenues resulting from TCJA impacts on revenue and increased depreciation due to capital expenditures placed in service. These increases were partially offset by higher rates from infrastructure replacement programs and base-rate proceedings, decreased outside service costs and employee and administrative expenses, as well as net favorable effects of year-over-year weather variations, which increased revenue in 2018.
Other Deductions, Net
Other deductions, net reduced income by $355.3 million in 2018 compared to a reduction in income of $478.2 million in 2017. This change is primarily due to lower losses on early extinguishment of long-term debt in 2018 of $66.0 million, an interest rate swap settlement gain in 2018 of $46.2 million and higher actuarial investment returns resulting from pension contributions made in 2017. These favorable variances were partially offset by charitable contributions of $20.7 million in 2018 related to the Greater Lawrence Incident.

27


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.


Income Taxes
On December 22, 2017, the President signed into law the TCJA, which, among other things, enacted significant changes to the Internal Revenue Code, as amended, including a reduction in the maximum U.S. federal corporate income tax rate from 35% to 21%, and certain other provisions related specifically to the public utility industry, including the continuation of certain interest expense deductibility and excluding 100% expensing of capital investments. These changes are effective January 1, 2018. GAAP requires the effect of a change in tax law to be recorded in the period of enactment. As a result, in December 2017, NiSource recorded a $161.1 million net increase in tax expense related primarily to the remeasurement of deferred tax assets for NOL carryforwards.
The decrease in income tax expense from 2017 to 2018 is primarily attributable to the decrease in the federal corporate income tax rate, true-ups to tax expense in 2018 to reflect regulatory outcomes associated with excess deferred income taxes, the effect of amortizing the regulatory liability associated with excess deferred income taxes and lower pre-tax income resulting from expenses incurred for the Greater Lawrence Incident.
Refer to “Liquidity and Capital Resources” below and Note 10, "Income Taxes," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on income taxes and the change in the effective tax rate.
Capital Investment
In 2018, we invested approximately $1.8 billion in cash capital expenditures across the gas and electric utilities. These expenditures were primarily aimed at furthering the safety and reliability of our gas distribution system, the Greater Lawrence Incident pipeline replacement, construction of new electric transmission assets and maintaining our existing electric generation fleet.
We continue to execute on an estimated $30 billion in total projected long-term regulated utility infrastructure investments and expect to invest approximately $1.6 to $1.7 billion in capital during 2019 to continue to modernize and improve our system across all seven states of our operating area.
Liquidity
As discussed in further detail below in “Liquidity and Capital Resources,” the TCJA has and will continue to have an unfavorable impact on our liquidity. Additionally, expenses paid for the Greater Lawrence Incident are expected to have a short term negative impact on liquidity as recoveries from insurance lag behind our cash outlay. Liquidity will also be negatively impacted to the extent certain costs associated with the Greater Lawrence Incident are not recovered from insurance. Through income generated from operating activities, amounts available under our short-term revolving credit facility, commercial paper program, accounts receivable securitization facilities, long-term debt agreements and our ability to access the capital markets, we believe there is adequate capital available to fund our operating activities and capital expenditures and the effects of the Greater Lawrence Incident in 2019 and beyond. At December 31, 2018 and 2017, we had approximately $974.6 million and $998.9 million, respectively, of net liquidity available, consisting of cash and available capacity under credit facilities.
These factors and other impacts to the financial results are discussed in more detail within the following discussions of “Results and Discussion of Segment Operations” and “Liquidity and Capital Resources.”
Regulatory Developments
In 2018, we continued to move forward on core infrastructure and environmental investment programs supported by complementary regulatory and customer initiatives across all seven states of our operating area. Refer to Note 8, “Regulatory Matters” and Note 18-E, "Other Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for a complete discussion of key regulatory developments that transpired during 2018.

28


RESULTS AND DISCUSSION OF SEGMENT OPERATIONS
Presentation of Segment Information
Our operations are divided into two primary reportable segments: Gas Distribution Operations and Electric Operations.

29


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.
Gas Distribution Operations


For the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, operating income and a reconciliation of net revenues to the most directly comparable GAAP measure, operating income, was as follows:
Year Ended December 31, (in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017
 
2017 vs. 2016
Operating Income (Loss)
$
(254.1
)
 
$
550.1

 
$
569.7

 
$
(804.2
)
 
$
(19.6
)
Year Ended December 31, (dollars in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017
 
2017 vs. 2016
Net Revenues
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating revenues
$
3,419.5

 
$
3,102.1

 
$
2,830.6

 
$
317.4

 
$
271.5

Less: Cost of sales (excluding depreciation and amortization)
1,259.3

 
1,005.0

 
895.4

 
254.3

 
109.6

Net Revenues
2,160.2

 
2,097.1

 
1,935.2

 
63.1

 
161.9

Operating Expenses
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operation and maintenance
1,908.1

 
1,090.8

 
941.5

 
817.3

 
149.3

Depreciation and amortization
301.0

 
269.3

 
252.9

 
31.7

 
16.4

Loss on sale of assets and impairments, net
0.2

 
2.8

 

 
(2.6
)
 
2.8

Other taxes
205.0

 
184.1

 
171.1

 
20.9

 
13.0

Total Operating Expenses
2,414.3

 
1,547.0

 
1,365.5

 
867.3

 
181.5

Operating Income (Loss)
$
(254.1
)
 
$
550.1

 
$
569.7

 
$
(804.2
)
 
$
(19.6
)
Revenues
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Residential
$
2,248.3

 
$
2,029.4

 
$
1,823.4

 
$
218.9

 
$
206.0

Commercial
753.7

 
669.4

 
588.1

 
84.3

 
81.3

Industrial
228.6

 
217.5

 
194.3

 
11.1

 
23.2

Off-System
92.4

 
111.8

 
94.4

 
(19.4
)
 
17.4

Other
96.5

 
74.0

 
130.4

 
22.5

 
(56.4
)
Total
$
3,419.5

 
$
3,102.1

 
$
2,830.6

 
$
317.4

 
$
271.5

Sales and Transportation (MMDth)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Residential
280.3

 
247.1

 
248.9

 
33.2

 
(1.8
)
Commercial
187.6

 
169.3

 
165.6

 
18.3

 
3.7

Industrial
555.7

 
517.5

 
517.7

 
38.2

 
(0.2
)
Off-System
30.0

 
39.0

 
39.6

 
(9.0
)
 
(0.6
)
Other

 
0.3

 
(0.1
)
 
(0.3
)
 
0.4

Total
1,053.6

 
973.2

 
971.7

 
80.4

 
1.5

Heating Degree Days
5,562

 
4,927

 
5,148

 
635

 
(221
)
Normal Heating Degree Days
5,610

 
5,610

 
5,642

 

 
(32
)
% Warmer than Normal
(1
)%
 
(12
)%
 
(9
)%
 


 


Gas Distribution Customers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Residential
3,194,662

 
3,168,516

 
3,141,736

 
26,146

 
26,780

Commercial
281,563

 
280,362

 
279,556

 
1,201

 
806

Industrial
6,038

 
6,228

 
6,240

 
(190
)
 
(12
)
Other
3

 
4

 

 
(1
)
 
4

Total
3,482,266

 
3,455,110

 
3,427,532

 
27,156

 
27,578



30


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.
Gas Distribution Operations (continued)

Comparability of line item operating results may be impacted by regulatory, tax and depreciation trackers (other than those for cost of sales) that allow for the recovery in rates of certain costs. Therefore, increases in these tracked operating expenses are generally offset by increases in net revenues and have essentially no impact on net income.
2018 vs. 2017 Operating Income
For 2018, Gas Distribution Operations reported an operating loss of $254.1 million, a decrease in income of $804.2 million from the comparable 2017 period.
Net revenues for 2018 were $2,160.2 million, an increase of $63.1 million from the same period in 2017. The change in net revenues was primarily driven by:
New rates from infrastructure replacement programs and base rate proceedings of $99.6 million.
Higher revenues from the effects of colder weather in 2018 of $37.5 million.
The effects of customer growth and increased usage of $17.4 million.
Higher regulatory, tax and depreciation trackers, which are offset in operating expense, of $16.0 million.
Partially offset by:
A revenue reserve of $85.0 million in 2018 resulting from the probable future refund of certain collections from customers as a result of the lower income tax rate from the TCJA.
Decreased rates from implementation of regulatory outcomes related to the TCJA of $24.7 million.
Operating expenses were $867.3 million higher in 2018 compared to 2017. This change was primarily driven by:
Expenses related to third-party claims and other costs following the Greater Lawrence Incident of $864.4 million, net of insurance recoveries recorded.
Increased depreciation of $29.6 million due to regulatory outcomes of NIPSCO's gas rate case and higher capital expenditures placed in service.
Higher regulatory, tax and depreciation trackers, which are offset in net revenues, of $16.0 million.
Increased property taxes of $11.0 million due to higher capital expenditures placed in service and the impact of regulatory-driven property tax deferrals.
Partially offset by:
Decreased outside services of $33.2 million primarily due to IT service provider transition and other strategic initiative costs in 2017, lower ongoing IT costs and a temporary shift of resources to the Greater Lawrence Incident restoration.
Lower employee and administrative expenses of $30.2 million driven by reduced incentive compensation and a temporary shift of resources to the Greater Lawrence Incident restoration.

2017 vs. 2016 Operating Income
For 2017, Gas Distribution Operations reported operating income of $550.1 million, a decrease of $19.6 million from the comparable 2016 period.
Net revenues for 2017 were $2,097.1 million, an increase of $161.9 million from the same period in 2016. The change in net revenues was primarily driven by:
New rates from base-rate proceedings and infrastructure replacement programs of $124.2 million.
Higher regulatory, tax and depreciation trackers, which are offset in operating expense, of $26.9 million.
The effects of increased customer growth of $10.3 million.
Higher revenues from increased industrial usage of $5.8 million.
Operating expenses were $181.5 million higher in 2017 compared to 2016. This change was primarily driven by:
Increased employee and administrative expenses of $53.4 million.
Higher outside service costs of $52.8 million due to IT service provider transition costs, increased spend on strategic initiatives to enhance safety, reliability and customer value and higher pipeline maintenance expenses.
Increased regulatory, tax and depreciation trackers, which are offset in net revenues, of $26.9 million.
Higher depreciation of $15.2 million due to increased capital expenditures placed in service.

31


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.
Gas Distribution Operations (continued)

Increased property taxes of $8.1 million due to higher capital expenditures placed in service and an accrual adjustment recorded in 2016.
Higher environmental costs of $4.7 million.
Increased materials and supplies expenses of $3.4 million from maintenance-related activities.
Weather
In general, we calculate the weather-related revenue variance based on changing customer demand driven by weather variance from normal heating degree days. Our composite heating degree days reported do not directly correlate to the weather-related dollar impact on the results of Gas Distribution Operations. Heating degree days experienced during different times of the year or in different operating locations may have more or less impact on volume and dollars depending on when and where they occur. When the detailed results are combined for reporting, there may be weather-related dollar impacts on operations when there is not an apparent or significant change in our aggregated composite heating degree day comparison.

Weather in the Gas Distribution Operations service territories for 2018 was about 1% warmer than normal and about 13% colder than 2017, increasing net revenues $37.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to 2017.
Weather in the Gas Distribution Operations service territories for 2017 was about 12% warmer than normal and about 4% warmer than 2016, decreasing net revenues $1.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to 2016.
Throughput
Total volumes sold and transported for the year ended December 31, 2018 were 1,053.6 MMDth, compared to 973.2 MMDth for 2017. This increase is primarily attributable to colder weather experienced in 2018 compared to 2017.
Total volumes sold and transported for the year ended December 31, 2017 were 973.2 MMDth, compared to 971.7 MMDth for 2016.
Economic Conditions
All of our Gas Distribution Operations companies have state-approved recovery mechanisms that provide a means for full recovery of prudently incurred gas costs. Gas costs are treated as pass-through costs and have no impact on the net revenues recorded in the period. The gas costs included in revenues are matched with the gas cost expense recorded in the period and the difference is recorded on the Consolidated Balance Sheets as under-recovered or over-recovered gas cost to be included in future customer billings.
Certain Gas Distribution Operations companies continue to offer choice opportunities, where customers can choose to purchase gas from a third-party supplier, through regulatory initiatives in their respective jurisdictions. These programs serve to further reduce our exposure to gas prices.

Greater Lawrence Incident
Refer to Note 18-C. "Legal Proceedings," and E. "Other Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, "Summary of Consolidated Financial Results,""Liquidity and Capital Resources" in this Management's Discussion, and Part I. Item 1A. "Risk Factors" for additional information related to the Greater Lawrence Incident.


32


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.
Electric Operations

For the years ended December 31, 2018, 2017 and 2016, operating income and a reconciliation of net revenues to the most directly comparable GAAP measure, operating income, was as follows:
Year Ended December 31, (in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017
 
2017 vs. 2016
Operating Income
$
386.1

 
$
367.4

 
$
301.3

 
$
18.7

 
$
66.1

Year Ended December 31, (dollars in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
 
2018 vs. 2017
 
2017 vs. 2016
Net Revenues
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating revenues
$
1,708.2

 
$
1,786.5

 
$
1,661.6

 
$
(78.3
)
 
$
124.9

Less: Cost of sales (excluding depreciation and amortization)
502.1

 
513.9

 
495.0

 
(11.8
)
 
18.9

Net Revenues
1,206.1

 
1,272.6

 
1,166.6

 
(66.5
)
 
106.0

Operating Expenses
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operation and maintenance
500.0

 
565.6

 
528.9

 
(65.6
)
 
36.7

Depreciation and amortization
262.9

 
277.8

 
274.5

 
(14.9
)
 
3.3

Loss on sale of assets

 
1.9

 

 
(1.9
)
 
1.9

Other taxes
57.1

 
59.9

 
61.9

 
(2.8
)
 
(2.0
)
Total Operating Expenses
820.0

 
905.2

 
865.3

 
(85.2
)
 
39.9

Operating Income
$
386.1

 
$
367.4

 
$
301.3

 
$
18.7

 
$
66.1

Revenues
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Residential
$
494.7

 
$
476.9

 
$
457.4

 
$
17.8

 
$
19.5

Commercial
492.6

 
501.2

 
456.6

 
(8.6
)
 
44.6

Industrial
614.4

 
698.1

 
631.6

 
(83.7
)
 
66.5

Wholesale
15.7

 
11.6

 
11.6

 
4.1

 

Other
90.8

 
98.7

 
104.4

 
(7.9
)
 
(5.7
)
Total
$
1,708.2

 
$
1,786.5

 
$
1,661.6

 
$
(78.3
)
 
$
124.9

Sales (Gigawatt Hours)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Residential
3,535.2

 
3,301.7

 
3,514.8

 
233.5

 
(213.1
)
Commercial
3,844.6

 
3,793.5

 
3,878.7

 
51.1

 
(85.2
)
Industrial
8,829.5

 
9,469.7

 
9,281.8

 
(640.2
)
 
187.9

Wholesale
114.3

 
32.5

 
19.0

 
81.8

 
13.5

Other
124.4

 
128.2

 
136.9

 
(3.8
)
 
(8.7
)
Total
16,448.0

 
16,725.6

 
16,831.2

 
(277.6
)
 
(105.6
)
Cooling Degree Days
1,180

 
837

 
988

 
343

 
(151
)
Normal Cooling Degree Days
806

 
806

 
806

 

 

% Warmer than Normal
46
%
 
4
%
 
23
%
 


 


Electric Customers
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Residential
412,267

 
409,401

 
407,268

 
2,866

 
2,133

Commercial
56,605

 
56,134

 
55,605

 
471

 
529

Industrial
2,284

 
2,305

 
2,313

 
(21
)
 
(8
)
Wholesale
735

 
739

 
744

 
(4
)
 
(5
)
Other
2

 
2

 
2

 

 

Total
471,893

 
468,581

 
465,932

 
3,312

 
2,649




33


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.
Electric Operations (continued)

Comparability of line item operating results may be impacted by regulatory and depreciation trackers (other than those for cost of sales) that allow for the recovery in rates of certain costs. Therefore, increases in these tracked operating expenses are offset by increases in net revenues and have essentially no impact on net income.
2018 vs. 2017 Operating Income
For 2018, Electric Operations reported operating income of $386.1 million, an increase of $18.7 million from the comparable 2017 period.

Net revenues for 2018 were $1,206.1 million, a decrease of $66.5 million from the same period in 2017. The change in net revenues was primarily driven by:
Lower regulatory and depreciation trackers, which are offset in operating expense, of $35.6 million.
Decreased rates from implementation of regulatory outcomes related to the TCJA of $32.9 million.
Decreased industrial usage of $17.1 million.
A revenue reserve of $16.2 million in 2018 resulting from the probable future refund of certain collections from customers as a result of the lower income tax rate from the TCJA .
Increased fuel handling costs of $7.3 million.
Partially offset by:
The effects of warmer weather of $25.2 million.
Increased rates from infrastructure replacement programs of $18.6 million.

Operating expenses were $85.2 million lower in 2018 than 2017. This change was primarily driven by:
Lower regulatory and depreciation trackers, which are offset in net revenues, of $35.6 million.
Lower outside service costs of $32.1 million and lower material and supplies costs of $10.2 million primarily related to the retirement of Bailly Generating Station Units 7 and 8 on May 31, 2018.
Decreased employee and administrative costs of $18.4 million.
Partially offset by:
Increased depreciation of $10.0 million due to higher capital expenditures placed in service.
2017 vs. 2016 Operating Income
For 2017, Electric Operations reported operating income of $367.4 million, an increase of $66.1 million from the comparable 2016 period.
Net revenues for 2017 were $1,272.6 million, an increase of $106.0 million from the same period in 2016. The change in net revenues was primarily driven by:
New rates from base-rate proceedings of $63.6 million.
Increased rates from incremental capital spend on electric transmission projects of $24.2 million.
Higher regulatory and depreciation trackers, which are offset in operating expense, of $18.0 million.
New rates from infrastructure replacement programs of $6.0 million.
The effects of increased customer count of $3.4 million.
Partially offset by:
The effects of cooler weather of $16.1 million.

Operating expenses were $39.9 million higher in 2017 than 2016. This change was primarily driven by:
Higher outside service costs of $20.1 million, primarily due to increased spend on strategic initiatives to enhance safety, reliability and customer value, generation-related maintenance, IT service provider transition costs and vegetation management activities.
Higher employee and administrative costs of $19.2 million.
Increased regulatory and depreciation trackers, which are offset in net revenues, of $18.0 million.

34


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.
Electric Operations (continued)

Increased depreciation of $5.6 million due to higher capital expenditures placed in service.
Higher materials and supplies costs of $4.5 million driven by generation-related maintenance.

Partially offset by:
Plant retirement costs of $22.1 million in 2016.
Decreased amortization of regulatory assets of $10.8 million.

Weather
In general, we calculate the weather-related revenue variance based on changing customer demand driven by weather variance from normal heating or cooling degree days. Our composite heating or cooling degree days reported do not directly correlate to the weather-related dollar impact on the results of Electric Operations. Heating or cooling degree days experienced during different times of the year may have more or less impact on volume and dollars depending on when they occur. When the detailed results are combined for reporting, there may be weather-related dollar impacts on operations when there is not an apparent or significant change in our aggregated composite heating or cooling degree day comparison
Weather in the Electric Operations’ territories for 2018 was 46% warmer than normal and 41% warmer than the same period in 2017, increasing net revenues $25.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2018 compared to 2017.
Weather in the Electric Operations’ territories for 2017 was 4% warmer than normal and 15% cooler than the same period in 2016, decreasing net revenues $16.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2017 compared to 2016.
Sales
Electric Operations sales were 16,448.0 GWh for 2018, a decrease of 277.6 GWh, or 1.7% compared to 2017. This decrease was primarily attributable to higher internal generation from large industrial customers in 2018, partially offset by increased volumes for residential and commercial customers resulting from warmer weather.
Electric Operations sales were 16,725.6 GWh for 2017, a decrease of 105.6 GWh, or 0.6% compared to 2016.
BP Products North America. On March 29, 2018, WCE, which is currently owned by BP p.l.c ("BP") and BP Products North America, which operates the BP Refinery, filed a petition at the IURC asking that the combined operations of WCE and BP be treated as a single premise, and the WCE generation be dedicated primarily to BP Refinery operations beginning in May 2019 as WCE has self-certified as a qualifying facility at FERC. BP Refinery plans to continue to purchase electric service from NIPSCO at a reduced demand level beginning May 2019. Refer to Note 8, "Regulatory Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
Economic Conditions
NIPSCO has a state-approved recovery mechanism that provides a means for full recovery of prudently incurred fuel costs. Fuel costs are treated as pass-through costs and have no impact on the net revenues recorded in the period. The fuel costs included in revenues are matched with the fuel cost expense recorded in the period and the difference is recorded on the Consolidated Balance Sheets as under-recovered or over-recovered fuel cost to be included in future customer billings.
NIPSCO's performance remains closely linked to the performance of the steel industry. NIPSCO’s MWh sales to steel-related industries accounted for approximately 49.67% and 54.5% of the total industrial MWh sales for the years ended December 31, 2018 and 2017, respectively.
Electric Supply
Bailly Generating Station. NIPSCO completed the retirement of Units 7 and 8 at Bailly Generating Station on May 31, 2018. These units had a generating capacity of approximately 460 MW. The remaining net book value of the retired units is presented in "Regulatory assets (noncurrent)" on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. This balance continues to be amortized at a rate consistent with its inclusion in customer rates. The ongoing recovery of our remaining investment in these units will be addressed in NIPSCO's rate case filed on October 31, 2018. Refer to Note 8, "Regulatory Matters," and Note 18-E, "Other Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
NIPSCO 2018 Integrated Resource Plan. Multiple factors, but primarily economic ones, including low natural gas prices, advancing cost effective renewable technology and increasing capital and operating costs associated with existing coal plants, have led

35


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.
Electric Operations (continued)

NIPSCO to conclude in its October 2018 Integrated Resource Plan submission that NIPSCO’s current fleet of coal generation facilities will be retired earlier than previous Integrated Resource Plan’s had indicated.
The Integrated Resource Plan evaluated demand-side and supply-side resource alternatives to reliably and cost effectively meet NIPSCO customers' future energy requirements over the ensuing 20 years. The preferred option within the Integrated Resource Plan retires R.M. Schahfer Generating Station (Units 14, 15, 17, and 18) by 2023 and Michigan City Generating Station (Unit 12) by 2028. These units represent 2,080 MW of generating capacity, equal to 72% of NIPSCO’s remaining capacity after the retirement of Bailly Units 7 and 8 in May of 2018.
The current replacement plan includes renewable sources of energy, including wind, solar, and battery storage to be obtained through a combination of NIPSCO ownership and PPAs. Refer to Note 18-E, "Other Matters," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further discussion.





36


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.


Liquidity and Capital Resources
Greater Lawrence Incident: As discussed in the "Executive Summary" and Note 18, “Other Commitments and Contingencies,” we have recorded losses associated with the Greater Lawrence Incident and have invested capital to replace the entire affected 45-mile cast iron and bare steel pipeline system that delivers gas to the impacted area. As discussed in the Executive Summary and Note 18 referenced earlier in this paragraph, and Part I, Item 1A “Risk Factors,” in this report, we may incur additional expenses and liabilities in excess of our recorded liabilities and estimated additional costs associated with the Greater Lawrence Incident. The timing and amount of future financing needs arising from the Greater Lawrence Incident, if any, will depend on the ultimate timing and amount of payments made in connection with the Greater Lawrence Incident and the timing and amount of associated insurance recoveries. Through income generated from operating activities, amounts available under our short-term revolving credit facility, commercial paper program, accounts receivable securitization facilities, term loan borrowings, long-term debt agreements and our ability to access the capital markets, we believe there is adequate capital available to fund these expenditures.
Operating Activities
Net cash from operating activities for the year ended December 31, 2018 was $540.1 million, a decrease of $202.1 million from 2017. This decrease was driven by cash spend for the Greater Lawrence Incident in 2018 offset by decreased pension plan contributions as discussed below as well as decreased operation and maintenance expenses (excluding expenses related to the Greater Lawrence Incident). The decrease in cash from operations was further offset by higher sales due to colder weather during the 2018 winter heating season compared to 2017 and increased rates from infrastructure replacement programs and rate case outcomes.
Greater Lawrence Incident. During 2018, we paid approximately $731 million in operating cash flow related to the Greater Lawrence Incident. Refer to Note 18-E "Other Matters" for further information.
Pension and Other Postretirement Plan Funding. In 2017, we contributed $282.3 million to our pension plans (including a $277 million discretionary contribution made during the third quarter of 2017) and $31.6 million to our other postretirement benefit plans.
In 2018, we contributed $2.9 million to our pension plans and $21.0 million to our other postretirement benefit plans. Given the current funded status of the pension plans, and barring unforeseen market volatility that may negatively impact the valuation of our plan assets, we do not believe additional material contributions to our pension plans will be required for the foreseeable future.
Income Taxes. Rates for our regulated customers include provisions for the collection of U.S. federal income taxes. The reduction in the U.S. federal corporate income tax rate as a result of the TCJA has led to a decrease in the amount billed to customers through rates, ultimately resulting in lower cash collections from operating activities. As discussed in further detail in Note 7, "Regulatory Matters," in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements, our regulated subsidiaries are engaged with the relevant state utility commissions to address the impacts of the TCJA on future customer rates. During 2018, billings to customers decreased approximately $57.6 million compared to the same period in 2017 as a result of adjustments to certain rates in our Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Indiana jurisdictions. Additionally, during 2018, we recorded additional TCJA-related regulatory liabilities related to 2018 collections from customers, which are being refunded back to customers once new customer rates are approved by our regulators.
In addition, we will be required to pass back to customers “excess deferred taxes” which represent amounts collected from customers in the past to cover deferred tax liabilities which, as a result of the passage of the TCJA, are now less than the originally billed amounts. Approximately $1.5 billion of excess deferred taxes was recorded to "Regulatory liabilities (noncurrent)" on the Consolidated Balance Sheets as of December 31, 2017 as a result of implementing the TCJA. The majority of this balance related to temporary book-to-tax differences on utility property protected by IRS normalization rules. As modified rates are approved by each of our regulators, we expect this portion of the balance will be passed back to customers over the remaining average useful life of the associated property as required by the TCJA. The pass back period for the remainder of this balance will be determined by our state utility commissions in future proceedings. Our estimate of the amount and pass-back period of excess deferred taxes is subject to change pending final review by the utility commissions of the states in which we operate. As noted above, this pass back of excess deferred taxes has already begun in certain of our jurisdictions. As of December 31, 2018 we have approximately $1.4 billion of remaining regulatory liabilities associated with excess deferred taxes. See Note 8, "Regulatory Matters," for additional information.
As of December 31, 2018, we had a recorded deferred tax asset of $759.6 million related to a federal NOL carryforward, of which $508.5 million relates to years prior to the implementation of the TCJA. As a result of being in an NOL position, we were not

37


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.


required to make any cash payments for federal income tax purposes during the three years ended December 31, 2018. The carryforward periods for pre-TCJA tax benefits expire in various tax years from 2028 to 2037, however, we expect to fully utilize the carryforward benefit prior to its expiration. Per the TCJA, utilization of NOL carryforwards generated after December 31, 2017 do not expire, but are limited to 80% of current year taxable income. Accordingly, we may be required to make cash payments for federal income taxes in future years despite having NOL carryforwards in excess of current taxes payable.
Investing Activities
Our cash used for investing activities varies year over year primarily as a result of changes in the level of annual capital expenditures. The table below reflects capital expenditures and certain other investing activities by segment for 2018, 2017 and 2016. 
(in millions)
2018
 
2017
 
2016
Gas Distribution Operations
 
 
 
 
 
System Growth and Tracker
$
1,073.7

 
$
909.2

 
$
835.0

Maintenance
241.6

 
216.4

 
219.4

Total Gas Distribution Operations
1,315.3

 
1,125.6

 
1,054.4

Electric Operations
 
 
 
 
 
System Growth and Tracker
346.0

 
435.3

 
314.1

Maintenance
153.3

 
157.1

 
106.5

Total Electric Operations
499.3

 
592.4

 
420.6

Corporate and Other Operations - Maintenance(1)

 
35.8

 
15.4

Total(2)
$
1,814.6


$
1,753.8


$
1,490.4

(1)Zero Corporate and Other capital expenditures in 2018 driven by the leasing of IT assets beginning in Q1 2018 versus historical practice of purchasing.
(2)Amounts differ from those presented on the Statements of Consolidated Cash Flows primarily due to the capitalized portion of the Corporate Incentive Plan payout, inclusion of capital expenditures included in current liabilities and AFUDC Equity.
For 2018, capital expenditures and certain other investing activities were $1,814.6 million, which was $60.8 million higher than the 2017 capital program. This increased spending is due in part to costs associated with the Greater Lawrence Incident pipeline replacement, gas transmission projects, environmental investments and system modernization projects.
For 2017, capital expenditures and certain other investing activities were $1,753.8 million, which was $263.4 million higher than the 2016 capital program. This increased spending is mainly due to electric transmission projects, environmental investments and system modernization projects.
For 2019, we project to invest approximately $1.6 to $1.7 billion in our capital program. This projected level of spend is consistent with 2018 spend levels and is expected to focus primarily on the continuation of the modernization projects, segment growth across the Gas Distribution Operations segment, and TDSIC spend.
Financing Activities
Short-term Debt. Refer to Note 15, “Short-Term Borrowings,” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for information on short-term debt.
Long-term Debt. Refer to Note 14, “Long-Term Debt,” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for information on long-term debt.
Net Available Liquidity. As of December 31, 2018, an aggregate of $974.6 million of net liquidity was available, including cash and credit available under the revolving credit facility and accounts receivable securitization programs.

38


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.


The following table displays NiSource's liquidity position as of December 31, 2018 and 2017:
Year Ended December 31, (in millions)
2018
2017
Current Liquidity
 
 
Revolving Credit Facility
$
1,850.0

$
1,850.0

Accounts Receivable Program(1)
399.2

336.7

Less:
 
 
Commercial Paper
978.0

869.0

Accounts Receivable Program Utilized
399.2

336.7

Letters of Credit Outstanding Under Credit Facility
10.2

11.1

Add:
 
 
Cash and Cash Equivalents
112.8

29.0

Net Available Liquidity
$
974.6

$
998.9

(1)Represents the lesser of the seasonal limit or maximum borrowings supportable by the underlying receivables.
Debt Covenants. We are subject to a financial covenant under our revolving credit facility and term loan agreement, which requires us to maintain a debt to capitalization ratio that does not exceed 70%. A similar covenant in a 2005 private placement note purchase agreement requires us to maintain a debt to capitalization ratio that does not exceed 75%. As of December 31, 2018, the ratio was 61.4%.
Sale of Trade Accounts Receivables. Refer to Note 17, “Transfers of Financial Assets,” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for information on the sale of trade accounts receivable.
Credit Ratings. The credit rating agencies periodically review our ratings, taking into account factors such as our capital structure and earnings profile. The following table includes our and certain of our subsidiaries' credit ratings and ratings outlook as of December 31, 2018.
A credit rating is not a recommendation to buy, sell or hold securities, and may be subject to revision or withdrawal at any time by the assigning rating organization.
 
S&P
Moody's
Fitch
 
Rating
Outlook
Rating
Outlook
Rating
Outlook
NiSource
BBB+
Negative
Baa2
Stable
BBB
Stable
NIPSCO
BBB+
Negative

Baa1
Stable
BBB
Stable
Columbia of Massachusetts
BBB+
Negative

Baa2
Stable
Not rated
Not rated
Commercial Paper
A-2
Negative

P-2
Stable
F2
Stable
Certain of our subsidiaries have agreements that contain “ratings triggers” that require increased collateral if our credit ratings or the credit ratings of certain of our subsidiaries are below investment grade. These agreements are primarily for insurance purposes and for the physical purchase or sale of power. As of December 31, 2018, the collateral requirement that would be required in the event of a downgrade below the ratings trigger levels would amount to approximately $53.8 million. In addition to agreements with ratings triggers, there are other agreements that contain “adequate assurance” or “material adverse change” provisions that could necessitate additional credit support such as letters of credit and cash collateral to transact business.
Equity. Our authorized capital stock consists of 420,000,000 shares, $0.01 par value, of which 400,000,000 are common stock and 20,000,000 are preferred stock. As of December 31, 2018, 372,363,656 shares of common stock and 420,000 shares of preferred stock were outstanding. For more information regarding our common and preferred stock, see Note 12, "Equity," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

39


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.


Contractual Obligations. We have certain contractual obligations requiring payments at specified periods. The obligations include long-term debt, lease obligations, energy commodity contracts and obligations for various services including pipeline capacity and outsourcing of IT services. The total contractual obligations in existence at December 31, 2018 and their maturities were:
(in millions)
Total
 
2019
 
2020
 
2021
 
2022
 
2023
 
After
Long-term debt (1)
$
7,029.6

 
$
41.0

 
$

 
$
63.6

 
$
530.0

 
$
600.0

 
$
5,795.0

Capital leases(2)
322.4

 
23.0

 
22.5

 
22.6

 
22.1

 
19.8

 
212.4

Interest payments on long-term debt
6,311.7

 
319.8

 
318.6

 
318.6

 
315.0

 
289.0

 
4,750.7

Operating leases(3)
45.9

 
11.0

 
7.3

 
6.1

 
4.2

 
2.8

 
14.5

Energy commodity contracts
154.3

 
99.2

 
55.1

 

 

 

 

Service obligations:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Pipeline service obligations
3,566.7

 
592.3

 
487.7

 
450.5

 
437.5

 
260.8

 
1,337.9

IT service obligations
211.0

 
68.3

 
60.0

 
47.1

 
35.6

 

 

Other service obligations
86.7

 
33.5

 
43.6

 
9.6

 

 

 

Other liabilities
24.2

 
24.2

 

 

 

 

 

Total contractual obligations
$
17,752.5

 
$
1,212.3

 
$
994.8

 
$
918.1

 
$
1,344.4

 
$
1,172.4

 
$
12,110.5

(1) Long-term debt balance excludes unamortized issuance costs and discounts of $68.5 million.
(2) Capital lease payments shown above are inclusive of interest totaling $114.6 million.
(3) Operating lease balances do not include amounts for fleet leases that can be renewed beyond the initial lease term. The Company anticipates renewing the leases beyond the initial term, but the anticipated payments associated with the renewals do not meet the definition of expected minimum lease payments and therefore are not included above. Expected payments are $26.7 million in 2019, $22.4 million in 2020, $16.6 million in 2021, $12.3 million in 2022, $9.3 million in 2023 and $8.8 million thereafter.  
Our calculated estimated interest payments for long-term debt is based on the stated coupon and payment dates. For 2019, we project that we will be required to make interest payments of approximately $363.1 million, which includes $319.8 million of interest payments related to our long-term debt outstanding as of December 31, 2018. At December 31, 2018, we had $1,977.2 million in short-term borrowings outstanding.
Our expected payments included within “Other liabilities” in the table of contractual commitments above contains employer contributions to pension and other postretirement benefits plans expected to be made in 2019. Plan contributions beyond 2019 are dependent upon a number of factors, including actual returns on plan assets, which cannot be reliably estimated at this time. In 2019, we expect to make contributions of approximately $3.0 million to our pension plans and approximately $20.6 million to our postretirement medical and life plans. Refer to Note 11, “Pension and Other Postretirement Benefits,” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for more information.
We cannot reasonably estimate the settlement amounts or timing of cash flows related to long-term obligations classified as “Total Other Liabilities” on the Consolidated Balance Sheets, other than those described above.
We also have obligations associated with income, property, gross receipts, franchise, payroll, sales and use, and various other taxes and expect to make tax payments of approximately $240.6 million in 2019, which are not included in the table above.
Refer to Note 18-A, “Contractual Obligations,” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further information.
In January 2019, NIPSCO executed two 20 year PPAs to purchase 100% of the output from renewable generation facilities at a fixed price per mwh and a BTA with a developer to construct a renewable generation facility. Payments under these agreement are not included in the table above as these agreements were executed in 2019 and remain subject to approval by the relevant regulatory authorities before the deals would commence. See 18-E. "Other Matters - NIPSCO 2018 Integrated Resource Plan," for additional information.
Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements
We, along with certain of our subsidiaries, enter into various agreements providing financial or performance assurance to third parties on behalf of certain subsidiaries. Such agreements include guarantees and stand-by letters of credit.
Refer to Note 18, “Other Commitments and Contingencies,” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information about such arrangements.

40


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.


Market Risk Disclosures
Risk is an inherent part of our businesses. The extent to which we properly and effectively identify, assess, monitor and manage each of the various types of risk involved in our businesses is critical to our profitability. We seek to identify, assess, monitor and manage, in accordance with defined policies and procedures, the following principal market risks that are involved in our businesses: commodity price risk, interest rate risk and credit risk. Risk management for us is a multi-faceted process with oversight by the Risk Management Committee that requires constant communication, judgment and knowledge of specialized products and markets. Our senior management takes an active role in the risk management process and has developed policies and procedures that require specific administrative and business functions to assist in the identification, assessment and control of various risks. These may include, but are not limited to market, operational, financial, compliance and strategic risk types. In recognition of the increasingly varied and complex nature of the energy business, our risk management process, policies and procedures continue to evolve and are subject to ongoing review and modification.
Commodity Price Risk
We are exposed to commodity price risk as a result of our subsidiaries’ operations involving natural gas and power. To manage this market risk, our subsidiaries use derivatives, including commodity futures contracts, swaps, forwards and options. We do not participate in speculative energy trading activity.
Commodity price risk resulting from derivative activities at our rate-regulated subsidiaries is limited, since regulations allow recovery of prudently incurred purchased power, fuel and gas costs through the rate-making process, including gains or losses on these derivative instruments. If states should explore additional regulatory reform, these subsidiaries may begin providing services without the benefit of the traditional rate-making process and may be more exposed to commodity price risk.
Our subsidiaries are required to make cash margin deposits with their brokers to cover actual and potential losses in the value of outstanding exchange traded derivative contracts. The amount of these deposits, some of which is reflected in our restricted cash balance, may fluctuate significantly during periods of high volatility in the energy commodity markets.
Refer to Note 9, "Risk Management Activities," in the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on our commodity price risk assets and liabilities as of December 31, 2018 and 2017.
Interest Rate Risk
We are exposed to interest rate risk as a result of changes in interest rates on borrowings under our revolving credit agreement, commercial paper program, term loan borrowings and accounts receivable programs, which have interest rates that are indexed to short-term market interest rates. Based upon average borrowings and debt obligations subject to fluctuations in short-term market interest rates, an increase (or decrease) in short-term interest rates of 100 basis points (1%) would have increased (or decreased) interest expense by $13.3 million and $15.8 million for 2018 and 2017, respectively. We are also exposed to interest rate risk as a result of changes in benchmark rates that can influence the interest rates of future debt issuances.
Refer to Note 9, "Risk Management Activities," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements for further information on our interest rate risk assets and liabilities as of December 31, 2018 and 2017. 
Credit Risk
Due to the nature of the industry, credit risk is embedded in many of our business activities. Our extension of credit is governed by a Corporate Credit Risk Policy. In addition, Risk Management Committee guidelines are in place which document management approval levels for credit limits, evaluation of creditworthiness, and credit risk mitigation efforts. Exposures to credit risks are monitored by the risk management function which is independent of commercial operations. Credit risk arises due to the possibility that a customer, supplier or counterparty will not be able or willing to fulfill its obligations on a transaction on or before the settlement date. For derivative-related contracts, credit risk arises when counterparties are obligated to deliver or purchase defined commodity units of gas or power to us at a future date per execution of contractual terms and conditions. Exposure to credit risk is measured in terms of both current obligations and the market value of forward positions net of any posted collateral such as cash and letters of credit.
We closely monitor the financial status of our banking credit providers. We evaluate the financial status of our banking partners through the use of market-based metrics such as credit default swap pricing levels, and also through traditional credit ratings provided by major credit rating agencies.

41


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.


Other Information
Critical Accounting Policies
We apply certain accounting policies based on the accounting requirements discussed below that have had, and may continue to have, significant impacts on our operations and Consolidated Financial Statements.
Basis of Accounting for Rate-Regulated Subsidiaries. ASC Topic 980, Regulated Operations, provides that rate-regulated subsidiaries account for and report assets and liabilities consistent with the economic effect of the way in which regulators establish rates, if the rates established are designed to recover the costs of providing the regulated service and if the competitive environment makes it probable that such rates can be charged and collected. Certain expenses and credits subject to utility regulation or rate determination normally reflected in income are deferred on the Consolidated Balance Sheets and are recognized in income as the related amounts are included in service rates and recovered from or refunded to customers. The total amounts of regulatory assets and liabilities reflected on the Consolidated Balance Sheets were $2,237.5 million and $2,660.0 million at December 31, 2018, and $1,801.2 million and $2,795.6 million at December 31, 2017, respectively. For additional information, refer to Note 8, “Regulatory Matters,” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
In the event that regulation significantly changes the opportunity for us to recover our costs in the future, all or a portion of our regulated operations may no longer meet the criteria for the application of ASC Topic 980, Regulated Operations. In such event, a write-down of all or a portion of our existing regulatory assets and liabilities could result. If transition cost recovery is approved by the appropriate regulatory bodies that would meet the requirements under GAAP for continued accounting as regulatory assets and liabilities during such recovery period, the regulatory assets and liabilities would be reported at the recoverable amounts. If we were unable to continue to apply the provisions of ASC Topic 980, Regulated Operations, we would be required to apply the provisions of ASC Topic 980-20, Discontinuation of Rate-Regulated Accounting. In management’s opinion, our regulated subsidiaries will be subject to ASC Topic 980, Regulated Operations for the foreseeable future.
Certain of the regulatory assets reflected on our Consolidated Balance Sheets require specific regulatory action in order to be included in future service rates. Although recovery of these amounts is not guaranteed, we believe that these costs meet the requirements for deferral as regulatory assets. Regulatory assets requiring specific regulatory action amounted to $320.4 million at December 31, 2018. If we determine that the amounts included as regulatory assets were not recoverable, a charge to income would immediately be required to the extent of the unrecoverable amounts.

The passage of the TCJA into law necessitated the remeasurement of our deferred income tax balances to reflect the new U.S. corporate income tax rate of 21%. For our regulated entities, substantially all of the impact of this remeasurement was recorded to a regulatory asset or regulatory liability, as appropriate, until such time that we receive final regulatory orders prescribing the required accounting treatment and related impact on future customer rates. For additional information, refer to Note 10, "Income Taxes," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

As discussed in Note 18-E, "Other Matters - Greater Lawrence Pipeline Replacement," we incurred approximately $167 million of capital spend for pipeline replacement in the affected communities during 2018. We estimate this replacement work will cost between $220 million and $230 million in total. Columbia of Massachusetts has provided notice to its property insurer of the Greater Lawrence Incident and discussions around the claim and recovery have commenced. The recovery of any capital investment not reimbursed through insurance will be addressed in a future regulatory proceeding. The outcome of such a proceeding is uncertain. In accordance with ASC 980-360, if it becomes probable that a portion of the pipeline replacement cost will not be recoverable through customer rates and an amount can be reasonably estimated, we will reduce our regulated plant balance for the amount of the probable disallowance and record an associated charge to earnings. This could result in a material adverse effect to our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows. Additionally, if a rate order is received allowing recovery of the investment with no or reduced return on investment, a loss on disallowance may be required.
Pension and Postretirement Benefits. We have defined benefit plans for both pension and other postretirement benefits. The calculation of the net obligations and annual expense related to the plans requires a significant degree of judgment regarding the discount rates to be used in bringing the liabilities to present value, expected long-term rates of return on plan assets, health care trend rates, and mortality rates, among other assumptions. Due to the size of the plans and the long-term nature of the associated liabilities, changes in the assumptions used in the actuarial estimates could have material impacts on the measurement of the net obligations and annual expense recognition. Differences between actuarial assumptions and actual plan results are deferred into AOCI or a regulatory balance sheet account, depending on the jurisdiction of our entity. These deferred gains or losses are then amortized into the income statement when the accumulated differences exceed 10% of the greater of the projected benefit obligation or the fair value of plan assets (known in GAAP as the “corridor” method) or when settlement accounting is triggered.

42


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.


The discount rates, expected long-term rates of return on plan assets, health care cost trend rates and mortality rates are critical assumptions. Methods used to develop these assumptions are described below. While a third party actuarial firm assists with the development of many of these assumptions, we are ultimately responsible for selecting the final assumptions.
The discount rate is utilized principally in calculating the actuarial present value of pension and other postretirement benefit obligations and net periodic pension and other postretirement benefit plan costs. Our discount rates for both pension and other postretirement benefits are determined using spot rates along an AA-rated above median yield curve with cash flows matching the expected duration of benefit payments to be made to plan participants.
The expected long-term rate of return on plan assets is a component utilized in calculating annual pension and other postretirement benefit plan costs. We estimate the expected return on plan assets by evaluating expected bond returns, equity risk premiums, target asset allocations, the effects of active plan management, the impact of periodic plan asset rebalancing and historical performance. We also consider the guidance from our investment advisors in making a final determination of our expected rate of return on assets. 
For measurement of 2019 net periodic benefit cost, we selected an expected pre-tax long-term rate of return of 6.10% and 5.80% for our pension and other postretirement benefit plan assets, respectively.
We estimate the assumed health care cost trend rate, which is used in determining our other postretirement benefit net expense, based upon our actual health care cost experience, the effects of recently enacted legislation, third-party actuarial surveys and general economic conditions.
We use the Society of Actuaries’ most recently published mortality data in developing a best estimate of mortality as part of the calculation of the pension and other postretirement benefit obligations.
The following tables illustrate the effects of changes in these actuarial assumptions while holding all other assumptions constant:
 
Impact on December 31, 2018 Projected Benefit Obligation Increase/(Decrease)
Change in Assumptions (in millions)
Pension Benefits
 
Other Postretirement Benefits
+50 basis points change in discount rate
$
(79.6
)
 
$
(23.6
)
-50 basis points change in discount rate
86.2

 
25.8

+50 basis points change in health care trend rates
 
 
12.5

-50 basis points change in health care trend rates
 
 
(11.0
)
 
 
 
 
 
Impact on 2018 Expense Increase/(Decrease)(1)
Change in Assumptions (in millions)
Pension Benefits
 
Other Postretirement Benefits
+50 basis points change in discount rate
$
(3.3
)
 
$
(0.7
)
-50 basis points change in discount rate
2.8

 
0.8

+50 basis points change in expected long-term rate of return on plan assets
(10.3
)
 
(1.3
)
-50 basis points change in expected long-term rate of return on plan assets
10.3

 
1.3

+50 basis points change in health care trend rates
 
 
0.6

-50 basis points change in health care trend rates
 
 
(0.5
)
(1)Before labor capitalization and regulatory deferrals.

43


ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS (continued)

NISOURCE INC.


In January 2017, we changed the method used to estimate the service and interest components of net periodic benefit cost for pension and other postretirement benefits. This change, compared to the previous method, resulted in a decrease in the actuarially-determined service and interest cost components. Historically, we estimated service and interest cost utilizing a single weighted-average discount rate derived from the yield curve used to measure the benefit obligation at the beginning of the period. For fiscal 2017 and beyond, we now utilize a full yield curve approach to estimate these components by applying the specific spot rates along the yield curve used in the determination of the benefit obligation to the relevant projected cash flows. For further discussion of our pension and other postretirement benefits, see Note 11, “Pension and Other Postretirement Benefits,” in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
Goodwill. We have seven goodwill reporting units, comprised of the seven state operating companies within the Gas Distribution Operations reportable segment. Our goodwill assets at December 31, 2018 were $1,690.7 million, most of which resulted from the acquisition of Columbia on November 1, 2000.
As required by GAAP, we test for impairment of goodwill on an annual basis and on an interim basis when events or circumstances indicate that a potential impairment may exist. Our annual goodwill test takes place in the second quarter of each year and was most recently finalized as of May 1, 2018. In the third quarter of 2018, we determined the Greater Lawrence Incident represented a triggering event that required an impairment analysis of goodwill. The incident specifically impacts our Columbia of Massachusetts reporting unit. The quantitative impairment analysis as of September 30, 2018 determined the fair value of Columbia of Massachusetts reporting unit continued to exceed its carrying value. For additional information, refer to Note 6, "Goodwill and Other Intangible Assets," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
We completed a quantitative ("step 1") fair value measurement of our reporting units during the May 1, 2016 goodwill test. Consistent with our historical impairment testing of goodwill, fair value of the reporting units was determined based on a weighting of income and market approaches. These approaches require significant judgments including appropriate long-term growth rates and discount rates for the income approach and appropriate multiples of earnings for peer companies and control premiums for the market approach. A qualitative ("step 0") test was completed on May 1, 2018. We assessed various assumptions, events and circumstances that would have affected the estimated fair value of the reporting units in our baseline May 1, 2016 test. The results of this assessment indicated that it is not more likely than not that its reporting unit fair values are less than the reporting unit carrying values and no impairments are necessary.
The discount rates were derived using peer company data compiled with the assistance of a third party valuation services firm. The discount rates used are subject to change based on changes in tax rates at both the state and federal level, debt and equity ratios at each reporting unit and general economic conditions.
The long-term growth rate was derived by evaluating historic growth rates, new business and investment opportunities beyond the near term horizon. The long-term growth rate is subject to change depending on inflationary impacts to the U.S. economy and the individual business environments in which each reporting unit operates.
The May 1, 2016 test indicated the fair value of each of the reporting units that carry or are allocated goodwill exceeded their carrying values, indicating that no impairment existed under the step 1 annual impairment test. If the estimates of free cash flow used in this step 1 analysis had been 10% lower, the resulting fair values would have still been greater than the carrying value for each of the reporting units tested, holding all other assumptions constant.
Revenue Recognition. Revenue is recorded as products and services are delivered. Utility revenues are billed to customers monthly on a cycle basis. Revenues are recorded on the accrual basis and include estimates for electricity and gas delivered but not billed.
We adopted the provisions of ASC 606 beginning on January 1, 2018 using a modified retrospective method, which was applied to all contracts. No material adjustments were made to January 1, 2018 opening balances and no material changes in the amount or timing of future revenue recognition occurred as a result of the adoption of ASC 606. Refer to Note 3 "Revenue Recognition," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.
Recently Issued Accounting Pronouncements
Refer to Note 2, "Recent Accounting Pronouncements," in the Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.

ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK
Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk are reported in Item 7. “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations – Market Risk Disclosures.”

44