TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 5, 2007) - After close of business today, the Ontario Energy Board ("OEB") released its Final Decision in Enbridge Gas Distribution's (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB) ("Enbridge") 2007 Rate Case. The Decision focused on the determination of the deemed common equity level, a degree day (volume) forecast methodology, the EnergyLinkTM program and Risk Management program that were the principal issues outstanding after a series of settlement agreements had been achieved in negotiations with intervenors. The OEB approved Enbridge's proposed weather forecasting methodology, an increase of 1% in the equity thickness component of its capital structure and directed that the EnergyLink and Risk Management programs be discontinued.
The impact of the OEB's Final Decision is to allow Enbridge Gas Distribution to recover an approximate additional amount of $18 million in its Final rates. The impact of these final rate changes will vary based on the amount of natural gas used. For the typical residential customer(i), the changes will result in an approximate increase of $8 per annum or 1.5 per cent on their total annual bill.
The issues covered by settlement agreements negotiated in December of 2006 and January of 2007 included the amount to be recovered in rates related to capital expenditures and the 'all other operating and maintenance' category of expense, as well as the inclusion of Demand Side Management program costs which had been determined in an earlier proceeding. Further negotiations yielded resolution to the customer care service provision and the customer information system replacement project costs as well as the proposal to allow third parties to access the customer bill and billing envelope inclusive of a revenue sharing proposal related to that access.
In January, 2007, the original settlement agreement allowed Enbridge to recover a portion of an expected deficiency in advance of the release of the OEB's Final Decision. Effective April 1, 2007, Enbridge received OEB approval to adjust its 2007 Interim rates to recover an annualized amount of $26 million.
Enbridge Gas Distribution is Canada's largest natural gas distribution company and delivers natural gas to about 1.8 million customers in many Ontario communities including the GTA, Ottawa, Barrie and Niagara Falls. Enbridge Gas Distribution distributes gas in New York State through St. Lawrence Gas, in New Brunswick through Enbridge Gas New Brunswick and is affiliated with Gazifere in southwestern Quebec. Enbridge Gas Distribution is owned by Enbridge Inc., a Canadian-based leader in energy transportation and distribution.
(i)A typical residential customer uses 3,064 cubic metres of natural gas a year for home and water heating.
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Enbridge Gas Distribution
Enbridge Gas Distribution