Chesapeake Utilities' (CPK) Sandpiper Energy Enters Settlement Agreement with Maryland PSC
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Sandpiper Energy, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK), announced that the Public Service Commission of Maryland has approved a settlement agreement associated with its 2015 base rate case filing, which will result in a reduction in its delivery service rates over the next six years. The agreement also includes an introduction of several new service offerings, including a natural gas compression service for commercial customers and a program to support the use of propane or natural gas in multi-family housing.
"Sandpiper Energy began conversions to natural gas for the majority of its customers in mid-2013. Since that time we have converted more than 3,700 customers, bringing safe, clean and affordable natural gas to many families and businesses in Worcester County," said Jim Moore, Vice President of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation and Sandpiper Energy. "I'm proud that we are able to provide this preferred energy source to the region while reducing rates and introducing new service offerings. We will continue to execute our strategy to bring natural gas to these areas as efficiently and economically as we can, and we look forward to building upon a tradition of reliable service for all our customers."
The settlement that was just approved includes acceptance of:
- a Natural Gas Compression Service, under which Sandpiper may construct, own and maintain compression facilities for commercial customers who require enhanced pressure for their operations;
- a Multi-Family Housing Program, which will provide a contribution to builders and developers that select natural gas or propane as a fuel source for multi-family housing; and
- an extension of the due date for bill payments from 10 days to 20 days from the bill date.
In addition, the approved settlement maintains Sandpiper Energy's use of a system improvement rate ("SIR"), which is adjusted annually to recover the cost of bare steel replacement and the cost of converting customers to natural gas service.
Sandpiper Energy encourages customers to go to www.sandpiper-energy.com for information on saving energy and money in their home or business. The Company offers a budget payment plan to its customers that will spread out payments on winter heating bills. In addition, customers with financial needs can learn how to receive assistance with their winter heating costs from Sandpiper's Sharing program or from other Maryland public assistance programs. Customers can also make contributions to support the Sharing program by visiting www.chesapeakesharing.com.
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