Unitil/FG&E Increases Its Gas Rate Request
Hampton, NH - February 27, 2003 - Prompted by continuing increases in commodity prices, Unitil Corporation (AMEX: UTL) (www.unitil.com) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiary, Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company (FG&E), revised its Cost of Gas Adjustment filing with the Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Energy (MDTE). If approved by the MDTE, the proposed rates will go into effect for the period of March 1, 2003 through April 30, 2003.
A typical residential heating customer using 150 therms per month in the winter would see an increase of $37.02 or 21.2% over current rates. Other customers will see increases ranging from 18-26%, based on rate class and usage.
Customer bills for natural gas this winter, as with other heating fuels, have been on the rise. The increases are due to two main factors: a rise in the commodity cost of fuel and higher consumer consumption because of a colder winter and increased heating system demand. There are programs available that may help customers manage the impact of higher bills, including payment plans, energy efficiency programs, Federal Fuel Assistance, the Income-eligible discount rate and the Good Neighbor Energy Fund. To find out more, customers should contact Unitil/FGE at 1-888-301-7700.
Cost of Gas Adjustment (CGA) rates in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts are adjusted periodically to reflect changes in wholesale supply costs incurred by the local distribution company to provide gas to its customers. Gas supply costs are billed to customers without any profit or mark up from the local distribution company. CGA rates are initially based on estimates, and then reconciled to actual costs at the end of the period, with interest on over- or under-collections. The Company's goal is to provide the lowest overall costs at stable prices and to minimize over- or under-collections in any given period.
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.
Contact Corporate Office
Liberty Lane West
Hampton, NH 03842-1720