Welcome!

News Feed Item

Fortis and Central Hudson File Settlement Agreement

Includes Substantive Customer Benefits and Protections

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR -- (Marketwire) -- 01/28/13 -- (TSX:FTS) - Nearly $50 million to fund customer and community benefits, plus a one-year electric and natural gas customer delivery rate freeze, and customer protections, including the continuation of Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation ("Central Hudson") as a stand-alone utility company, are cornerstones of a settlement of all issues among the signatories (the "Settlement Agreement") filed with the New York State Public Service Commission (the "Commission") regarding the acquisition of Central Hudson, the utility subsidiary of CH Energy Group, Inc. ("CH Energy Group") (NYSE:CHG), by Fortis Inc. ("Fortis") (TSX:FTS). Other signatory parties to the Settlement Agreement are the Staff of the New York State Department of Public Service, Multiple Intervenors and the Utility Intervention Unit of the New York State Department of State. The Settlement Agreement indicates that the acquisition is in the public interest pursuant to New York State Public Service Law, Section 70 and, therefore, the aforementioned parties recommend approval of the Settlement Agreement by the Commission. Support was also received from several counties for the portions of the Settlement Agreement of relevance to the respective counties' interests. Closing of the acquisition is now expected to take place during the second quarter of 2013, subject to receiving approval from the Commission.

"This Settlement Agreement provides multiple and substantive benefits to our customers and the communities we serve," said Steven V. Lant, Chairman of the Board and President of CH Energy Group. "The proposed terms also retain substantial autonomy for Central Hudson, allowing us to continue our mission of serving our customers well, while providing opportunities to improve service through a close association with the Fortis family of utility companies. We are pleased and excited to have reached this step toward finalizing the transaction with Fortis."

"Fortis worked closely with management of Central Hudson through this thorough regulatory approval process and has gained increased knowledge about the utility's operating philosophy and the regulatory oversight requirements in New York State," said Stan Marshall, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fortis Inc. "This Settlement Agreement will provide tangible benefits to Central Hudson's customers and will strengthen the utility's ability to meet the energy needs of its current and future customers."

The Settlement Agreement will moderate future customer rate increases by providing $35 million to cover expenses that normally would be recovered in customer rates, for example significant restoration expenses related to Superstorm Sandy, the October 2011 snowstorm and Tropical Storm Irene, and other similar expenses. Also, under the terms of the Settlement Agreement, Central Hudson customers will save a guaranteed $9.25 million over five years resulting from the elimination of costs the utility now incurs as a public company. Additionally, the Settlement Agreement requires that customer delivery rates be frozen until July 1, 2014 and requires the establishment of a $5 million Customer Benefit Fund for economic development and low-income assistance programs for communities and residents of the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Becoming part of the Fortis family of utilities, which currently serve more than two million customers, will bring benefits to Central Hudson, explained Lant. "Central Hudson will be in the position to benefit from shared experiences and knowledge from other Fortis utility companies, as all of us seek to continuously improve our operations," he said. "In addition, Fortis has greater access to capital that will enhance Central Hudson's ability to make significant investments in the electric and gas system to improve customer service and system reliability, including those recommended in the Governor's Energy Highway initiative."

Central Hudson will continue to maintain its name and Poughkeepsie headquarters, as well as all of its employees and the utility's substantial civic and community presence in the Mid-Hudson Valley. The Settlement Agreement also provides financial protections for CH Energy Group, Central Hudson and its customers as part of the larger Fortis organization, and Central Hudson will continue to have annual independent financial audits. Within one year, the Board of Directors of Central Hudson will transition to a majority of independent directors, increase members from the Hudson Valley and New York State, and include representatives from Fortis.

"Fortis remains focused on closing the acquisition and providing the benefits to Central Hudson customers as quickly as possible," concluded Marshall.

The definitive merger agreement was announced between CH Energy Group and Fortis in February 2012. CH Energy Group shareholders approved the transaction in June 2012, and several other required regulatory approvals by U.S. federal agencies were subsequently received. For more information and to view the Settlement Agreement, visit www.CentralHudson.com or www.FortisInc.com.

About CH Energy Group

CH Energy Group, Inc. is an energy delivery company headquartered in Poughkeepsie, NY. Regulated transmission and distribution subsidiary Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation serves approximately 300,000 electric and about 75,000 natural gas customers in eight counties of New York State's Mid-Hudson River Valley, delivering natural gas and electricity in a 2,600-square-mile service territory that extends north from the suburbs of metropolitan New York City to the Capital District at Albany. CH Energy Group also operates Central Hudson Enterprises Corporation (CHEC), a non-regulated subsidiary composed primarily of Griffith Energy Services, which supplies petroleum products and related services to approximately 56,000 customers in the Mid Atlantic Region.

About Fortis

Fortis Inc. is the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, serving more than 2 million gas and electricity customers. Its regulated holdings include electric utilities in five Canadian provinces and two Caribbean countries and a natural gas utility in British Columbia. It owns non-regulated hydroelectric generation assets across Canada and in Belize & Upstate New York. It also owns hotels and commercial real estate in Canada.

Fortis includes forward-looking information in this material within the meaning of applicable securities laws in Canada ("forward-looking information"). The purpose of the forward-looking information is to provide management's expectations regarding the acquisition of CH Energy Group by Fortis and the expected timing and benefits thereof, the Corporation's future growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities, and it may not be appropriate for other purposes. All forward-looking information is given pursuant to the safe harbour provisions of applicable Canadian securities legislation. The words "anticipates", "believes", "budgets", "could", "estimates", "expects", "forecasts", "intends", "may", "might", "plans", "projects", "schedule", "should", "will", "would" and similar expressions are often intended to identify forward-looking information, although not all forward-looking information contains these identifying words. The forward-looking information reflects management's current beliefs and is based on assumptions developed using information currently available to the Corporation's management. Although Fortis believes that the forward-looking statements are based on information and assumptions which are current, reasonable and complete, these statements are necessarily subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, including the ability to obtain New York State Public Service Commission regulatory approval and to satisfy conditions to closing and the ability to realize the expected benefits of the acquisition of CH Energy Group by Fortis. For additional information on risk factors that have the potential to affect the Corporation, reference should be made to the Corporation's continuous disclosure materials filed from time to time with Canadian securities regulatory authorities and to the heading "Business Risk Management" in the Corporation's annual and quarterly Management Discussion and Analysis and the "Risk Factors" section of the Annual Information Form. Except as required by law, the Corporation undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking information as a result of new information, future events or otherwise after the date hereof.

Contacts:
Mr. Barry Perry
Vice President Finance and Chief Financial Officer
Fortis Inc.
(709) 737-2822

More Stories By Marketwired .

Copyright © 2009 Marketwired. All rights reserved. All the news releases provided by Marketwired are copyrighted. Any forms of copying other than an individual user's personal reference without express written permission is prohibited. Further distribution of these materials is strictly forbidden, including but not limited to, posting, emailing, faxing, archiving in a public database, redistributing via a computer network or in a printed form.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Twistlock, the leading provider of cloud container security solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Twistlock is the industry's first enterprise security suite for container security. Twistlock's technology addresses risks on the host and within the application of the container, enabling enterprises to consistently enforce security policies, monitor...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which i...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Everywhere we turn in our industry we can find strong opinions about the direction, type and nature of cloud’s impact on computing and business. Another word that is used in every context in our industry is “hybrid.” In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Alvaro Gonzalez, Director of Technical, Partner and Field Marketing at Peak 10, will use a combination of a few conceptual props and some research recently commissioned by Peak 10 to offer a real-world consideration of how the various categories of...
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, David Martin, Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how to ov...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
In order to meet the rapidly changing demands of today’s customers, companies are continually forced to redefine their business strategies in order to meet these needs, stay relevant and continue to see profitable growth. IoT deployment and development is integral in this transformation, and today businesses are increasingly seeing the value of investing their resources into IoT deployments. These technologies are able increase ROI through projects such as connecting supply chains or enabling sm...
This talk centers around how to automate best practices in a multi-/hybrid-cloud world based on our work with customers like GE, Discovery Communications and Fannie Mae. Today’s enterprises are reaping the benefits of cloud computing, but also discovering many risks and challenges. In the age of DevOps and the decentralization of IT, it’s easy to over-provision resources, forget that instances are running, or unintentionally expose vulnerabilities.
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Brad Winett, Senior Technologist for DDN Storage, will present several current, end-user environments that are using object storage at scale for cloud deployments including private cloud and cloud providers. Details on the top considerations of features and functions for selecting object storage will be included. Brad will also touch on recent developments in tiering technologies that deliver single solution and an end-user view of data across files and objects...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Regardless of what business you’re in, it’s increasingly a software-driven business. Consumers’ rising expectations for connected digital and physical experiences are driving what some are calling the "Customer Experience Challenge.” In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Marco Morales, Director of Global Solutions at CollabNet, will discuss how organizations are increasingly adopting a discipline of Value Stream Mapping to ensure that the software they are producing is poised to ...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
IBM helps FinTechs and financial services companies build and monetize cognitive-enabled financial services apps quickly and at scale. Hosted on IBM Bluemix, IBM’s platform builds in customer insights, regulatory compliance analytics and security to help reduce development time and testing. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Tom Eck, Industry Platforms CTO at IBM Cloud, will discuss how these tools simplify the time-consuming tasks of selection, mapping and data integration, allowing developer...