Unitil files restructuring proposal with regulators

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Jan. 28, 2002 — New Hampshire utility holding company Unitil Corp. filed a restructuring proposal under which its subsidiaries Concord Electric Co., Exeter & Hampton Electric Co., and Unitil Power Corp. would be combined into a single distribution utility.

Under restructuring, customers can choose a competitive energy supplier, but electricity delivery services will continue to be provided by Unitil, Hampton, NH. The company will sell its portfolio of electricity supply contracts and recover the residual stranded costs over a period of years.

Unitil said it will offer customers the option to continue to receive energy from Unitil for up to 3 years. Unitil will procure this new energy supply from the competitive wholesale market. As part of the filing with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission, Unitil filed a new consolidated tariff, and rate schedules, for distribution service in New Hampshire.

Rate levels and rate components applicable to all Unitil customers will change, but the company said overall rate levels are expected to be below rate levels in effect at the time of filing. Unitil said the restructuring proposal is the most significant change in Unitil’s operations and rates since creation of Unitil in 1984 and the launch in 1986 of its independent power supply portfolio.

The proposal would go into effect on or before Nov. 1, 2002, pending review and approval by the commission and other agencies.

Unitil’s retail energy brokerage affiliate Usource LLC reported brokerage activity continued to accelerate through the end of 2001, with increases in both customer count and transaction volumes. It said the most significant growth in the latter half of 2001 occurred primarily in the electric markets in Massachusetts and Maine, as well as the gas markets in Pennsylvania, New York, and Connecticut.

Energy contracts executed through Usource during 2001 exceeded $100 million, with almost a third derived from electric transactions. Gas transactions were relatively balanced throughout the year. More than 80% of electric transactions occurring in the last 6 months of the year.

Usource currently serves the US Northeast and has more than 500 customer accounts under management, including industrial concerns, commercial businesses, industrial and commercial buying groups, and major municipal and government buyers.



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