SOURCE: Pennichuck Corporation

Pennichuck Corporation

October 13, 2010 16:45 ET

Pennichuck Corporation Announces Temporary Rate Increases for Two of Its Regulated Utilities

MERRIMACK, NH--(Marketwire - October 13, 2010) -  Pennichuck Corporation (NASDAQ: PNNW) today announced that the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (the "NHPUC") has issued orders approving temporary rate increases for two of its regulated utility subsidiaries, Pennichuck Water Works, Inc. ("Pennichuck Water") and Pittsfield Aqueduct Company, Inc. ("Pittsfield").

The Pennichuck Water order provides for an annualized temporary increase in revenues of approximately $2.6 million, or 10.8%, effective for bills rendered from and after October 8, 2010. 

In May 2010, Pennichuck Water filed for rate relief with the NHPUC seeking a permanent annual increase in revenues of $3.9 million, or 16.23%, plus a step increase of $0.9 million, or 3.68%. The rate relief request is associated with recovering the cost of new capital improvements of approximately $15 million since its last rate case combined with (a) the revenue loss which resulted from water usage volume declines over the past two years, (b) increased state utility and property tax expenses, and (c) eminent domain defense costs. Water usage volumes have declined since 2007 due to the combined effects of the economic recession, cool and wet weather affecting peak summer usage and continued customer conservation efforts related to water saving appliances and the like.

The Pittsfield order provides for an annualized temporary increase in revenues of approximately $61,000 or 10%, effective for bills rendered from and after October 8, 2010. The requested rate increase is due to higher property taxes and insurance.

The temporary rate relief that has now been granted by the NHPUC for both Pennichuck Water and Pittsfield does not necessarily reflect the ultimate outcome of the underlying requests for permanent rate relief. Any difference between the temporary rate relief now being granted and the permanent rates ultimately approved by the NHPUC for these utilities will be reconciled upon the approval of such permanent rates.

Pennichuck Corporation is a holding company involved principally in the supply and distribution of potable water in New Hampshire through its three regulated water utilities. Its non-regulated, water-related activities include operations and maintenance contracts with municipalities and private entities in New Hampshire and Massachusetts. The Company's real estate operations are involved in the ownership, management and commercialization of real estate in southern New Hampshire.

Pennichuck Corporation's common stock trades on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol "PNNW." The Company's website is at

This news release may contain certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations and business of Pennichuck Corporation. Forward-looking statements are based on current information and expectations available to management at the time the statements are made, and are subject to various factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the outcome of requests for rate relief from the NHPUC from time to time, the implications of the New Hampshire Supreme Court's March 25, 2010 decision affirming the eminent domain order of the NHPUC in favor of the City of Nashua, New Hampshire; the impact of an eminent domain taking by Nashua on business operations and net assets; the interpretation of RSA 38:13 of the New Hampshire utility municipalization statute to a potential negotiated sale of the stock of Pennichuck Corporation to Nashua including the 2007 special legislation that authorizes the city to purchase and hold the stock of Pennichuck Corporation in settlement of the municipalization proceeding; legislation and/or regulation and accounting factors affecting Pennichuck Corporation's financial condition and results of operations; the availability and cost of capital, including the impact on our borrowing costs of changes in interest rates; and the impact of weather. Investors are encouraged to access Pennichuck Corporation's annual and quarterly periodic reports as well as current reports on Form 8K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for financial and business information regarding Pennichuck Corporation, including a more detailed discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties that could affect Pennichuck Corporation's forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statement.

Contact Information

  • For More Information, Contact:
    Thomas C. Leonard
    Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
    Phone: 603-913-2300
    Fax: 603-913-2305