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falseP15YThe affirmative and negative covenants under the Credit Facility shall apply to Unitil until the Credit Facility terminates and all amounts borrowed under the Credit Facility are paid in full (or with respect to letters of credit, they are cash collateralized). The only financial covenant in the Credit Facility provides that Unitil’s Funded Debt to Capitalization (as each term is defined in the Credit Facility) cannot exceed 65%, tested on a quarterly basis. At December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, the Company was in compliance with the covenants contained in the Credit Facility in effect on that date.The affirmative and negative covenants under the Credit Facility shall apply to Unitil until the Credit Facility terminates and all amounts borrowed under the Credit Facility are paid in full (or with respect to letters of credit, they are cash collateralized). The only financial covenant in the Credit Facility provides that Unitil’s Funded Debt to Capitalization (as each term is defined in the Credit Facility) cannot exceed 65%, tested on a quarterly basis. At December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, the Company was in compliance with the covenants contained in the Credit Facility in effect on that date.2040-09-152029-12-182049-09-12FY0000755001Reflects amounts included in the Accrued Revenue on the Company’s Consolidated Balance Sheets.The Current Portion of Long-Term Debt includes sinking fund payments. AFUDC—Allowance for Funds Used During Construction Represents investments being held in cash equivalents as of December 31, 2020, December 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018 pending payment of benefits. The Company has incurred greater than normal bad debt expense due to the coronavirus pandemic. Incremental bad debt expense amounts have been deferred as regulatory assets based on certain regulatory proceedings and management’s belief that such amounts are probable of recovery (See the “Financial Effects of COVID-19 Pandemic” section in Note 8 (Commitments and Contingencies). The Company will track the collection of receivables and to the extent incremental bad debt amounts are collected in the future, such amounts will reduce the regulatory assets recorded. 0000755001 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0000755001 2019-01-01 2019-12-31 0000755001 2018-01-01 2018-12-31 0000755001 2019-12-31 0000755001 2020-12-31 0000755001 2021-12-31 0000755001 2017-12-31 0000755001 2017-01-01 2017-12-31 0000755001 2018-12-31 0000755001 2020-12-18 0000755001 2019-12-18 0000755001 2019-09-12 0000755001 2020-09-15 0000755001 2019-01-01 2019-03-31 0000755001 2021-01-29 0000755001 2020-06-30 0000755001 2020-01-01 2020-03-31 0000755001 2020-04-01 2020-06-30 0000755001 2019-04-01 2019-06-30 0000755001 2020-07-01 2020-09-30 0000755001 2019-07-01 2019-09-30 0000755001 2020-10-01 2020-12-31 0000755001 2019-10-01 2019-12-31 0000755001 utl:BenefitObligationMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0000755001 utl:BenefitPlanCostsMember 2020-01-01 2020-12-31 0000755001 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Table of Contents
 
 
UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
FORM
10-K
 
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the fiscal year ended December 31, 2020
OR
 
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15 (d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934
For the transition period from
            
to
            
Commission file number 
1-8858
UNITIL CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
 
New Hampshire
 
02-0381573
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
   
6 Liberty Lane West, Hampton, New Hampshire
 
03842-1720
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (603)
772-0775
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
 
Title of each class
 
Trading Symbol
 
Name of each exchange of which registered
Common Stock, no par value
 
UTL
 
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: NONE
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.    Yes   ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.    Yes  ☐    No  ☒
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.     Yes   ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation
S-T
(§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).    Yes  ☒    No  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a
non-accelerated
filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer”, “accelerated filer”, “smaller reporting company” and “emerging growth company” in Rule
12b-2
of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer  ☒      Accelerated
filer  ☐      Non-accelerated
filer  ☐      Smaller reporting company   
Emerging growth company   
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act  ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 762(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report  
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule
12b-2
of the Act).
    
Yes  ☐    No  
Based on the closing price of the registrant’s common stock on June 30, 2020, the aggregate market value of common stock held by
non-affiliates
of the registrant was $663,233,171.
The number of shares of the registrant’s common stock outstanding was 15,013,542 as of January
29
, 2021.
Documents Incorporated by Reference:
Portions of the Proxy Statement relating to the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on April 28, 2021 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Report.
 
 
 

Table of Contents
UNITIL CORPORATION
FORM
10-K
For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2020
Table of Contents
 
Item
  
Description
  
Page
     
    
PART I
    
1.
      3
        3
        4
        6
        7
        7
        7
1A.
      8
1B.
      15
2.
      15
3.
      16
4.
      16
     
    
PART II
    
5.
      17
6.
      20
7.
      21
7A.
      37
8.
      38
9.
      86
9A.
      86
9B.
      86
     
    
PART III
    
10.
      87
11.
      87
12.
      87
13.
      87
14.
      87
     
    
PART IV
    
15.
      88
     
    
SIGNATURES
    
        95
 
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Table of Contents
In this Annual Report on Form
10-K,
the “Company”, “Unitil”, “we”, “us”, “our” and similar terms refer to Unitil Corporation and its subsidiaries, unless the context requires otherwise.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT
This report and the documents incorporated by reference into this report contain statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the Securities Act), Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, included or incorporated by reference into this report, including, without limitation, statements regarding the financial position, business strategy and other plans and objectives for the future operations of the Company (as such term is defined in Part I, Item I (Business)), are forward-looking statements.
These statements include declarations regarding the Company’s beliefs and current expectations. In some cases, forward-looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expects,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of such terms or other comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties in predicting future results and conditions that could cause the actual results to differ materially from those projected in these forward-looking statements. Some, but not all, of the risks and uncertainties include those described in Part I, Item 1A (Risk Factors) and the following:
 
   
the coronavirus
(COVID-19)
pandemic (the coronavirus pandemic) could adversely affect the Company’s business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, including by disrupting the Company’s employees’ and contractors’ ability to provide ongoing services to the Company, by reducing customer demand for electricity or natural gas, or by reducing the supply of electricity or natural gas;
 
   
the Company’s regulatory and legislative environment (including laws and regulations relating to climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental matters) could affect the rates the Company is able to charge, the Company’s authorized rate of return, the Company’s ability to recover costs in its rates, the Company’s financial condition, results of operations and cash flows, and the scope of the Company’s regulated activities;
 
   
fluctuations in the supply of, demand for, and the prices of, gas and electric energy commodities and transmission and transportation capacity and the Company’s ability to recover energy supply costs in its rates;
 
   
customers’ preferred energy sources;
 
   
severe storms and the Company’s ability to recover storm costs in its rates;
 
   
declines in capital markets valuations, which could require the Company to make substantial cash contributions to cover its pension obligations, and the Company’s ability to recover pension obligation costs in its rates;
 
   
general economic conditions, which could adversely affect (i) the Company’s customers and, consequently, the demand for the Company’s distribution services, (ii) the availability of credit and liquidity resources, and (iii) certain of the Company’s counterparty’s obligations (including those of its insurers and lenders);
 
   
the Company’s ability to obtain debt or equity financing on acceptable terms;
 
   
increases in interest rates, which could increase the Company’s interest expense;
 
   
restrictive covenants contained in the terms of the Company’s and its subsidiaries’ indebtedness, which restrict certain aspects of the Company’s business operations;
 
   
variations in weather, which could decrease demand for the Company’s distribution services;
 
   
long-term global climate change, which could adversely affect customer demand or cause extreme weather events that could disrupt the Company’s electric and natural gas distribution services;
 
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cyber-attacks, acts of terrorism, acts of war, severe weather, a solar event, an electromagnetic event, a natural disaster, the age and condition of information technology assets, human error, or other factors could disrupt the Company’s operations and cause the Company to incur unanticipated losses and expense;
 
   
outsourcing of services to third parties could expose us to substandard quality of service delivery or substandard deliverables, which may result in missed deadlines or other timeliness issues,
non-compliance
(including with applicable legal requirements and industry standards) or reputational harm, which could negatively affect our results of operations;
 
   
numerous hazards and operating risks relating to the Company’s electric and natural gas distribution activities, which could result in accidents and other operating risks and costs;
 
   
catastrophic events;
 
   
the Company’s ability to retain its existing customers and attract new customers;
 
   
increased competition; and
 
   
other presently unknown or unforeseen factors.
Many of these risks are beyond the Company’s control. Any forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this report, and the Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statements are made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law. New factors emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for the Company to predict all such factors, nor can the Company assess the effect of any such factor on its business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.
 
2

Table of Contents
PART I
 
Item 1.
Business
UNITIL CORPORATION
In this Annual Report on Form
10-K,
the “Company”, “Unitil”, “we”, and “our” refer to Unitil Corporation and its subsidiaries, unless the context requires otherwise. Unitil is a public utility holding company incorporated under the laws of the State of New Hampshire in 1984. The following companies are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Unitil:
 
Company Name
 
State and Year of
Organization
  
Principal Business
     
Unitil Energy Systems, Inc. (Unitil Energy)
  NH - 1901    Electric Distribution Utility
     
Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company (Fitchburg)
  MA - 1852    Electric & Natural Gas Distribution Utility
     
Northern Utilities, Inc. (Northern Utilities)
  NH - 1979    Natural Gas Distribution Utility
     
Granite State Gas Transmission, Inc. (Granite State)
  NH - 1955    Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline
     
Unitil Power Corp. (Unitil Power)
  NH - 1984    Wholesale Electric Power Utility
     
Unitil Service Corp. (Unitil Service)
  NH - 1984    Utility Service Company
     
Unitil Realty Corp. (Unitil Realty)
  NH - 1986    Real Estate Management
     
Unitil Resources, Inc. (Unitil Resources)
  NH - 1993   
Non-regulated
Energy Services
Unitil and its subsidiaries are subject to regulation as a holding company system by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Unitil’s principal business is the local distribution of electricity and natural gas to 192,651 customers throughout its service territories in the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. Unitil is the parent company of three wholly-owned distribution utilities: i) Unitil Energy, which provides electric service in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire, including the capital city of Concord, ii) Fitchburg, which provides both electric and natural gas service in the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts, and iii) Northern Utilities, which provides natural gas service in southeastern New Hampshire and portions of southern and central Maine, including the city of Portland, which is the largest city in northern New England. In addition, Unitil is the parent company of Granite State, an interstate natural gas transmission pipeline company that provides interstate natural gas pipeline access and transportation services to Northern Utilities in its New Hampshire and Maine service territory. Together, Unitil’s three distribution utilities serve 107,077 electric customers and 85,574 natural gas customers.
 
    
Customers Served as of December 31, 2020
 
    
Residential
    
Commercial &
Industrial (C&I)
    
Total
 
Electric:
                          
Unitil Energy
     65,955        11,249        77,204  
Fitchburg
     25,865        4,008        29,873  
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Total Electric
     91,820        15,257        107,077  
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Natural Gas:
                          
Northern Utilities
     52,863        16,541        69,404  
Fitchburg
     14,462        1,708        16,170  
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Total Natural Gas
     67,325        18,249        85,574  
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Total Customers Served
     159,145        33,506        192,651  
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Unitil had an investment in Net Utility Plant of $1,193.2 million at December 31, 2020. Unitil’s total operating revenue was $418.6 million in 2020. Unitil’s operating revenue is substantially derived from regulated natural gas and electric distribution utility operations. A fifth utility subsidiary, Unitil Power, formerly functioned as the full requirements wholesale power supply provider for Unitil Energy, but
 
3

Table of Contents
currently has limited business and operating activities. In connection with the implementation of electric industry restructuring in New Hampshire, Unitil Power ceased being the wholesale supplier for Unitil Energy in 2003 and divested substantially all of its long-term power supply contracts through the sale of the entitlements to the electricity associated with those contracts.
Unitil has three other wholly-owned
non-utility
subsidiaries: Unitil Service, Unitil Realty, and Unitil Resources. Unitil Service provides, at cost, a variety of administrative and professional services, including regulatory, financial, accounting, human resources, engineering, operations, technology and energy supply management services on a centralized basis to its affiliated Unitil companies. Unitil Realty owns and manages the Company’s corporate office in Hampton, New Hampshire. Unitil Resources is the Company’s wholly-owned
non-regulated
subsidiary. Usource, Inc. and Usource L.L.C. (collectively, Usource), which the Company divested in the first quarter of 2019, were indirect subsidiaries that were wholly-owned by Unitil Resources. Usource provided energy brokering and advisory services to large commercial and industrial customers in the northeastern United States. See additional discussion of the divestiture of Usource in “Divestiture of
Non-Regulated
Business Subsidiary” in Note 1 (Summary of Significant Accounting Policies) to the Consolidated Financial Statements. For segment information relating to each segment’s revenue, earnings and assets, see Note 3 (Segment Information) to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8 (Financial Statements and Supplementary Data) of this report. All of the Company’s revenues are attributable to customers in the United States of America and all its long-lived assets are located in the United States of America.
OPERATIONS
Natural Gas Operations
Unitil’s natural gas operations include gas distribution utility operations and interstate gas transmission pipeline operations. Revenue from Unitil’s gas operations was $191.4 million in 2020, which represents about 46% of Unitil’s total operating revenue. The Company’s GAAP Gas Gross Margin was $92.8 million in 2020. The Company’s Gas Adjusted Gross Margin (a
non-GAAP
measure) was $122.6 million in 2020, or 57% of Unitil’s total Adjusted Gross Margin. See “Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 (Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations) for a discussion of the
non-GAAP
measures presented in this Annual Report on Form
10-K,
including a reconciliation of the
non-GAAP
measures to the most comparable GAAP measures for the periods presented.
Natural Gas Distribution Utility Operations
Unitil’s natural gas distribution operations are conducted through two of the Company’s operating utilities, Northern Utilities and Fitchburg. The primary business of Unitil’s natural gas utility operations is the local distribution of natural gas to customers in its service territories in New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. Northern Utilities’ C&I customers and Fitchburg’s residential and C&I customers are entitled to purchase their natural gas supply from third-party competitive suppliers, while Northern Utilities or Fitchburg remains their gas distribution company. Both Northern Utilities and Fitchburg supply gas to those customers who do not obtain their supply from third-party competitive suppliers, with the approved costs associated with this gas supply recovered on a pass-through basis through regulated reconciling rate mechanisms that are periodically adjusted.
Natural gas is distributed by Northern Utilities to 69,404 customers in 47 New Hampshire and southern Maine communities, from Plaistow, New Hampshire in the south to the city of Portland, Maine and then extending to Lewiston-Auburn, Maine to the north. Northern Utilities has a diversified customer base both in Maine and New Hampshire. Commercial businesses include healthcare, education, government and retail. Northern Utilities’ industrial base includes manufacturers in the auto, housing, rubber, printing, textile, pharmaceutical, electronics, wire and food production industries as well as a military installation. Northern Utilities’ 2020 gas operating revenue was $150.9 million, of which approximately 38% was derived from residential firm sales and 62% from C&I firm sales.
Natural gas is distributed by Fitchburg to 16,170 customers in the communities of Fitchburg, Lunenburg, Townsend, Ashby, Gardner and Westminster, all located in Massachusetts. Fitchburg’s
 
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Table of Contents
industrial customers include paper manufacturing and paper products companies, rubber and plastics manufacturers, chemical products companies and printing, publishing and associated industries. Fitchburg’s 2020 gas operating revenue was $34.0 million, of which approximately 59% was derived from residential firm sales and 41% from C&I firm sales.
Gas Transmission Pipeline Operations
Granite State is an interstate natural gas transmission pipeline company, operating 86 miles of underground gas transmission pipeline primarily located in Maine and New Hampshire. Granite State provides Northern Utilities with interconnection to major natural gas pipelines and access to domestic natural gas supplies in the south and Canadian natural gas supplies in the north. Granite State had operating revenue of $6.5 million in 2020. Granite State derives its revenues principally from the transportation services provided to Northern Utilities and to third-party suppliers.
Electric Distribution Utility Operations
Unitil’s electric distribution operations are conducted through two of the Company’s utilities, Unitil Energy, and Fitchburg. Revenue from Unitil’s electric utility operations was $227.2 million in 2020, which represents about 54% of Unitil’s total operating revenue. The Company’s GAAP Electric Gross Margin was $69.1 million in 2020. The Company’s Electric Adjusted Gross Margin (a
non-GAAP
measure) was $92.9 million in 2020, or 43% of Unitil’s total Adjusted Gross Margin. See “Results of Operations” in Part II, Item 7 (Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations) for a discussion of the
non-GAAP
measures presented in this Annual Report on Form
10-K,
including a reconciliation of the
non-GAAP
measures to the most comparable GAAP measures for the periods presented.
The primary business of Unitil’s electric utility operations is the local distribution of electricity to customers in its service territory in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. All of Unitil Energy’s and Fitchburg’s electric customers are entitled to choose to purchase their supply of electricity from third-party competitive suppliers, while Unitil Energy and Fitchburg remain their electric distribution company. Both Unitil Energy and Fitchburg supply electricity to those customers who do not obtain their supply from third-party competitive suppliers, with the approved costs associated with electricity supply being recovered on a pass-through basis through regulated reconciling rate mechanisms that are periodically adjusted.
Unitil Energy distributes electricity to 77,204 customers in New Hampshire in the capital city of Concord as well as parts of 12 surrounding towns, and all or part of 18 towns in the southeastern and seacoast regions of New Hampshire, including the towns of Hampton, Exeter, Atkinson and Plaistow. Unitil Energy’s service territory consists of approximately 408 square miles. Unitil Energy’s service territory encompasses retail and recreation centers for the central and southeastern parts of the state and includes the Hampton Beach recreational area. These areas serve diversified commercial and industrial businesses, including manufacturing firms engaged in the production of electronic components, wire and plastics, healthcare and education. Unitil Energy’s 2020 electric operating revenue was $159.4 million, of which approximately 58% was derived from residential sales and 42% from C&I sales.
Fitchburg is engaged in the distribution of both electricity and natural gas in the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts. Fitchburg’s service territory encompasses approximately 170 square miles. Electricity is distributed by Fitchburg to 29,873 customers in the communities of Fitchburg, Ashby, Townsend and Lunenburg. Fitchburg’s industrial customers include paper manufacturing and paper products companies, rubber and plastics manufacturers, chemical products companies, printing, publishing and associated industries, and educational institutions. Fitchburg’s 2020 electric operating revenue was $67.8 million, of which approximately 61% was derived from residential sales and 39% from C&I sales.
Seasonality
The Company’s results of operations are expected to reflect the seasonal nature of the natural gas business. Annual gas revenues are substantially realized during the colder weather seasons of the year as a result of higher sales of natural gas used for heating related purposes. Accordingly, the results of operations
 
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are historically most favorable in the first and fourth quarters. Fluctuations in seasonal weather conditions may have a significant effect on the result of operations. Sales of electricity are generally less sensitive to weather than natural gas sales, but may also be affected by the weather conditions and the temperature in both the winter and summer seasons.
Unitil Energy, Fitchburg and Northern Utilities are not dependent on a single customer or a few customers for their electric and natural gas sales.
Non-Regulated
and Other
Non-Utility
Operations
Unitil’s
non-regulated
operations were conducted through Usource, a subsidiary of Unitil Resources. The Company divested Usource in the first quarter of 2019. Usource provided energy brokering and advisory services to large commercial and industrial customers in the northeastern United States. See additional discussion of the divestiture of Usource in “Divestiture of
Non-Regulated
Business Subsidiary” in Note 1 (Summary of Significant Accounting Policies) to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
The results of Unitil’s other
non-utility
subsidiaries, Unitil Service and Unitil Realty, and the holding company, are included in the Company’s consolidated results of operations. The results of these
non-utility
operations are principally derived from income earned on short-term investments and real property owned for Unitil’s and its subsidiaries’ use and are reported, after intercompany eliminations, in Other segment income. For segment information, see Note 3 (Segment Information) to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8 (Financial Statements and Supplementary Data) of this report.
RATES AND REGULATION
Regulation
Unitil is subject to comprehensive regulation by federal and state regulatory authorities. Unitil and its subsidiaries are subject to regulation as a holding company system by the FERC under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with regard to certain bookkeeping, accounting and reporting requirements. Unitil’s utility operations related to wholesale and interstate energy business activities also are regulated by the FERC. Unitil’s distribution utilities are subject to regulation by the applicable state public utility commissions, with regard to their rates, issuance of securities and other accounting and operational matters: Unitil Energy is subject to regulation by the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC); Fitchburg is subject to regulation by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (MDPU); and Northern Utilities is regulated by the NHPUC and Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC). Granite State, Unitil’s interstate natural gas transmission pipeline, is subject to regulation by the FERC with regard to its rates and operations. Because Unitil’s primary operations are subject to rate regulation, the regulatory treatment of various matters could significantly affect the Company’s operations and financial position.
Unitil’s distribution utilities deliver electricity and/or natural gas to all customers in their service territory, at rates established under cost of service regulation. Under this regulatory structure, Unitil’s distribution utilities recover the cost of providing distribution service to their customers based on a historical test year, and earn a return on their capital investment in utility assets. In addition, the Company’s distribution utilities and its natural gas transmission pipeline company may recover certain base rate costs, including capital project spending and enhanced reliability and vegetation management programs, through annual step adjustments and cost tracking rate mechanisms.
Fitchburg is subject to revenue decoupling. Revenue decoupling is the term given to the elimination of the dependency of a utility’s distribution revenue on the volume of electricity or natural gas sales. The difference between distribution revenue amounts billed to customers and the targeted revenue decoupling amounts is recognized as an increase or a decrease in the current portion of Accrued Revenue which forms the basis for resetting rates for future cash recoveries from, or credits to, customers. These revenue decoupling targets may be adjusted as a result of rate cases and other authorized adjustments that the Company files with the MDPU. The Company estimates that revenue decoupling applies to approximately 27% and 11% of Unitil’s total annual electric and natural gas sales volumes, respectively.
Also see Note 7 (Energy Supply) and Note 8 (Commitments and Contingencies) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on rates and regulation.
 
6

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EMPLOYEES
Unitil’s commitment to excellence begins with its employees. As of December 31, 2020, the Company and its subsidiaries had 512 employees. The Company considers its relationship with employees to be good and has not experienced any major labor disruptions. Unitil’s employees are focused on the Company’s mission to safely and reliably deliver “energy for life” and provide customers with affordable and sustainable energy solutions.
The Company strives to be the employer of choice in the communities it serves—regardless of race, religion, color, gender, or sexual orientation. The Company works diligently to attract the best talent from a diverse range of sources in order to meet the current and future demands of our business.
To attract and retain a talented workforce, Unitil provides employee wages that are competitive and consistent with employee positions, skill levels, experience, knowledge and geographic location. All employees are eligible for health insurance, paid and unpaid leave, educational assistance, retirement plan and life and disability/accident coverage.
Employees at Unitil have the opportunity to be heard. Feedback from employees is collected annually in the Company’s Employee Opinion survey. This feedback helps create action plans to improve the engagement of employees consistent with the Company’s culture of continuous improvement.    
As of December 31, 2020, a total of 165 employees of certain of the Company’s subsidiaries were represented by labor unions. The following table details by subsidiary the employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) as of December 31, 2020:
 
    
Employees Covered
    
CBA Expiration
 
Fitchburg
     42        05/31/2022  
Northern Utilities NH Division
     37        06/07/2025  
Northern Utilities ME Division
     37        03/31/2021  
Granite State
     4        03/31/2021  
Unitil Energy
     40        05/31/2023  
Unitil Service
     5        05/31/2023  
The CBAs provide discrete salary adjustments, established work practices and uniform benefit packages. The Company expects to negotiate new agreements prior to their expiration dates.
AVAILABLE INFORMATION
The Internet address for the Company’s website is
www.unitil.com
. On the Investors section of the Company’s website, the Company makes available, free of charge, its Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reports, including annual reports on Form
10-K,
quarterly reports on Form
10-Q,
current reports on Form
8-K
and other reports, as well as amendments to those reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act as soon as reasonably practical after the Company electronically files such material with, or furnishes such material to, the SEC.
The Company’s current Code of Ethics was approved by Unitil’s Board of Directors on January 15, 2004. This Code of Ethics, along with any amendments or waivers, is also available on Unitil’s website.
Unitil’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “UTL”.
INVESTOR INFORMATION
Annual Meeting
The Company’s annual meeting of shareholders is scheduled to be held at the offices of the Company, 6 Liberty Lane West, Hampton, New Hampshire, on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at 11:30 a.m.
 
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Transfer Agent
The Company’s transfer agent, Computershare Investor Services, is responsible for shareholder records, issuance of common stock, administration of the Dividend Reinvestment and Stock Purchase Plan, and the distribution of Unitil’s dividends and IRS Form
1099-DIV.
Shareholders may contact Computershare at:
Computershare Investor Services
P.O. Box 505005
Louisville, KY 40233-5005
Telephone:
800-736-3001
www.computershare.com/investor
Investor Relations
For information about the Company, you may call the Company directly, toll-free, at:
800-999-6501
and ask for the Investor Relations Representative; visit the Investors page at
www.unitil.com
; or contact the transfer agent, Computershare, at the number listed above.
Special Services & Shareholder Programs Available to Holders of Record
If a shareholder’s shares of our common stock are registered directly in the shareholder’s name with the Company’s transfer agent, the shareholder is considered a holder of record of the shares. The following services and programs are available to shareholders of record:
 
   
Internet Account Access is available at
www.computershare.com/investor
.
 
   
Dividend Reinvestment and Stock Purchase Plan:
To enroll, please contact the Company’s Investor Relations Representative or Computershare.
 
   
Dividend Direct Deposit Service:
To enroll, please contact the Company’s Investor Relations Representative or Computershare.
 
   
Direct Registration:
For information, please contact Computershare at
800-935-9330
or the Company’s Investor Relations Representative at
800-999-6501.
 
Item 1A.
Risk Factors
When considering an investment in our securities, investors should consider the following risk factors, as well as the information contained under the caption “Cautionary Statement” immediately following the Table of Contents in this Annual Report on Form
10-K.
Additional risks not presently known to the Company or that the Company currently believes are immaterial may also impair business operations and financial results. If any of the following risks actually occur, the Company’s business, financial condition or results of operations could be adversely affected. In such case, the trading price of the Company’s common stock could decline and investors could lose all or part of their investment. The risk factors below are categorized by operational, regulatory, financial and general.
OPERATIONAL RISKS
A substantial disruption or lack of growth in interstate natural gas pipeline transmission and storage capacity and electric transmission capacity may impair the Company’s ability to meet customers’ existing and future requirements.
In order to meet existing and future customer demands for natural gas and electricity, the Company must acquire sufficient supplies of natural gas and electricity. In addition, the Company must contract for reliable and adequate upstream transmission and transportation capacity for its distribution systems while considering the dynamics of the natural gas interstate pipelines and storage, the electric transmission markets and its own
on-system
resources. The Company’s financial condition or results of operations may be adversely affected if the future availability of natural gas and electric supply were insufficient to meet future customer demands for natural gas and electricity.
 
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The Company’s electric and natural gas distribution activities (including storing natural gas and supplemental gas supplies) involve numerous hazards and operating risks that may result in accidents and other operating risks and costs. Any such accident or costs could adversely affect the Company’s financial position or results of operations.
Inherent in the Company’s electric and natural gas distribution activities are a variety of hazards and operating risks, including leaks, explosions, electrocutions, mechanical problems and aging infrastructure. These hazards and risks could result in loss of human life, significant damage to property, environmental pollution, damage to natural resources and impairment of the Company’s operations, which could adversely affect the Company’s financial position or results of operations.
The Company maintains insurance against some, but not all, of these risks and losses in accordance with customary industry practice. The location of pipelines, storage facilities and electric distribution equipment near populated areas (including residential areas, commercial business centers and industrial sites) could increase the level of damages associated with these hazards and operating risks. The occurrence of any of these events could adversely affect the Company’s financial position or results of operations.
The Company’s operational and information systems on which it relies to conduct its business and serve customers could fail to function properly due to technological problems, a cyber-attack, acts of terrorism, severe weather, a solar event, an electromagnetic event, a natural disaster, the age and condition of information technology assets, human error, or other reasons, that could disrupt the Company’s operations and cause the Company to incur unanticipated losses and expense.
The operation of the Company’s extensive electric and natural gas systems rely on evolving information technology systems and network infrastructure that are likely to become more complex as new technologies and systems are developed. The Company’s business is highly dependent on its ability to process and monitor, on a daily basis, a very large number of transactions, many of which are highly complex. The failure of these information systems and networks could significantly disrupt operations; result in outages and/or damages to the Company’s assets or operations or those of third parties on which it relies; and subject the Company to claims by customers or third parties, any of which could have a material effect on the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
The Company’s information systems, including its financial information, operational systems, metering, and billing systems, require constant maintenance, modification, and updating, which can be costly and increases the risk of errors and malfunction. Any disruptions or deficiencies in existing information systems, or disruptions, delays or deficiencies in the modification or implementation of new information systems, could result in increased costs, the inability to track or collect revenues, the diversion of management’s and employees’ attention and resources, and could negatively affect the effectiveness of the Company’s control environment, and/or the Company’s ability to timely file required regulatory reports. Despite implementation of security and mitigation measures, all of the Company’s technology systems are vulnerable to impairment or failure due to cyber-attacks, computer viruses, human errors, acts of war or terrorism and other reasons. If the Company’s information technology systems were to fail or be materially impaired, the Company might be unable to fulfill critical business functions and serve its customers, which could have a material effect on the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
In the ordinary course of its business, the Company collects and retains sensitive electronic data including personal identification information about customers and employees, customer energy usage, and other confidential information. The theft, damage, or improper disclosure of sensitive electronic data through security breaches or other means could subject the Company to penalties for violation of applicable privacy laws or claims from third parties and could harm the Company’s reputation and adversely affect the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.
In addition, the Company’s electric and natural gas distribution and transmission delivery systems are part of an interconnected regional grid and pipeline system. If these neighboring interconnected systems were to be disrupted due to cyber-attacks, computer viruses, human errors, acts of war or terrorism or other reasons, the Company’s operations and its ability to serve its customers would be adversely affected, which could have a material effect on the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
 
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We outsource certain business functions to third-party suppliers and service providers, and substandard performance by those third parties could harm our business, reputation and results of operations.
We outsource certain services to third parties in areas including information technology, telecommunications, networks, transaction processing, human resources, payroll and payroll processing and other areas. Outsourcing of services to third parties could expose us to substandard quality of service delivery or substandard deliverables, which may result in missed deadlines or other timeliness issues,
non-compliance
(including with applicable legal requirements and industry standards) or reputational harm, which could negatively affect our results of operations. We also continue to pursue enhancements to modernize our systems and processes. If any difficulties in the operation of these systems were to occur, they could adversely affect our results of operations, or adversely affect our ability to work with regulators, unions, customers or employees.
The inability to attract and retain a qualified workforce including, but not limited to, executive officers, key employees and employees with specialized skills, could have an adverse effect on the Company’s operations.
The success of our business depends on the leadership of our executive officers and other key employees to implement our business strategies. The inability to maintain a qualified workforce including, but not limited to, executive officers, key employees and employees with specialized skills, may negatively affect our ability to service our existing or new customers, or successfully manage our business or achieve our business objectives. There may not be sufficiently skilled employees available internally to replace employees when they retire or otherwise leave active employment. Shortages of certain highly skilled employees may also mean that qualified employees are not available externally to replace these employees when they are needed. In addition, shortages in highly skilled employees coupled with competitive pressures may require the Company to incur additional employee recruiting and compensation expenses.
The Company may be adversely affected by work stoppages, labor disputes, and/or pandemic illness to which it may not able to promptly respond.
Approximately
one-third
of the Company’s employees are represented by labor unions and are covered by collective bargaining agreements. Disputes with the unions over terms and conditions of the agreements could result in instability in the Company’s labor relationships and work stoppages that could affect the timely delivery of natural gas and electricity, which could strain relationships with customers and state regulators and cause a loss of revenues. The Company’s collective bargaining agreements may also increase the cost of employing its union workforce, affect its ability to continue offering market-based salaries and employee benefits, limit its flexibility in dealing with its workforce, and limit its ability to change work rules and practices and implement other efficiency-related improvements to successfully compete in today’s challenging marketplace, which may negatively affect the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.
Additionally, pandemic illness could result in part, or all, of the Company’s workforce being unable to operate or maintain the Company’s infrastructure or perform other tasks necessary to conduct the Company’s business. A slow or inadequate response to this type of event may adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
The coronavirus outbreak could adversely affect Unitil’s business, financial conditions, results of operations and cash flows.
In December 2019, a novel strain of coronavirus
(COVID-19)
emerged in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. While initially the outbreak was largely concentrated in China and caused significant disruptions to its economy, the virus spread to several other countries and infections have been reported globally. The extent to which the coronavirus affects Unitil’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the duration of the outbreak, new information which may emerge concerning the severity of the coronavirus, and the actions to contain the coronavirus or treat its effect, among others. In particular, the continued spread of the coronavirus could adversely affect Unitil’s business, including (i) by disrupting
 
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Unitil’s employees and contractors ability to provide ongoing services to Unitil, (ii) by reducing customer demand for electricity or gas, or (iii) by reducing the supply of electricity or gas, each of which could have an adverse effect on Unitil’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
REGULATORY RISKS
The Company is subject to comprehensive regulation, which could adversely affect the rates it is able to charge, its authorized rate of return and its ability to recover costs. In addition, certain regulatory authorities have the statutory authority to impose financial penalties and other sanctions on the Company, which could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
The Company is subject to comprehensive regulation by federal regulatory authorities (including the FERC) and state regulatory authorities (including the NHPUC, MDPU and MPUC). These authorities regulate many aspects of the Company’s operations, including the rates that the Company can charge customers, the Company’s authorized rates of return, the Company’s ability to recover costs from its customers, construction and maintenance of the Company’s facilities, the Company’s safety protocols and procedures, including environmental compliance, the Company’s ability to issue securities, the Company’s accounting matters, and transactions between the Company and its affiliates. The Company is unable to predict the effect on its financial condition and results of operations from the regulatory activities of any of these regulatory authorities. Changes in regulations, the imposition of additional regulations, regulatory proceedings regarding fossil fuel use and system electrification, or regulatory decisions particular to the Company could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.
The Company’s ability to obtain rate adjustments to maintain its current authorized rates of return depends upon action by regulatory authorities under applicable statutes, rules and regulations. These regulatory authorities are authorized to leave the Company’s rates unchanged, to grant increases in such rates, or to order decreases in such rates. The Company may be unable to obtain favorable rate adjustments or to maintain its current authorized rates of return, which could adversely affect its financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
Regulatory authorities also have authority with respect to the Company’s ability to recover its electricity and natural gas supply costs, as incurred by Unitil Power, Unitil Energy, Fitchburg, and Northern Utilities. If the Company is unable to recover a significant amount of these costs, or if the Company’s recovery of these costs is significantly delayed, then the Company’s financial condition,results of operations, or cash flows could be adversely affected.
In addition, certain regulatory authorities have the statutory authority to impose financial penalties and other sanctions on the Company if the Company is found to have violated statutes, rules or regulations governing its utility operations. Any such penalties or sanctions could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
The Company’s business is subject to environmental regulation in all jurisdictions in which it operates and its costs of compliance are significant. New, or changes to existing, environmental regulation, including those related to climate change or greenhouse gas emissions, and the incurrence of environmental liabilities could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
The Company’s utility operations are generally subject to extensive federal, state and local environmental laws and regulations relating to air quality, water quality, waste management, natural resources, and the health and safety of the Company’s employees. The Company’s utility operations also may be subject to new and emerging federal, state and local legislative and regulatory initiatives related to climate change or greenhouse gas emissions including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s mandatory greenhouse gas reporting rule. Failure to comply with these laws and regulations may result in the assessment of administrative, civil, and criminal penalties and other sanctions; imposition of remedial requirements; and issuance of injunctions to ensure future compliance. Liability under certain environmental laws and regulations is strict, joint and several in nature. Although the Company believes it is
 
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in material compliance with all applicable environmental and safety laws and regulations, we cannot assure you that the Company will not incur significant costs and liabilities in the future. Moreover, it is possible that other developments, such as increasingly stringent federal, state or local environmental laws and regulations, including those related to climate change or greenhouse gas emissions, could result in increased environmental compliance costs.
FINANCIAL RISKS
The Company may not be able to obtain financing, or may not be able to obtain financing on acceptable terms, which could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.
The Company requires capital to fund utility plant additions, working capital and other utility expenditures. While the Company derives the capital necessary to meet these requirements primarily from internally-generated funds, the Company supplements internally generated funds by incurring short-term and long-term debt, as needed. Additionally, from time to time the Company has accessed the public capital markets through public offerings of equity securities. A downgrade of our credit rating or events beyond our control, such as a disruption in global capital and credit markets, could increase our cost of borrowing and cost of capital or restrict our ability to access the capital markets and negatively affect our ability to maintain and to expand our businesses.
The Company’s short-term debt revolving credit facility typically has variable interest rates. Therefore, an increase or decrease in interest rates will increase or decrease the Company’s interest expense associated with its revolving credit facility. An increase in the Company’s interest expense could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition and results of operations. As of December 31, 2020, the Company had approximately $54.7 million in short-term debt outstanding under its revolving credit facility. If the lending counterparties under the Company’s current credit facility are unwilling or unable to meet their funding obligations, the Company may be unable to, or limited in its ability to, incur short-term debt under its credit facility. This situation could hinder or prevent the Company from meeting its current and future capital needs, which could correspondingly adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results or operations, and cash flows.
Also, from time to time the Company repays portions of its short-term debt with the proceeds it receives from long-term debt financings or equity financings. General economic conditions, conditions in the capital and credit markets and the Company’s operating and financial performance could negatively affect the Company’s ability to obtain such financings or the terms of such financings, which could correspondingly adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. The Company’s long-term debt typically has fixed interest rates. Therefore, changes in interest rates will not affect the Company’s interest expense associated with its presently outstanding fixed rate long-term debt. However, an increase or decrease in interest rates may increase or decrease the Company’s interest expense associated with any new fixed rate long-term debt issued by the Company, which could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
The Company may need to use a significant portion of its cash flow to repay its short-term debt and long-term debt, which would limit the amount of cash it has available for working capital, capital expenditures and other general corporate purposes and could adversely affect its financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
Changes in taxation and the ability to quantify such changes could adversely affect the Company’s financial results.
The Company is subject to taxation by the various taxing authorities at the federal, state and local levels where it does business. See “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017” in “Rates and Regulation” section. Legislation or regulation which could affect the Company’s tax burden could be enacted by any of these governmental authorities. The Company cannot predict the timing or extent of such
tax-related
developments which could have a negative effect on the financial results. The Company uses its best judgment in attempting to quantify and reserve for these tax obligations. However, a challenge by a taxing authority, the Company’s ability to utilize tax benefits such as carryforwards or tax credits, or a deviation from other
tax-related
assumptions may cause actual financial results to deviate from previous estimates. (See Note 9 (Income Taxes) to the Consolidated Financial Statements.)
 
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Declines in capital market valuations could require the Company to make substantial cash contributions to cover its pension and other post-retirement benefit obligations. If the Company is unable to recover a significant amount of pension and other post-retirement benefit obligation costs in its rates, or if the Company’s recovery of these costs in its rates is significantly delayed, its financial condition and results of operations could be adversely affected.
The amount of cash contributions the Company is required to make in respect of its pension and other post-retirement benefit obligations is dependent upon the valuation of the capital markets. Adverse changes in capital market valuations could result in the Company being required to make substantial cash contributions in respect to these obligations. These cash contributions could have an adverse effect on the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows if the Company is unable to recover such costs in rates or if such recovery is significantly delayed. See section titled
Critical Accounting Policies—Retirement Benefit Obligations
in Part II, Item 7 (Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations) and Note 10 (Retirement Benefit Plans) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements for a more detailed discussion of the Company’s pension obligations.
The terms of the Company’s and its subsidiaries’ indebtedness restrict the Company’s and its subsidiaries’ business operations (including their ability to incur material amounts of additional indebtedness), which could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.
The terms of the Company’s and its subsidiaries’ indebtedness impose various restrictions on the Company’s business operations, including the ability of the Company and its subsidiaries to incur additional indebtedness. These restrictions could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. See sections titled
Liquidity, Commitments and Capital Requirements
in Part II, Item 7 (Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations) and Note 5 (Debt and Financing Arrangements) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements for a more detailed discussion of these restrictions.
Unitil is a public utility holding company and has no operating income of its own. The Company’s ability to pay dividends on its common stock is dependent on dividends and other payments received from its subsidiaries and on factors directly affecting Unitil, the parent corporation. The Company cannot assure that its current annual dividend will be paid in the future.
The ability of the Company’s subsidiaries to pay dividends or make distributions to Unitil depends on, among other things:
 
   
the actual and projected earnings and cash flow, capital requirements and general financial condition of the Company’s subsidiaries;
 
   
the prior rights of holders of existing and future preferred stock, mortgage bonds, long-term notes and other debt issued by the Company’s subsidiaries;
 
   
the restrictions on the payment of dividends contained in the existing loan agreements of the Company’s subsidiaries and that may be contained in future debt agreements of the Company’s subsidiaries, if any; and
 
   
limitations that may be imposed by New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine state regulatory authorities.
In addition, before the Company can pay dividends on its common stock, it has to satisfy its debt obligations and comply with any statutory or contractual limitations.
As of February 2, 2021, the Company’s current effective annualized dividend is $1.52 per share of common stock, payable quarterly. The Company’s Board of Directors reviews Unitil’s dividend policy periodically in light of a number of business and financial factors, including those referred to in this report, and the Company cannot assure the amount of dividends, if any, that may be paid in the future.
 
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GENERAL RISKS
The Company’s electric and natural gas sales and revenues are highly correlated with the economy, and national, regional and local economic conditions may adversely affect the Company’s customers and correspondingly the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
The Company’s business is influenced by the economic activity within its service territory. The level of economic activity in the Company’s electric and natural gas distribution service territories directly affects the Company’s business. As a result, adverse changes in the economy may adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results or operations, and cash flows. Economic downturns or periods of high electric and gas supply costs typically can lead to the development of legislative and regulatory policy designed to promote reductions in energy consumption and increased energy efficiency and self-generation by customers. This focus on conservation, energy efficiency and self-generation may result in a decline in electricity and gas sales in our service territories. If any such declines were to occur without corresponding adjustments in rates, our revenues would be reduced and our future growth prospects would be limited. In addition, a period of prolonged economic weakness could affect our customers’ ability to pay bills in a timely manner and increase customer bankruptcies, which may lead to increased bad debt expenses or other adverse effects on our financial position, results of operations, and cash flows.
A significant amount of the Company’s sales are temperature sensitive. Because of this, mild winter and summer temperatures could decrease the Company’s sales, which could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition and results of operations. Also, the Company’s sales may vary from year to year depending on weather conditions, and the Company’s results of operations generally reflect seasonality.
The Company estimates that approximately 70% of its annual natural gas sales are temperature sensitive. Therefore, mild winter temperatures could decrease the amount of natural gas sold by the Company, which could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. The Company’s electric sales also are temperature sensitive, but less so than its natural gas sales. The highest usage of electricity typically occurs in the summer months (due to air conditioning demand) and the winter months (due to heating-related and lighting requirements). Therefore, mild summer temperatures and mild winter temperatures could decrease the amount of electricity sold by the Company, which could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. Also, because of this temperature sensitivity, sales by the Company’s distribution utilities vary from year to year, depending on weather conditions.
The Company’s results of operations are expected to reflect the seasonal nature of the natural gas business. Annual gas revenues are substantially realized during the colder weather seasons of the year as a result of higher sales of natural gas used for heating related purposes. Accordingly, the results of operations are historically most favorable in the first and fourth quarters. Fluctuations in seasonal weather conditions may have a significant effect on the result of operations. Sales of electricity are generally less sensitive to weather than natural gas sales, but may also be affected by the weather conditions and the temperature in both the winter and summer seasons.
Catastrophic events could adversely affect the Company’s financial condition and results of operations.
The electric and natural gas utility industries are from time to time affected by catastrophic events, such as unusually severe weather and significant and widespread failures of plant and equipment. Other catastrophic occurrences, such as terrorist attacks on utility facilities, may occur in the future. Such events could inhibit the Company’s ability to deliver electricity or natural gas to its customers for an extended period, which could affect customer satisfaction and adversely affect the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows. If customers, legislators, or regulators develop a negative opinion of the Company, this situation could result in increased regulatory oversight and could affect the equity returns that the Company is allowed to earn. Also, if the Company is unable to recover in its rates a significant amount of costs associated with catastrophic events, or if the Company’s recovery of such costs in its rates is significantly delayed, the Company’s financial condition, results or operations, or cash flows may be adversely affected.
 
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The Company’s business could be adversely affected if it is unable to retain its existing customers or attract new customers, or if customers’ demand for its current products and services significantly decreases.
The success of the Company’s business depends, in part, on its ability to maintain and increase its customer base and the demand that those customers have for the Company’s products and services. The Company’s failure to maintain or increase its customer base and/or customer demand for its products and services could adversely affect its financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
The natural gas and electricity supply requirements of the Company’s customers are fulfilled by the Company or, in some instances and as allowed by state regulatory authorities, by third-party suppliers who contract directly with customers. In either scenario, significant increases in natural gas and electricity commodity prices may negatively affect the Company’s ability to attract new customers and grow its customer base.
Developments in distributed generation, energy conservation, power generation and energy storage could affect the Company’s revenues and the timing of the recovery of the Company’s costs. Advancements in power generation technology are improving the cost-effectiveness of customer self-supply of electricity. Improvements in energy storage technology, including batteries and fuel cells, could also better position customers to meet their
around-the-clock
electricity requirements. Such developments could reduce customer purchases of electricity, but may not necessarily reduce the Company’s investment and operating requirements due to the Company’s obligation to serve customers, including those self-supply customers whose equipment has failed for any reason, to provide the power they need. In addition, because a portion of the Company’s costs are recovered through charges based upon the volume of power delivered, reductions in electricity deliveries will affect the timing of the Company’s recovery of those costs and may require changes to the Company’s rate structures.
 
Item 1B.
Unresolved Staff Comments
None.
 
Item 2.
Properties
As of December 31, 2020, Unitil owned through its natural gas and electric distribution utilities, five utility operating centers located in New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts; including our new operating center in Exeter, New Hampshire. The Company’s real estate subsidiary, Unitil Realty, owns the Company’s corporate headquarters building and the land on which it is located in Hampton, New Hampshire.
The following tables detail certain of the Company’s natural gas and electric operations properties.
Natural Gas Operations
 
    
Northern Utilities
    
Fitchburg
    
Granite
State
    
Total
 
Description
  
NH
    
ME
 
Underground Natural Gas Mains—Miles
     568        604        274               1,446  
Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline—Miles
                          86        86  
Service Pipes
     24,240        23,216        11,193               58,649  
Electric Operations
 
Description
  
Unitil Energy
    
Fitchburg
    
Total
 
Primary Transmission and Distribution Pole Miles—Overhead
     1,293        454        1,747  
Conduit Distribution Bank Miles—Underground
     235        68        303  
Transmission and Distribution Substations
     34        16        50  
Transformer Capacity of Transmission and Distribution Substations (MVA)
     467.6        433.2        900.8  
 
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The Company’s natural gas operations property includes two liquid propane gas plants and two liquefied natural gas plants. Northern Utilities also owns a propane air gas plant and an LNG storage and vaporization facility. Fitchburg owns a propane air gas plant and an LNG storage and vaporization facility, both of which are located on land owned by Fitchburg in north central Massachusetts.
Northern Utilities’ gas mains are primarily made up of polyethylene plastic (81.5%), coated and wrapped cathodically protected steel (15.5%), cast/wrought iron (2.4%), and unprotected bare and coated steel (0.6%). Fitchburg’s gas mains are primarily made up of coated steel (44.8%), polyethylene plastic (39.3%), cast/wrought iron (13.8%), and bare steel (2.1%).
Granite State’s underground natural gas transmission pipeline, regulated by the FERC, is located primarily in Maine and New Hampshire.
Unitil Energy’s electric substations are located on land owned by Unitil Energy or land occupied by Unitil Energy pursuant to perpetual easements in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire
.
Unitil Energy’s electric distribution lines are located in, on or under public highways or private lands pursuant to lease, easement, permit, municipal consent, tariff conditions, agreement or license, expressed or implied through use by Unitil Energy without objection by the owners. In the case of certain distribution lines, Unitil Energy owns only a part interest in the poles upon which its wires are installed, the remaining interest being owned by telecommunication companies.
The physical utility properties of Unitil Energy, with certain exceptions, and its franchises are subject to its indenture of mortgage and deed of trust under which the respective series of first mortgage bonds of Unitil Energy are outstanding.
Fitchburg’s electric substations, with minor exceptions, are located in north central Massachusetts on land owned by Fitchburg or occupied by Fitchburg pursuant to perpetual easements. Fitchburg’s electric distribution lines and gas mains are located in, on or under public highways or private lands pursuant to lease, easement, permit, municipal consent, tariff conditions, agreement or license, express or implied through use by Fitchburg without objection by the owners. Fitchburg owns full interest in the poles upon which its wires are installed.
The Company believes that its facilities are currently adequate for their intended uses.
 
Item 3.
Legal Proceedings
The Company is involved in legal and administrative proceedings and claims of various types, including those which arise in the ordinary course of business. The Company believes, based upon information furnished by counsel and others, that the ultimate resolution of these claims will not have a material effect on its financial position, operating results or cash flows.
 
Item 4.
Mine Safety Disclosures
Not applicable.
 
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PART II
 
Item 5.
Market for Registrant’s Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
The Company’s common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “UTL.” As of December 31, 2020, there were 1,279 shareholders of record of our common stock.
Common Stock Data
 
Dividends per Common Share
  
2020
    
2019
 
1st Quarter
  
$
0.375
 
   $ 0.370  
2nd Quarter
  
 
0.375
 
     0.370  
3rd Quarter
  
 
0.375
 
     0.370  
4th Quarter
  
 
0.375
 
     0.370  
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Total for Year
  
$
1.50
 
   $ 1.48  
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
See “Dividends” in Part II, Item 7 (Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations).
Information regarding securities authorized for issuance under our equity compensation plans, as of December 31, 2020, is set forth in the following table.
Equity Compensation Plan Information
 
    
(a)
    
(b)
    
(c)
 
Plan Category
  
Number of securities
to be issued upon exercise
of outstanding options,
warrants and rights
    
Weighted-average
exercise price of
outstanding options,
warrants and rights
    
Number of securities
remaining available for
future issuance under
equity compensation
plans (excluding
securities reflected in
column (a))
 
Equity compensation plans approved by security holders
(1)
                   213,817  
Equity compensation plans not approved by security holders
  
 
 
  
 
 
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
Total
  
 
 
  
 
 
     213,817  
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
 
 
NOTES: (also see Note 6 (Equity) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements)
(1)
 
Consists of the Second Amended and Restated 2003 Stock Plan (the Plan). On April 19, 2012, shareholders approved the Plan, and a total of 677,500 shares of our common stock were reserved for issuance pursuant to awards of restricted stock, restricted stock units and common stock under the Plan. A total of 443,835 shares of restricted stock have been awarded and 33,528 restricted stock units have been settled and issued as shares of common stock by Plan participants through December 31, 2020. As of December 31, 2020, a total of 13,680 shares of restricted stock were forfeited and once again became available for issuance under the Plan.
 
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Stock Performance Graph
The following graph compares Unitil Corporation’s cumulative stockholder return since December 31, 2015 with the Peer Group index, comprised of the S&P 500 Utilities Index, and the S&P 500 index. The graph assumes that the value of the investment in the Company’s common stock and each index (including reinvestment of dividends) was $100 on December 31, 2015.
Comparative Five-Year Total Returns
 
 
 
NOTE:
(1)
The graph above assumes $100 invested on December 31, 2015, in each category and the reinvestment of all dividends during the five-year period. The Peer Group is comprised of the S&P 500 Utilities Index.
Unregistered Sales of Equity Securities and Uses of Proceeds
There were no sales of unregistered equity securities by the Company for the fiscal period ended December 31, 2020.
Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities
Pursuant to the written trading plan under Rule
10b5-1
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the Exchange Act), adopted and announced by the Company on May 1, 2020, the Company will periodically repurchase shares of its Common Stock on the open market related to the stock portion of the Directors’ annual retainer for those Directors who elected to receive common stock. There is no pool or maximum number of shares related to these purchases; however, the trading plan will terminate when $516,000 in value of shares have been purchased or, if sooner, on May 1, 2021.
The Company may suspend or terminate this trading plan at any time, so long as the suspension or termination is made in good faith and not as part of a plan or scheme to evade the prohibitions of Rule
10b-5
under the Exchange Act, or other applicable securities laws.
 
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The following table provides information regarding repurchases by the Company of shares of its common stock pursuant to the trading plan for each month in the quarter ended December 31, 2020.
 
Period
  
Total
Number
of Shares
Purchased
    
Average
Price Paid
per Share
    
Total Number of
Shares Purchased as
Part of Publicly
Announced Plans or
Programs
    
Approximate Dollar
Value of Shares that
May Yet Be
Purchased Under the
Plans or Programs
 
10/1/20 – 10/31/20
     13,194      $ 39.048        13,194      $ 808  
11/1/20 – 11/30/20
                        $ 808  
12/1/20 – 12/31/20
                        $ 808  
    
 
 
             
 
 
          
Total
     13,194      $ 39.048        13,194           
    
 
 
             
 
 
          
 
 
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Item 6.
Selected Financial Data
 
    
For the Years Ended December 31,
(all data in millions except customers served, shares, % and
per share data)
 
    
2020
   
2019
(2)
   
2018
   
2017
   
2016
 
Customers Served
(Year-End):
                                        
Electric:
                                        
Residential
  
 
91,820
 
    90,983       90,537       90,009       89,400  
Commercial & Industrial
  
 
15,257
 
    15,146       15,034       14,969       14,872  
    
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Total Electric
  
 
107,077
 
    106,129       105,571       104,978       104,272  
    
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Natural Gas:
                                        
Residential
  
 
67,325
 
    65,836       64,604       63,441       62,284  
Commercial & Industrial
  
 
18,249
 
    18,075       18,155       17,868       17,654  
    
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Total Natural Gas
  
 
85,574
 
    83,911       82,759       81,309       79,938  
    
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Total Customers Served
  
 
192,651
 
    190,040       188,330       186,287       184,210  
    
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Electric and Gas Sales:
                                        
Electric Distribution Sales (kWh)
  
 
1,595.9
 
    1,595.7       1,675.8       1,624.1       1,628.8  
Firm Natural Gas Distribution Sales (Therms)
  
 
214.8
 
    232.1       231.1       213.8       205.7  
Consolidated Statements of Earnings:
                                        
Operating Revenue
  
$
418.6
 
  $ 438.2     $ 444.1     $ 406.2     $ 383.4  
Operating Income
  
 
71.4
 
    73.1       71.2       75.4       70.2  
Interest Expense, Net
  
 
23.8
 
    23.7       24.0       23.1       22.5  
Other Expense (Income), Net
  
 
5.2
 
    (8.6     5.8       5.8       5.2  
    
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Income Before Income Taxes
  
 
42.4
 
    58.0       41.4       46.5       42.5  
Income Taxes
  
 
10.2
 
    13.8       8.4       17.5       15.4  
    
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Net Income
  
 
32.2
 
    44.2       33.0       29.0       27.1  
Dividends on Preferred Stock
  
 
 
                       
    
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Earnings Applicable to Common Shareholders
  
$
32.2
 
  $ 44.2     $ 33.0     $ 29.0     $ 27.1  
    
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Earnings Per Average Share:
  
$
2.15
 
  $ 2.97     $ 2.23     $ 2.06     $ 1.94  
Common Stock—(Diluted Weighted Average Outstanding, 000’s)
  
 
15,000
 
    14,900       14,829       14,102       13,996  
Dividends Declared Per Share
  
$
1.50
 
  $ 1.48     $ 1.46     $ 1.44     $ 1.42  
Book Value Per Share
(Year-End)
  
$
25.91
 
  $ 25.22     $ 23.60     $ 22.72     $ 20.82  
Balance Sheet Data (as of December 31,):
                                        
Net Utility Plant
  
$
1,193.2
 
  $ 1,111.5     $ 1,036.8     $ 971.5     $ 883.4  
Lease Obligations
(1)
  
$
5.6
 
  $ 4.5     $ 5.8     $ 8.8     $ 11.3  
Total Assets
  
$
1,477.9
 
  $ 1,370.8     $ 1,298.3     $ 1,241.9     $ 1,128.2  
Capitalization:
                                        
Common Stock Equity
  
$
389.0
 
  $ 376.6     $ 351.1     $ 336.6     $ 292.9  
Preferred Stock
  
 
0.2
 
    0.2       0.2       0.2       0.2  
Long-Term Debt, less current portion
  
 
523.1
 
    437.5       387.4       376.3       316.8  
    
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Total Capitalization
  
$
912.3
 
  $ 814.3     $ 738.7     $ 713.1     $ 609.9  
    
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Current Portion of Long-Term Debt
  
$
8.5
 
  $ 19.5     $ 18.4     $ 29.8     $ 16.8  
Short-Term Debt
  
$
54.7
 
  $ 58.6     $ 82.8     $ 38.3     $ 81.9  
Capital Structure Ratios (as of December 31,):
                                        
Common Stock Equity
  
 
43
    46     48     47     48
Long-Term Debt, less current portion
  
 
57
    54     52     53     52
 
(1)
 
Includes amounts due within one year. Amounts for 2020 and 2019 include amounts of $5.2 million and $4.0 million, respectively, of operating lease obligations. See the “Leases” section of Note 5 to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements.
(2)
 
See “Divestiture of
Non-Regulated
Business Subsidiary” in Note 1 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
 
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Item 7.
Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations (MD&A) (Note references are to the Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 8.)
OVERVIEW
Unitil is a public utility holding company headquartered in Hampton, New Hampshire. Unitil is subject to regulation as a holding company system by the FERC under the Energy Policy Act of 2005.
Unitil’s principal business is the local distribution of electricity and natural gas to approximately 192,700 customers throughout its service territory in the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine. Unitil is the parent company of three wholly-owned distribution utilities:
 
  i)
Unitil Energy, which provides electric service in the southeastern seacoast and state capital regions of New Hampshire;
 
  ii)
Fitchburg, which provides both electric and natural gas service in the greater Fitchburg area of north central Massachusetts; and
 
  iii)
Northern Utilities, which provides natural gas service in southeastern New Hampshire and portions of southern and central Maine, including the city of Portland and the Lewiston-Auburn area.
Unitil Energy, Fitchburg and Northern Utilities are collectively referred to as the “distribution utilities.” Together, the distribution utilities serve approximately 107,100 electric customers and 85,600 natural gas customers in their service territories. The distribution utilities are local “pipes and wires” operating companies.
In addition, Unitil is the parent company of Granite State, a natural gas transmission pipeline, regulated by the FERC, operating 86 miles of underground gas transmission pipeline primarily located in Maine and New Hampshire. Granite State provides Northern Utilities with interconnection to three major natural gas pipelines and access to North American pipeline supplies.
Unitil had an investment in Net Utility Plant of $1,193.2 million at December 31, 2020. Unitil’s total revenue was $418.6 million in 2020, which includes revenue to recover the approved cost of purchased electricity and natural gas in rates on a fully reconciling basis. As a result of this reconciling rate structure, the Company’s earnings are not affected by changes in the cost of purchased electricity and natural gas. Earnings from Unitil’s utility operations are derived from the return on investment in the three distribution utilities and Granite State.
Unitil previously conducted
non-regulated
operations principally through Usource, which was wholly-owned by Unitil Resources. The Company divested Usource in the first quarter of 2019. Usource provided energy brokering and advisory services to large commercial and industrial customers in the northeastern United States. See additional discussion of the divestiture of Usource in “Divestiture of
Non-Regulated
Business Subsidiary” in Note 1 (Summary of Significant Accounting Policies) to the Consolidated Financial Statements. The Company’s other subsidiaries include Unitil Service, which provides, at cost, a variety of administrative and professional services to Unitil’s affiliated companies, and Unitil Realty, which owns and manages Unitil’s corporate office building and property located in Hampton, New Hampshire. Unitil’s consolidated net income includes the earnings of the holding company and these subsidiaries.
Regulation
Unitil is subject to comprehensive regulation by federal and state regulatory authorities. Unitil and its subsidiaries are subject to regulation as a holding company system by the FERC under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 with regard to certain bookkeeping, accounting and reporting requirements. Unitil’s utility operations related to wholesale and interstate energy business activities are also regulated by the FERC. Unitil’s distribution utilities are subject to regulation by the applicable state public utility commissions, with regard to their rates, issuance of securities and other accounting and operational matters: Unitil Energy is subject to regulation by the NHPUC; Fitchburg is subject to regulation by the MDPU; and Northern
 
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Utilities is regulated by the NHPUC and MPUC. Granite State, Unitil’s interstate natural gas transmission pipeline, is subject to regulation by the FERC with regard to its rates and operations. Because Unitil’s primary operations are subject to rate regulation, the regulatory treatment of various matters could significantly affect the Company’s operations, financial position, and cash flows.
Unitil’s distribution utilities deliver electricity and/or natural gas to all customers in their service territories, at rates established under traditional cost of service regulation. Under this regulatory structure, Unitil’s distribution utilities recover the cost of providing distribution service to their customers based on a historical test year, and earn a return on their capital investment in utility assets. In addition, the Company’s distribution utilities and its natural gas transmission pipeline company may also recover certain base rate costs, including capital project spending and enhanced reliability and vegetation management programs, through annual step adjustments and cost tracker rate mechanisms.
Most of Unitil’s customers have the opportunity to purchase their electricity or natural gas supplies from third-party energy suppliers. Many of Unitil’s distribution utilities’ largest C&I customers purchase their electricity or gas supply from third-party suppliers, while most small C&I customers, as well as residential customers, purchase their electricity or gas supply from the distribution utilities under regulated rates and tariffs. Unitil’s distribution utilities purchase electricity or natural gas from unaffiliated wholesale energy suppliers and recover the actual approved costs of these supplies on a pass-through basis, through reconciling rate mechanisms that are periodically adjusted.
Also see
Regulatory Matters
in this section and Note 8 (Commitments and Contingencies) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information on rates and regulation.
Fitchburg is subject to revenue decoupling. Revenue decoupling is the term given to the elimination of the dependency of a utility’s distribution revenue on the volume of electricity or natural gas sales. The difference between distribution revenue amounts billed to customers and the targeted revenue decoupling amounts is recognized as an increase or a decrease in the current portion of Accrued Revenue which forms the basis for resetting rates for future cash recoveries from, or credits to, customers. These revenue decoupling targets may be adjusted as a result of rate cases that the Company files with the MDPU. The Company estimates that revenue decoupling applies to approximately 27% and 11% of Unitil’s total annual electric and natural gas sales volumes, respectively.
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS    
The following discussion of the Company’s financial condition and results of operations should be read in conjunction with the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements and the accompanying Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Part II, Item 8 of this report.
The Company is responding to the coronavirus pandemic by taking steps to mitigate the potential risks posed by its spread. The Company’s electric and gas service utility distribution operating systems have continued to provide service to customers without disruption due to the coronavirus pandemic through the date of this filing. The Company has implemented its Crisis Response Plan to address specific aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. The Crisis Response Plan guides emergency response, business continuity, and the precautionary measures being taken on behalf of employees and the public. The Company has initiated extra precautions to protect employees who work in the field and for employees who continue to work in operations, distribution and corporate facilities. The Company has implemented social distancing and work from home policies, where appropriate. The Company continues to implement strong physical and cyber-security measures to ensure that its systems remain functional in order to serve both operational needs with a remote workforce and to help ensure uninterrupted service to customers.
The extent to which the coronavirus pandemic impacts the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows will depend on future developments, which are highly uncertain and cannot be predicted with confidence, including the duration of the outbreak, new information which may emerge concerning the severity of the coronavirus pandemic, and the actions to contain the coronavirus pandemic or treat its impact, among others. In particular, the continued spread of the coronavirus could adversely impact the Company’s business, including (i) by disrupting the Company’s employees and contractors ability to
 
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provide ongoing services to the Company, (ii) by reducing customer demand for electricity or gas, or (iii) by reducing the supply of electricity or gas, each of which could have an adverse impact on the Company’s financial condition, results of operations, and cash flows.
The Company’s results of operations reflect the seasonal nature of the gas business. Annual gas revenues are substantially realized during the heating season as a result of higher sales of gas due to cold weather. Accordingly, the results of operations are historically most favorable in the first and fourth quarters. Fluctuations in seasonal weather conditions may have a significant effect on the results of operations. Sales of electricity are generally less sensitive to weather than gas sales, but may also be affected by the weather conditions in both the winter and summer seasons. Also, as a result of recent rate cases, the Company’s gas GAAP gross margins and gas adjusted gross margins (a
non-GAAP
measure) are derived from a higher percentage of fixed billing components, including customer charges. Therefore, future gas revenues and gas adjusted gross margin will be less affected by the seasonal nature of the gas business. In addition, approximately 27% and 11% of the Company’s total annual electric and gas sales volumes, respectively, are decoupled and changes in sales to existing customers do not affect GAAP gross margin and adjusted gross margin.
The Company analyzes operating results using Gas and Electric Adjusted Gross Margins, which are
non-GAAP
measures. Gas Adjusted Gross Margin is calculated as Total Gas Operating Revenue less Cost of Gas Sales. Electric Adjusted Gross Margin is calculated as Total Electric Operating Revenues less Cost of Electric Sales. The Company’s management believes Gas and Electric Adjusted Gross Margins provide useful information to investors regarding profitability. The Company’s management also believes Gas and Electric Adjusted Gross Margins are important measures to analyze revenue from the Company’s ongoing operations because the approved cost of gas and electric sales are tracked, reconciled and passed through directly to customers in gas and electric tariff rates, resulting in an equal and offsetting amount reflected in Total Gas and Electric Operating Revenue.
In the following tables the Company has reconciled Gas and Electric Adjusted Gross Margin to GAAP Gross Margin, which we believe to be the most comparable GAAP measure. GAAP Gross Margin is calculated as Revenue less Cost of Sales and Depreciation and Amortization. The Company calculates Gas and Electric Adjusted Gross Margin as Revenue less Cost of Sales. The Company believes excluding Depreciation and Amortization, which are period costs and not related to volumetric sales revenue, is a meaningful measure to inform investors of the Company’s profitability from gas and electric sales in the period.
 
Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2020 ($ millions)
 
    
Gas
   
Electric
   
Non-Regulated

and Other
   
Total
 
Total Operating Revenue
   $  191.4     $ 227.2     $  —     $ 418.6  
Less: Cost of Sales
     (68.8     (134.3           (203.1
Less: Depreciation and Amortization
     (29.8     (23.8     (0.9     (54.5
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
GAAP Gross Margin
     92.8       69.1       (0.9     161.0  
Depreciation and Amortization
     29.8       23.8       0.9       54.5  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Adjusted Gross Margin
   $ 122.6     $ 92.9     $     $ 215.5  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2019 ($ millions)
 
    
Gas
   
Electric
   
Non-Regulated

and Other
   
Total
 
Total Operating Revenue
   $  203.4     $ 233.9     $ 0.9     $ 438.2  
Less: Cost of Sales
     (81.2     (142.0           (223.2
Less: Depreciation and Amortization
     (28.5     (22.6     (0.9     (52.0
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
GAAP Gross Margin
     93.7       69.3             163.0  
Depreciation and Amortization
     28.5       22.6       0.9       52.0  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Adjusted Gross Margin
   $ 122.2     $ 91.9     $ 0.9     $ 215.0  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
 
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Twelve Months Ended December 31, 2018 ($ millions)
 
    
Gas
   
Electric
   
Non-Regulated

and Other
   
Total
 
Total Operating Revenue
   $  216.1     $ 223.3     $ 4.7     $ 444.1  
Less: Cost of Sales
     (99.2     (131.4           (230.6
Less: Depreciation and Amortization
     (24.9     (23.1     (2.4     (50.4
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
GAAP Gross Margin
     92.0       68.8       2.3       163.1  
Depreciation and Amortization
     24.9       23.1       2.4       50.4  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Adjusted Gross Margin
   $ 116.9     $ 91.9     $ 4.7     $ 213.5  
  
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
 
Gas GAAP Gross Margin was $92.8 million in 2020, a decrease of $0.9 million compared to 2019. The decrease was driven by unfavorable effects of $4.4 million from lower sales due to warmer weather in 2020, $2.1 million attributed to lower sales primarily associated with the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and higher depreciation and amortization of $1.3 million. These decreases were partially offset by higher rates of $5.1 million and customer growth of $1.8 million.
Gas GAAP Gross Margin was $93.7 million in 2019, an increase of $1.7 million compared to 2018. The increase was driven by higher rates of $5.6 million and higher gas sales of $0.9 million, partially offset by milder weather in the fourth quarter of 2019. The positive effect of higher rates and customer growth was partially offset by the absence in 2019 of a $1.2 million
non-recurring
adjustment recognized in the second quarter of 2018 to increase gas revenue and operating expenses in connection with a then ongoing base rate case for the Company’s New Hampshire natural gas utility, and higher depreciation and amortization of $3.6 million.
Electric GAAP Gross Margin was $69.1 million in 2020, a decrease of $0.2 million compared to 2019. The decrease reflects an unfavorable effect of $0.8 million attributed to the combined net effect of lower Commercial and Industrial (C&I) sales and higher Residential sales associated with the coronavirus pandemic, and higher depreciation and amortization of $1.2 million, partially offset by higher rates of $1.4 million and the positive combined effect of customer growth and warmer summer weather of $0.4 million.
Electric GAAP Gross Margin was $69.3 million in 2019, an increase of $0.5 million compared to 2018. The increase reflects higher rates of $1.6 million and lower depreciation and amortization of $0.5 million, partially offset by a decrease of $1.6 million from lower kWh sales.
Net Income and EPS Overview
2020 Compared to 2019
—The Company’s Net Income was $32.2 million, or $2.15 in Earnings Per Share, for the year ended December 31, 2020, a decrease of $12.0 million, or $0.82 per share, compared to 2019. In the first quarter of 2019, the Company recognized a
one-time
net gain of $9.8 million, or $0.66 per share, on the Company’s divestiture of its
non-regulated
business subsidiary, Usource. The Company’s earnings in 2020 reflect higher Gas and Electric Adjusted Gross Margins (a
non-GAAP
measure) and higher operating expenses. The Company estimates that warmer than normal weather negatively affected Net Income by approximately $3.1 million, or $0.20 per share, in 2020. Additionally, the Company estimates that the coronavirus pandemic negatively affected Net Income by approximately $1.4 million, or $0.09 per share, in 2020.
Gas Adjusted Gross Margin (a
non-GAAP
measure) was $122.6 million in 2020, an increase of $0.4 million compared to 2019. The increase was driven by higher rates of $5.1 million and customer growth of $1.8 million, largely offset by unfavorable effects of $4.4 million from lower sales due to warmer weather in 2020, and $2.1 million attributed to lower sales primarily associated with the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Gas therm sales decreased 7.5% in 2020 compared to 2019. The decrease in overall gas therm sales in the Company’s service areas reflects warmer weather in 2020 compared to 2019, as well as lower sales to C&I customers, primarily in the second, third and fourth quarters, due to the economic slowdown caused by
 
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the coronavirus pandemic. These negative effects on 2020 gas therm sales were partially offset by customer growth. As of December 31, 2020, the number of gas customers served increased by 1,663, including seasonal accounts, over the previous year. Based on weather data collected in the Company’s gas service areas, there were 8.2% fewer Effective Degree Days (EDD) in 2020, on average, compared to 2019 and 8.0% fewer EDD compared to normal. The Company estimates that weather-normalized gas therm sales, excluding decoupled sales, were 1.6% lower in 2020 compared to 2019.
Electric Adjusted Gross Margin (a
non-GAAP
measure) was $92.9 million in 2020, an increase of $1.0 million compared with 2019. The increase reflects higher rates of $1.4 million and the positive combined effect of customer growth and warmer summer weather of $0.4 million, partially offset by an unfavorable effect of $0.8 million attributed to the combined net effect of lower C&I sales and higher Residential sales associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
Electric kilowatt-hour (kWh) sales in 2020 were essentially on par with 2019. Sales to Residential customers increased 6.5% and sales to C&I customers decreased 4.5% in 2020 compared to 2019. The increase in sales to Residential customers reflects higher consumption by Residential customers due to the coronavirus pandemic and warmer summer weather in 2020 compared to 2019 which resulted in higher use of air conditioning, and customer growth. As of December 31, 2020, the number of electric customers served increased by 948 over the previous year. These positive effects on 2020 electric kWh sales were partially offset by the warmer winter weather in 2020 which adversely affected the usage of electricity for heating purposes. The decrease in sales to C&I customers reflects lower usage as a result of the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and the warmer winter weather in 2020, partially offset by customer growth. Based on weather data collected in the Company’s electric service areas, there were 37.9% more Cooling Degree Days (CDD) in 2020, on average, compared to 2019.
Operation and Maintenance (O&M) expenses decreased $1.5 million in 2020 compared to 2019. The decrease includes $0.4 million of lower operating costs attributed to Usource operations incurred in the first quarter of 2019. The change in O&M expenses also reflects lower labor costs of $1.3 million, partially offset by higher utility operating costs of $0.2 million. The lower labor costs reflect lower employee benefit costs.
Depreciation and Amortization expense increased $2.5 million in 2020 compared to 2019, reflecting increased depreciation on higher levels of utility plant in service and higher amortization of software.
Taxes Other Than Income Taxes increased $1.2 million in 2020 compared to 2019, reflecting higher local property taxes on higher utility plant in service of $1.2 million as well as the absence in 2020 of $0.6 million in property tax abatements recognized in 2019. This increase was partially offset by lower payroll taxes in 2020 reflecting the recognition of $0.6 million of payroll tax credits associated with the CARES Act in 2020.
Interest Expense, Net increased $0.1 million in 2020 compared to 2019 reflecting higher levels of long-term debt, largely offset by lower rates on short-term debt and lower interest expense on regulatory liabilities.
Other Expense (Income), Net changed from income of $8.6 million in 2019 to expense of $5.2 million in 2020, a net change of $13.8 million. This change primarily reflects a
pre-tax
gain of $13.4 million on the Company’s divestiture of Usource in the first quarter of 2019 and $0.4 million of other costs in 2020.
Federal and State Income Taxes decreased $3.6 million in 2020 compared to 2019, primarily reflecting lower
pre-tax
earnings in the current period.
In 2020, Unitil’s annual common dividend was $1.50 per share, representing an unbroken record of quarterly dividend payments since trading began in Unitil’s common stock. At its January 2021 meeting, the Unitil Corporation Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend on the Company’s common stock of $0.38 per share, an increase of $0.005 per share on a quarterly basis, resulting in an increase in the effective annualized dividend rate to $1.52 per share from $1.50 per share.
2019 Compared to 2018
— The Company’s Net Income was $44.2 million, or $2.97 in earnings per share, for the year ended December 31, 2019, an increase of $11.2 million, or $0.74 per share, compared to
 
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2018. In the first quarter of 2019, the Company recognized a
one-time
net gain of $9.8 million, or $0.66 per share, on the Company’s divestiture of its
non-regulated
business subsidiary, Usource. Excluding the Usource divestiture, the Company’s Net Income was $34.4 million, or $2.31 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2019, an increase of $1.4 million, or $0.08 per share, compared to 2018. The increase in earnings was driven by higher natural gas sales margins, partially offset by increases in operating expenses.
Gas Sales, Revenues and Adjusted Gross Margin
Therm Sales
—Unitil’s total therm sales of natural gas decreased 7.5% in 2020 compared to 2019. Sales to Residential and C&I customers decreased 6.9% and 7.6%, respectively in 2020 compared to 2019. The decrease in overall gas therm sales in the Company’s service areas reflects warmer weather in 2020 compared to 2019, as well as lower sales to C&I customers, primarily in the second, third and fourth quarters, due to the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic. These negative effects on 2020 gas therm sales were partially offset by customer growth. As of December 31, 2020, the number of gas customers served increased by 1,663, including seasonal accounts, over the previous year. Based on weather data collected in the Company’s gas service areas, there were 8.2% fewer EDD in 2020, on average, compared to 2019 and 8.0% fewer EDD compared to normal. The Company estimates that weather-normalized gas therm sales, excluding decoupled sales, were 1.6% lower in 2020 compared to 2019. Sales margin derived from decoupled unit sales (representing approximately 11% of total annual therm sales volume) is not sensitive to changes in gas therm sales.
Unitil’s total therm sales of natural gas increased 0.4% in 2019 compared to 2018. Sales to residential decreased 1.4% and sales to C&I customers increased 0.9% in 2019 compared to 2018. The overall increase in gas therm sales was driven by customer growth, partially offset by milder weather in the fourth quarter of 2019 compared to 2018. Based on weather data collected in the Company’s natural gas service areas, there were 6.7% fewer EDD in 2019, on average, compared to 2018. The Company estimates that weather-normalized gas therm sales, excluding decoupled sales, were up 4.2% in 2019 compared to 2018. As of December 31, 2019 the number of natural gas customers served increased by 1,152 over the previous year.
The following table details total therm sales for the last three years, by major customer class:
 
Therm Sales (millions)
                       
Change
 
                         
2020 vs. 2019
   
2019 vs. 2018
 
    
2020
    
2019
    
2018
    
Therms
   
%
   
Therms
   
%
 
Residential
  
 
44.7
 
     48.0        48.7        (3.3     (6.9 %)      (0.7     (1.4 %) 
Commercial & Industrial
  
 
170.1
 
     184.1        182.4        (14.0     (7.6 %)      1.7       0.9
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
   
Total Therm Sales
  
 
214.8
 
     232.1        231.1        (17.3     (7.5 %)      1.0       0.4
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
   
Gas Operating Revenues and Adjusted Gross Margin
—The following table details total Gas Operating Revenue and Gas Adjusted Gross Margin for the last three years by major customer class:
 
Gas Operating Revenues and Gas Adjusted Gross Margin
(millions)
                           
                         
Change
 
                         
2020 vs. 2019
   
2019 vs. 2018
 
    
2020
    
2019
    
2018
    
$
   
%
   
$
   
%
 
Gas Operating Revenue:
                 
Residential
  
$
78.0
 
   $ 81.2      $ 86.0      $ (3.2     (3.9 %)    $ (4.8     (5.6%)  
Commercial & Industrial
  
 
113.4
 
     122.2        130.1        (8.8     (7.2 %)      (7.9     (6.1%)  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
   
Total Gas Operating Revenue
  
$
191.4
 
   $ 203.4      $ 216.1      $ (12.0     (5.9 %)    $ (12.7     (5.9%)  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
   
Cost of Gas Sales
  
$
68.8
 
   $ 81.2      $ 99.2      $ (12.4     (15.3 %)    $ (18.0     (18.1%)  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
   
Gas Adjusted Gross Margin
  
$
122.6
 
   $ 122.2      $ 116.9      $ 0.4       0.3   $ 5.3       4.5%  
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
   
Gas Adjusted Gross Margin (a
non-GAAP
measure) was $122.6 million in 2020, an increase of $0.4 million compared to 2019. The increase was driven by higher rates of $5.1 million and customer
 
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growth of $1.8 million, largely offset by unfavorable effects of $4.4 million from lower sales due to warmer weather in 2020, and $2.1 million attributed to lower sales primarily associated with the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The decrease in Total Gas Operating Revenues of $12.0 million, or 5.9%, in 2020 compared to 2019 reflects lower cost of gas sales, which are tracked and reconciled costs as a pass-through to customers, and lower sales volumes.
Gas Adjusted Gross Margin (a
non-GAAP
measure) was $122.2 million in 2019, an increase of $5.3 million compared to 2018. The increase was driven by higher rates of $5.6 million and higher therm sales of $0.9 million, partially offset by milder weather in the fourth quarter of 2019. The positive effect of higher rates and customer growth was partially offset by the absence in 2019 of a $1.2 million adjustment recognized in the second quarter of 2018 to increase gas revenue and operating expenses in connection with a then ongoing base rate case for the Company’s New Hampshire natural gas utility.
The decrease in Total Gas Operating Revenues of $12.7 million, or 5.9%, in 2019 compared to 2018 reflects lower cost of gas sales, which are tracked and reconciled costs as a pass-through to customers and the adjustment recognized in the second quarter of 2018, discussed above, partially offset by higher gas sales volumes and higher rates.
Electric Sales, Revenues and Adjusted Gross Margin
Kilowatt-hour Sales
—Unitil’s total electric kWh sales in 2020 were essentially on par with 2019. Sales to Residential customers increased 6.5% and sales to C&I customers decreased 4.5% in 2020 compared to 2019. The increase in sales to Residential customers reflects higher consumption by Residential customers due to the coronavirus pandemic and warmer summer weather in 2020 compared to 2019, which resulted in higher use of air conditioning, and customer growth. As of December 31, 2020, the number of electric customers served increased by 948 over the previous year. These positive effects on 2020 electric kWh sales were partially offset by the warmer winter weather in 2020 which adversely affected the usage of electricity for heating purposes. The decrease in sales to C&I customers reflects lower usage as a result of the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and the warmer winter weather in 2020, partially offset by customer growth. Based on weather data collected in the Company’s electric service areas, there were 37.9% more CDD in 2020, on average, compared to 2019. Sales margins derived from decoupled unit sales (representing approximately 27% of total annual sales volume) are not sensitive to changes in kWh sales.
Unitil’s total electric kWh sales decreased 4.8% in 2019 compared to 2018. Sales to Residential customers and C&I customers decreased 5.4% and 4.3%, respectively, in 2019 compared to 2018, reflecting milder summer weather in 2019 compared to 2018, lower average usage per customer due to energy efficiency initiatives and net metered distributed generation, as well as reduced usage by some industrial customers, partially offset by customer growth. Based on weather data collected in the Company’s electric service areas, there were 22.3% fewer CDD in 2019, on average, compared to 2018. As of December 31, 2019, the number of electric customers served increased by 558 over the previous year.
The following table details total kWh sales for the last three years by major customer class:
 
kWh Sales (millions)
                       
Change
 
                         
2020 vs. 2019
   
2019 vs. 2018
 
    
2020
    
2019
    
2018
    
kWh
   
%
   
kWh
   
%
 
Residential
  
 
690.6
 
     648.2        685.5        42.4       6.5     (37.3     (5.4 %) 
Commercial & Industrial
  
 
905.3
 
     947.5        990.3        (42.2     (4.5 %)      (42.8     (4.3 %) 
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
   
Total kWh Sales
  
 
1,595.9
 
     1,595.7        1,675.8        0.2             (80.1     (4.8 %) 
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
   
 
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Electric Operating Revenues and Electric Adjusted Gross Margin
—The following table details Total Electric Operating Revenue and Electric Adjusted Gross Margin for the last three years by major customer class:
 
Electric Operating Revenues and Electric Adjusted Gross Margin
(millions)
                           
                         
Change
 
                         
2020 vs. 2019
   
2019 vs. 2018
 
    
2020
    
2019
    
2018
    
$
   
%
   
$
    
%
 
Electric Operating Revenue:
                  
Residential
  
$
134.7
 
   $ 133.8      $ 127.2      $ 0.9       0.7   $ 6.6        5.2
Commercial & Industrial
  
 
92.5
 
     100.1        96.1        (7.6     (7.6 %)      4.0        4.2
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
    
Total Electric Operating Revenue
  
$
227.2
 
   $ 233.9      $ 223.3      $ (6.7     (2.9 %)    $ 10.6        4.7
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
    
Cost of Electric Sales
  
$
134.3
 
   $ 142.0      $ 131.4      $ (7.7     (5.4 %)    $ 10.6        8.1
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
    
Electric Adjusted Gross Margin
  
$
92.9
 
   $ 91.9      $ 91.9      $ 1.0       1.1   $         
  
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
    
 
 
     
 
 
    
Electric Adjusted Gross Margin (a
non-GAAP
measure) was $92.9 million in 2020, an increase of $1.0 million compared with 2019. The increase reflects higher rates of $1.4 million and the positive combined effect of customer growth and warmer summer weather of $0.4 million, partially offset by an unfavorable effect of $0.8 million attributed to the combined net effect of lower C&I sales and higher Residential sales associated with the coronavirus pandemic.
The decrease in Total Electric Operating Revenue of $6.7 million, or 2.9%, in 2020 compared to 2019 reflects lower cost of electric sales, which are tracked and reconciled costs as a pass-through to customers, partially offset by higher sales of electricity.
Electric Adjusted Gross Margin (a
non-GAAP
measure) was $91.9 million in 2019, on par with 2018. Electric sales margins in 2019 were positively affected by higher rates of $1.6 million, offset by a decrease of $1.6 million from lower kWh sales, for the reasons noted above.
The increase in Total Electric Operating Revenue of $10.6 million, or 4.7%, in 2019 compared to 2018 reflects higher cost of electric sales, which are tracked and reconciled costs as a pass-through to customers, partially offset by lower sales of electricity.
Operating Revenue—Other
Total Other Operating Revenue (See “Other Operating Revenue –
Non-regulated”
in Note 1 to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements) is comprised of revenues from the Company’s
non-regulated
energy brokering business, Usource, which was divested in the first quarter of 2019 (See “Divestiture of
Non-Regulated
Business Subsidiary” in Note 1 to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements). Usource’s revenues were primarily derived from fees and charges billed to suppliers as customers take delivery of energy from those suppliers under term contracts brokered by Usource. Usource’s revenues decreased $0.9 million in 2020 compared to 2019 and $3.8 million 2019 compared to 2018, reflecting the Company’s divestiture of Usource in the first quarter of 2019.
Operating Expenses
Cost of Gas Sales
—Cost of Gas Sales includes the cost of natural gas purchased and manufactured to supply the Company’s total gas supply requirements and spending on energy efficiency programs. Cost of Gas Sales decreased $12.4 million, or 15.3%, in 2020 compared to 2019. This decrease reflects lower wholesale gas commodity prices and lower gas sales, partially offset by a decrease in the amount of gas purchased by customers directly from third-party suppliers. The Company reconciles and recovers the approved Cost of Gas Sales in its rates at cost on a pass through basis and therefore changes in approved expenses do not affect earnings.
In 2019, Cost of Gas decreased $18.0 million, or 18.1%, compared to 2018. This decrease reflects lower wholesale natural gas prices, partially offset by higher sales of natural gas.
 
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Cost of Electric Sales
—Cost of Electric Sales includes the cost of electric supply as well as other energy supply related restructuring costs, including power supply buyout costs, and spending on energy efficiency programs. Cost of Electric Sales decreased $7.7 million, or 5.4%, in 2020 compared to 2019. This decrease reflects lower wholesale electricity prices, partially offset by slightly higher sales of electricity and a decrease in the amount of electricity purchased by customers directly from third-party suppliers. The Company reconciles and recovers the approved Cost of Electric Sales in its rates at cost on a pass through basis and therefore changes in approved expenses do not affect earnings.
In 2019, Cost of Electric Sales increased $10.6 million, or 8.1%, compared to 2018. This increase reflects higher wholesale electricity prices and a decrease in the amount of electricity purchased by customers directly from third-party suppliers, partially offset by lower sales of electricity.
Operation and Maintenance
—O&M expense includes electric and gas utility operating costs, and the operating costs of the Company’s
non-regulated
business activities. Total O&M expenses decreased $1.5 million, or 2.2% in 2020 compared to 2019. The decrease includes $0.4 million of lower operating costs attributed to Usource operations incurred in the first quarter of 2019. The change in O&M expenses also reflects lower labor costs of $1.3 million, partially offset by higher utility operating costs of $0.2 million. The lower labor costs reflect lower employee benefit costs.
In 2019, total O&M expenses decreased $2.3 million compared to 2018. Excluding the adjustment which increased gas revenue and O&M expenses by $1.2 million in the second quarter of 2018 in connection with a then ongoing base rate case for the Company’s New Hampshire natural gas utility; O&M expenses decreased $1.1 million in 2019 compared to 2018. The decrease in 2019 includes $2.4 million of lower labor and other costs related to the divestiture of Usource. Excluding the lower expenses associated with the Usource divestiture and the 2018 adjustment, discussed above; O&M expenses were higher by $1.3 million. The change in O&M expenses reflects higher utility operating costs of $0.7 million, higher labor costs of $0.5 million, and higher professional fees of $0.1 million.
Depreciation and Amortization
—Depreciation and Amortization expense increased $2.5 million, or 4.8%, in 2020 compared to 2019, reflecting increased depreciation on higher levels of utility plant in service and higher amortization of software.
In 2019, Depreciation and Amortization expense increased $1.6 million, or 3.2%, compared to 2018, reflecting increased depreciation on higher levels of utility plant in service, partially offset by lower amortization.
Taxes Other Than Income Taxes—
Taxes Other Than Income Taxes increased $1.2 million, or 5.3%, in 2020 compared to 2019, reflecting higher local property taxes on higher utility plant in service of $1.2 million as well as the absence in 2020 of $0.6 million in property tax abatements recognized in 2019. This increase was partially offset by lower payroll taxes in 2020 reflecting the recognition of $0.6 million of payroll tax credits associated with the CARES Act in 2020. See Note 9 (Income Taxes) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements.
In 2019, Taxes Other Than Income Taxes increased $0.3 million, or 1.3%, compared to 2018, reflecting higher local property tax rates on higher levels of utility plant in service, partially offset by $1.0 million of property tax abatements received in 2019.
Interest Expense, Net
Interest expense is presented in the Consolidated Financial Statements net of interest income. Interest expense is mainly comprised of interest on long-term debt and short-term borrowings (See Note 5 (Debt and Financing Arrangements) to the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements). Certain reconciling rate mechanisms used by the Company’s distribution utilities give rise to regulatory assets and regulatory liabilities on which interest is calculated.
Interest Expense, Net increased $0.1 million, or 0.4%, in 2020 compared to 2019 reflecting higher levels of long-term debt, largely offset by lower rates on short-term debt and lower interest expense on regulatory liabilities.
 
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Interest Expense, Net decreased $0.3 million, or 1.3%, in 2019 compared to 2018 reflecting lower interest on long-term debt and higher interest income on AFUDC, partially offset by interest on higher levels of short-term borrowings.
Other (Income) Expense, Net
Other Expense (Income), Net changed from income of $8.6 million in 2019 to expense of $5.2 million in 2020, a net change of $13.8 million. This change primarily reflects a
pre-tax
gain of $13.4 million on the Company’s divestiture of Usource in the first quarter of 2019 and $0.4 million of other costs in 2020.
Other Expense (Income), Net changed from an expense of $5.8 million in 2018 to income of $8.6 million in 2019, a net change of $14.4 million. This change primarily reflects a
pre-tax
gain of $13.4 million on the Company’s divestiture of Usource and lower retirement benefit costs in the current period. The Usource divestiture generated a capital gain to the Company and a $3.6 million provision is included in the Company’s income tax expense for 2019.
Provision for Income Taxes
Federal and State Income Taxes decreased $3.6 million in 2020 compared to 2019, primarily reflecting lower
pre-tax
earnings in the current period.
Federal and State Income Taxes increased $5.4 million in 2019 compared to 2018 reflecting income taxes associated with the gain on the Company’s divestiture of Usource and higher
pre-tax
earnings in 2019 compared to 2018.
LIQUIDITY, COMMITMENTS AND CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS
Sources of Capital
Unitil requires capital to fund utility plant additions, working capital and other utility expenditures recovered in subsequent periods through regulated rates. The capital necessary to meet these requirements is derived primarily from internally generated funds, which consist of cash flows from operating activities. The Company initially supplements internally generated funds through short-term bank borrowings, as needed, under its unsecured revolving Credit Facility. Periodically, the Company replaces portions of its short-term debt with long-term financings more closely matched to the long-term nature of its utility assets. Additionally, from time to time, the Company has accessed the public capital markets through public offerings of equity securities. The Company’s utility operations are seasonal in nature and are therefore subject to seasonal fluctuations in cash flows. The amount, type and timing of any future financing will vary from year to year based on capital needs and maturity or redemptions of securities.
The Company and its subsidiaries are individually and collectively members of the Unitil Cash Pool (Cash Pool). The Cash Pool is the financing vehicle for
day-to-day
cash borrowing and investing. The Cash Pool allows for an efficient exchange of cash among the Company and its subsidiaries. The interest rates charged to the subsidiaries for borrowing from the Cash Pool are based on actual interest costs from lenders under the Company’s revolving Credit Facility. At December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, the Company and all of its subsidiaries were in compliance with the regulatory requirements governing participation in the Cash Pool.
On July 25, 2018, the Company entered into a Second Amended and Restated Credit Agreement (Credit Facility) with a syndicate of lenders, which amended and restated in its entirety the Company’s prior credit agreement, dated as of October 4, 2013, as amended. The Credit Facility extends to July 25, 2023, subject to two
one-year
extensions and has a borrowing limit of $120 million, which includes a $25 million sublimit for the issuance of standby letters of credit. The Credit Facility provides the Company with the ability to elect that borrowings under the Credit Facility bear interest under several options, including at a daily fluctuating rate of interest per annum equal to
one-month
London Interbank Offered Rate plus 1.125%. Provided there is no event of default, the Company may increase the borrowing limit under the Credit Facility by up to $50 million.
 
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The Company utilizes the Credit Facility for cash management purposes related to its short-term operating activities. Total gross borrowings were $248.9 million and $252.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively. Total gross repayments were $252.8 million and $276.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019, respectively. The following table details the borrowing limits, amounts outstanding and amounts available under the revolving Credit Facility as of December 31, 2020 and December 31, 2019:
 
Revolving Credit Facility (millions)
 
    
December 31,
 
    
2020
    
2019
 
Limit
  
$
120.0