Unitil Energy Systems Files for Rate Increase
Hampton, NH -April 1, 2003 - Unitil Corporation (AMEX:UTL) www.unitil.com announced today that its subsidiary, Unitil Energy Systems (UES) filed for a rate increase with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission to cover higher current costs of electric energy supply. If approved, the rate changes would go into effect May 1, 2003, at the same time as the previously announced rate changes related to implementation of electric restructuring for Unitil's New Hampshire customers.
The filing today is in response to the dramatic rise in natural gas and fuel prices and associated electric energy supply costs in the first quarter of 2003. Electricity supply costs in the current period are approximately 19% higher than had been projected. UES proposes to recover these higher costs over a one year period, which will increase rates for the coming year by approximately 7%.
The total impact of both the supply cost increase and the previously approved restructuring changes will be to increase the bill for a typical residential customer using 500 kWh per month by $5.95 or 11.3% to $58.47 per month from current rates. Bill impacts for specific customers will vary, depending on rate class and usage levels.
"The spike in energy supply costs is similar to what we experienced two years ago and is unfortunately forcing us to impose to a temporary, one-year increase in our electric rates," said George R. Gantz, Unitil's Senior Vice President. "However, in the post-restructuring transition period after May 1, our energy supply rates under the contract recently approved by the Commission will be fixed and will not be subject to the same market volatility."
Unitil is a public utility holding company with subsidiaries providing electric service in New Hampshire, electric and gas service in Massachusetts and energy services throughout the Northeast. Its subsidiaries include, Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company, Unitil Energy Systems, Inc., Unitil Power Corp., Unitil Realty Corp., Unitil Service Corp. and its unregulated business unit Unitil Resources, Inc. Usource L.L.C. is a subsidiary of Unitil Resources, Inc. The Usource product line of Internet-based energy brokering and related products and services is available at www.usourceonline.com.
For more information, visit Unitil at www.unitil.com or call Stephanye Schuyler at 603-773-6465.
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Liberty Lane West
Hampton, NH 03842-1720