MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — The natural gas utility company for most of northern Indiana says it is trimming its rate increase request because of the recently enacted federal tax cuts.

Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Co. announced Monday it was changing its request that was submitted in September to the state utility commission. The change reduces the rate increase NIPSCO is seeking from nearly 23 percent to about 19 percent.

The company says that would mean about $26 million less a year in increased billing charges to its some 820,000 gas customers.

Some residents have argued the rate hike would be unfair to lower-income households and was too large in a short time. State regulators are still reviewing NIPSCO’s request, with another public hearing scheduled for Feb. 5 in South Bend.