PHOENIX, June 13, 2003 — An administrative law judge has recommended that the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) approve UniSource Energy Corp.’s proposed acquisition of gas and electric system assets from Citizens Communications Inc.
Judge Dwight D. Nodes endorsed the proposed purchase as well as the gas and electric rates agreed upon in an earlier settlement between ACC staff, UniSource Energy and Citizens. His recommendation will be forwarded to the ACC, which is scheduled to consider the sale on July 1.
“We’re looking forward to finalizing this sale so that we can begin providing safe, reliable energy to our new customers in Arizona,” said James S. Pignatelli, chairman, president and CEO of UniSource Energy.
Under terms endorsed by the judge, a new UniSource Energy subsidiary would operate Citizens’ gas systems in Santa Cruz, Coconino, Navajo, Yavapai and Mohave counties as well as electric systems in Santa Cruz and Mohave counties.
The judge endorsed a proposed electric rate increase of 22 percent, less than half the 45 percent increase that Citizens originally requested. The judge also supported a 20.9 percent increase in gas rates, a significant reduction from the 29 percent increase originally requested by Citizens. UniSource Energy has agreed to forgo approximately $135 million in compensation for increased energy costs not passed along to Citizens customers.
A copy of the administrative law judge’s ruling is available for review on UniSource Energy’s Web site, www.unisourceenergy.com.
UniSource Energy’s primary subsidiaries include Tucson Electric Power, Arizona’s second-largest investor-owned electric utility, and Millennium Energy Holdings, parent company of UniSource Energy’s unregulated energy businesses. For more information about UniSource Energy and its subsidiaries, visit ww.unisourceenergy.com.