FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact: Dan Lockwood x4108
Investor Relations Contact: Stephen Clark x4260
September 18, 2013
South Jersey Gas Receives NJBPU Approval to Reduce Rates by 3.2%
FOLSOM, N.J. - South Jersey Gas received approval today from the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities to reduce its rates, which will save residential customers on average 3.2 percent on their natural gas bills.
The average residential heating customer will see a decrease of approximately $4.22 on a 100-therm monthly natural gas bill as a result of this rate reduction. Over the last three years, SJG has reduced rates by 9.4 percent and provided more than $53 million of Basic Gas Supply Service bill credits to its customers. Natural gas bills currently sit as low as those a decade ago.
The primary driver of this rate reduction is the Conservation Incentive Program, which encourages customers to use natural gas more efficiently and reduce consumption. It also benefits investors by eliminating the link between the company`s profits and the quantity of natural gas it sells.
"Our customers continue to use natural gas efficiently and we`re pleased to offer this overall rate reduction to them while providing the superior service they deserve as evidenced by their recognition of SJG as the top mid-sized gas utility in the east region in this year`s J.D. Power and Associates residential gas customer satisfaction survey," said Jeffrey E. DuBois, president of South Jersey Gas. "In addition, with natural gas at a current price advantage of as much as 70 percent annually compared to other home heating fuels, it`s an ideal time for prospective customers to consider making the switch," added DuBois.
The BPU also approved today the inclusion in base rates of approximately $117 million of accelerated infrastructure investments made under SJG`s Capital Investment Recovery Tracker since 2010. These programs, first approved by the BPU in 2009, have enabled South Jersey Gas to invest in the safety and reliability of its infrastructure, while creating jobs and stimulating the local economy.
This news release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical fact included in this press release should be considered forward-looking statements made in good faith by the Company and are intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. When used in this press release words such as "anticipate", "believe", "expect", "estimate", "forecast", "goal", "intend", "objective", "plan", "project", "seek", "strategy" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied in the statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: general economic conditions on an international, national, state and local level; weather conditions in our marketing areas; changes in commodity costs; the timing of new projects coming online; changes in the availability of natural gas; "non-routine" or "extraordinary" disruptions in our distribution system; regulatory, legislative and court decisions; competition; the availability and cost of capital; costs and effects of legal proceedings and environmental liabilities; the failure of customers, suppliers or business partners to fulfill their contractual obligations; and changes in business strategies. SJI assumes no duty to update these statements should actual events differ from expectations.
About South Jersey Industries
South Jersey Industries (NYSE: SJI), a member of the MSCI Global Climate Index, offers solutions to climate change and helps customers control energy costs. South Jersey Gas, one of the nation`s fastest growing natural gas utilities, delivers clean, efficient natural gas and promotes energy efficiency to customers in southern New Jersey. SJI`s non-regulated businesses, under South Jersey Energy Solutions, promote efficiency, clean technology and renewable energy by developing and operating on-site energy production facilities; acquiring and marketing natural gas and electricity for retail customers; providing wholesale commodity marketing and risk management services; and offering HVAC and other energy-efficiency related services. For more information about SJI and its subsidiaries, visit http://www.sjindustries.com.
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