Unitil/FG&E to Increase Electric Default Service Rates
Hampton, NH. (April 23, 2003): Unitil Corporation (AMEX:UTL) (www.unitil.com) reported that its Massachusetts subsidiary Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company (FG&E) has filed with the Department of Telecommunications and Energy (MDTE) to increase its electric Default Service Rate for the six-month period beginning June 1, 2003.
A typical residential customer on Default Service using 500 kWh per month will see their bill increase by $9.78 to $72.55, or 15.6%. Commercial and Industrial Default Service customers will see bill increases of about 7%-24% depending on usage and rate class. Customers who have their own energy supplier or who take electric Standard Offer Service from FG&E are not affected by this increase
The proposed Default Service rate is higher than FG&E's Standard Offer Service rates. Therefore, low income customers, currently receiving Default Service rates, will be moved to Standard Offer Service rates on June 1, 2003, ensuring they receive the lower of the two rates. A 500 kWh low income customer bill will increase $3.45 to $51.14 or 7.2%.
The availability of Electric Default Service ensures that no one will ever be without a supplier of electricity. Electric Default Service is procured pursuant to state regulation in a highly competitive power supply solicitation process every six months. The resulting retail rates reflect current market prices for electricity without any profit or mark up from the local distribution company. Approximately 31% of FG&E's electric customers will be on Default Service on June 1, 2003.
All Massachusetts electric utilities provide Electric Default Service to their customers. Massachusetts Electric Company increased their Default Service rates effective May 1. Boston Edison, Western Massachusetts Electric, Cambridge Electric and Commonwealth Electric are scheduled to change their Default Service rates as of July 1.
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.
For more information, visit Unitil at www.unitil.com or call Stephanye Schuyler at 603-773-6465.
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Hampton, NH 03842-1720