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CHESAPEAKE UTILITIES CORPORATION REPORTS RECORD EARNINGS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2021

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Cision

- Earnings Per Share ("EPS")* increased to $4.73 in 2021 from $4.26 in 2020

- EPS from continuing operations increased to a record $4.73 in 2021, up 12.4 percent compared to $4.21 in 2020 - marks 15th consecutive year of earnings growth

- Return on Equity in 2021 of 11.3 percent - marks 17th consecutive year with ROE at or above 11 percent

- Year-over-year growth driven by pipeline expansions, natural gas organic growth, regulatory initiatives, margin growth in the Company's unregulated businesses and the impact from recent acquisitions (including the acquisition of Diversified Energy's propane assets, expanding our service footprint into the Carolinas)

- First Renewable Natural Gas project, a pipeline expansion in Ohio, completed and now in service

- First sustainability financing issued to support capital investments in clean energy delivery solutions

- Long-term earnings and capital expenditures guidance reaffirmed, with newly announced capital expenditure guidance of $175.0 million to $200.0 million for 2022

DOVER, Del., Feb. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK) ("Chesapeake Utilities" or the "Company") today announced financial results for the year and the fourth quarter ended December 31, 2021.

For 2021, net income was $83.5 million, or $4.73 per share compared to $71.5 million, or $4.26 per share for 2020. Net income from continuing operations for the year was $83.5 million, an increase of 18.3 percent compared to $70.6 million reported in 2020. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations for 2021 were $4.73, a 12.4 percent increase compared to $4.21 reported in 2020.

In the fourth quarter of 2021, the Company's net income from continuing operations was $22.7 million, compared to $21.7 million, in the same quarter of 2020. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations in the quarter were $1.28, a 3.2 percent increase compared to $1.24 reported in the same quarter of 2020.

Higher earnings in the fourth quarter were driven by natural gas distribution and transmission pipeline expansions, organic growth in the Company's natural gas businesses, contributions from the acquisitions of Elkton Gas Company, ("Elkton Gas"), Western Natural Gas Company ("Western Natural Gas"), the natural gas metering station located in Escambia County, Florida (the "Escambia Meter Station") which was acquired by our subsidiary, Peninsula Pipeline Company ("Peninsula Pipeline"), and the propane assets of Diversified Energy Company ("Diversified Energy") as well as improved profitability in the Company's propane distribution business. Partially offsetting this growth was lower consumption in the fourth quarter due to warmer weather in the Company's northern service territories compared to the same period in 2020.

"We are proud to report our 15th consecutive year of strong earnings growth," commented Jeff Householder, president and CEO. "Despite continued challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and ever changing market conditions, our talented and dedicated team delivered another remarkable year of performance in 2021. Together, our businesses generated record earnings by delivering safe, reliable, affordable and sustainable energy solutions to our rapidly expanding service territories. To support this growth, we deployed over $228 million in new capital investments, including the acquisition of Diversified Energy's propane assets. These investments and our 2021 financial results firmly positioned us to reaffirm our long-term capital expenditures and earnings per share guidance.

In 2021, our teams did an exceptional job positioning the Company for future scale and efficiency through our continuing business transformation efforts. These initiatives led to a more streamlined organizational structure, allowing for continued focus on the growth of our natural gas, electric and propane businesses, while also driving the expansion of our sustainable energy solutions. By investing in renewable natural gas, hydrogen and other clean energy projects, Chesapeake Utilities will be poised to play an increasingly important role in our nation's transition to more sustainable energy," concluded Householder.

COVID-19 Update

In March 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC") declared a national emergency due to the rapidly growing outbreak of COVID-19. In response to this declaration and the rapid spread of COVID-19 within the United States, federal, state and local governments throughout the country imposed varying degrees of restrictions on social and commercial activity to promote social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the illness. These restrictions significantly impacted economic conditions in the United States in 2020 which continued throughout 2021. Chesapeake Utilities is considered an "essential business," which has allowed the Company to continue operational activities and construction projects while adhering to the safety procedures intended to limit the spread of the virus. At this time, restrictions continue to be lifted as vaccines have become widely available in the United States. For example, the state of emergency in Florida was terminated in May 2021 followed by Delaware and Maryland in July 2021, resulting in reduced restrictions. The expiration of the states of emergency in the Company's service territories has also concluded the ability to defer incremental pandemic related costs for consideration through the applicable regulatory process. Despite these positive state orders and in light of the continued emergence and growing prevalence of new variants of COVID-19, the Company continues to operate under its pandemic response plan, monitor developments affecting employees, customers, suppliers, stockholders and take all precautions warranted to operate safely and to comply with the CDC, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, in order to protect its employees, customers and the communities it serves.

Capital Investment and Earnings Guidance Update

The Company reiterates its long-term capital expenditures and EPS guidance ranges. These include capital expenditures in the range of $750 million to $1 billion in 2021 through 2025 and an EPS guidance range of $6.05 to $6.25 for 2025. Additionally, the Company initiates a capital expenditures guidance range of $175 million to $200 million for 2022. The Company continues to review its projections and remains supportive of this guidance.

*Unless otherwise noted, EPS information is presented on a diluted basis.

Non-GAAP Financial Measures

**This press release including the tables herein, include references to non-Generally Accepted Accounting Principles ("GAAP") financial measures, including adjusted gross margin. A "non-GAAP financial measure" is generally defined as a numerical measure of a company's historical or future performance that includes or excludes amounts, or that is subject to adjustments, so as to be different from the most directly comparable measure calculated or presented in accordance with GAAP. Our management believes certain non-GAAP financial measures, when considered together with GAAP financial measures, provide information that is useful to investors in understanding period-over-period operating results separate and apart from items that may, or could, have a disproportionately positive or negative impact on results in any particular period.

The Company calculates Adjusted Gross Margin by deducting the purchased cost of natural gas, propane and electricity and the cost of labor spent on direct revenue-producing activities from operating revenues. The costs included in Adjusted Gross Margin exclude depreciation and amortization and certain costs presented in operations and maintenance expenses in accordance with regulatory requirements. Adjusted Gross Margin should not be considered an alternative to Gross Margin under US GAAP which is defined as the excess of sales over cost of goods sold. The Company believes that Adjusted Gross Margin, although a non-GAAP measure, is useful and meaningful to investors as a basis for making investment decisions. It provides investors with information that demonstrates the profitability achieved by the Company under the Company's allowed rates for regulated energy operations and under the Company's competitive pricing structures for unregulated energy operations. The Company's management uses Adjusted Gross Margin as one of the financial measures in assessing a business unit's performance. Other companies may calculate Adjusted Gross Margin in a different manner.

Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Adjusted Gross Margin




For the Year Ended December 31, 2021

(in thousands)


Regulated Energy


Unregulated
Energy


Other and
Eliminations


Total

Operating Revenues


$ 383,920


$ 206,869


$ (20,821)


$ 569,968

Cost of Sales:









Natural gas, propane and
electric costs


(100,737)


(106,900)


20,686


(186,951)

Depreciation & amortization


(48,748)


(13,869)


(44)


(62,661)

Operations & maintenance
expense (1)


(32,890)


(24,168)


334


(56,724)

Gross Margin (GAAP)


201,545


61,932


155


263,632

Operations & maintenance
expense (1)


32,890


24,168


(334)


56,724

Depreciation & amortization


48,748


13,869


44


62,661

Adjusted Gross Margin (Non-
GAAP)


$ 283,183


$ 99,969


$ (135)


$ 383,017





For the Year Ended December 31, 2020

(in thousands)


Regulated Energy


Unregulated
Energy


Other and
Eliminations


Total

Operating Revenues


$ 352,746


$ 152,526


$ (17,074)


$ 488,198

Cost of Sales:









Natural gas, propane and
electric costs


(91,994)


(62,780)


16,836


(137,938)

Depreciation & amortization


(46,079)


(11,988)


(50)


(58,117)

Operations & maintenance
expense (1)


(31,237)


(22,914)


298


(53,853)

Gross Margin (GAAP)


183,436


54,844


10


238,290

Operations & maintenance
expense (1)


31,237


22,914


(298)


53,853

Depreciation & amortization


46,079


11,988


50


58,117

Adjusted Gross Margin (Non-
GAAP)


$ 260,752


$ 89,746


$ (238)


$ 350,260





For the Three Months Ended December 31, 2021

(in thousands)


Regulated Energy


Unregulated
Energy


Other and
Eliminations


Total

Operating Revenues


$ 101,417


$ 65,227


$ (6,279)


$ 160,365

Cost of Sales:









Natural gas, propane and
electric costs


(27,952)


(36,883)


6,249


(58,586)

Depreciation & amortization


(12,591)


(3,598)


(11)


(16,200)

Operations & maintenance
expense (1)


(8,558)


(6,212)


73


(14,697)

Gross Margin (GAAP)


52,316


18,534


32


70,882

Operations & maintenance
expense (1)


8,558


6,212


(73)


14,697

Depreciation & amortization


12,591


3,598


11


16,200

Adjusted Gross Margin (Non-
GAAP)


$ 73,465


$ 28,344


$ (30)


$ 101,779







For the Three Months Ended December 31, 2020

(in thousands)


Regulated Energy


Unregulated
Energy


Other and
Eliminations


Total

Operating Revenues


$ 93,511


$ 48,060


$ (4,534)


$ 137,037

Cost of Sales:









Natural gas, propane and
electric costs


(24,504)


(20,196)


4,504


(40,196)

Depreciation & amortization


(12,099)


(3,213)


(12)


(15,324)

Operations & maintenance
expense (1)


(11,500)


(5,873)


3,534


(13,839)

Gross Margin (GAAP)


45,408


18,778


3,492


67,678

Operations & maintenance
expense (1)


11,500


5,873


(3,534)


13,839

Depreciation & amortization


12,099


3,213


12


15,324

Adjusted Gross Margin (Non-
GAAP)


$ 69,007


$ 27,864


$ (30)


$ 96,841

(1) Operations & maintenance expenses within the Consolidated Statements of Income are presented in accordance with regulatory requirements and to provide comparability within the industry. Operations & maintenance expenses which are deemed to be directly attributable to revenue producing activities have been separately presented above in order to calculate Gross Margin as defined under US GAAP.

Operating Results for the Years Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020

Consolidated Results


Year Ended December 31,





(in thousands)

2021


2020


Change


Percent
Change

Adjusted gross margin**

$ 383,018


$ 350,260


$ 32,758


9.4 %

Depreciation, amortization and property taxes

84,321


77,913


6,408


8.2 %

Other operating expenses

167,585


159,624


7,961


5.0 %

Operating income

$ 131,112


$ 112,723


$ 18,389


16.3 %

Operating income for the year ended December 31, 2021 increased by $18.4 million, or 16.3 percent, compared to 2020. Higher performance in 2021 was generated from continued pipeline expansion projects, organic growth in our natural gas distribution businesses, natural gas and propane acquisitions completed in 2020 and 2021, increased propane margins per gallon and fees, and incremental contributions associated with regulated infrastructure programs. Further impacting 2021 was increased consumption from a return toward pre-pandemic levels, and regulatory deferral of COVID-19 related costs . The Company recorded higher depreciation, amortization and property taxes related to recent capital investments and operating expenses associated primarily with growth initiatives, including payroll, benefits and other employee-related expenses.

Regulated Energy Segment


Year Ended December 31,





(in thousands)

2021


2020


Change


Percent
Change

Adjusted gross margin**

$ 283,183


$ 260,752


$ 22,431


8.6 %

Depreciation, amortization and property taxes

68,656


64,367


4,289


6.7 %

Other operating expenses

108,463


104,261


4,202


4.0 %

Operating income

$ 106,064


$ 92,124


$ 13,940


15.1 %

Operating income for the Regulated Energy segment for 2021 was $106.1 million, an increase of $13.9 million, or 15.1 percent, compared to 2020. Higher operating income reflects continued pipeline expansions by our subsidiaries Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company ("Eastern Shore") and Peninsula Pipeline, organic growth in the natural gas distribution businesses, increased consumption from a return toward pre-pandemic consumption levels, and operating results from 2020 and 2021 acquisitions. The Regulated Energy segment recorded higher depreciation, amortization and property taxes of $4.3 million related to recent capital investments and other operating expenses of $4.2 million. The increase was associated primarily with an increase in outside services, employee related costs and increased spending with the 2020 and 2021 acquisitions. In addition to these growth drivers, the increase in other operating expenses was also attributable to operations returning towards pre-pandemic conditions. Partially offsetting these increases was the establishment of regulatory assets for COVID-19 expenses approved by the various state public service commissions ("PSCs") of approximately $2.4 million.

The key components of the increase in adjusted gross margin** are shown below:

(in thousands)


Eastern Shore and Peninsula Pipeline service expansions

$ 7,168

Natural gas distribution customer growth (excluding service expansions)

3,084

Increased customer consumption - primarily due to return to pre-pandemic consumption

3,027

Contributions from 2020 and 2021 acquisitions

2,787

Florida GRIP

1,817

Increased customer consumption - primarily weather related

1,159

Improved results from electric operations

1,015

Eastern Shore capital relocation and non-service expansion projects

676

Sandpiper infrastructure rider associated with conversions

665

Other

1,033

Year-over-year increase in adjusted gross margin**

$ 22,431

The major components of the increase in other operating expenses are as follows:

(in thousands)


Outside services due to growth and a return toward pre-pandemic conditions

$ 3,102

Payroll, benefits and other employee-related expenses

1,489

Operating expenses from the Elkton Gas acquisition

1,370

Regulatory deferral of COVID-19 expenses per PSCs orders

(2,377)

Other variances

618

Year-over-year increase in other operating expenses

$ 4,202

Unregulated Energy Segment


Year Ended December 31,





(in thousands)

2021


2020


Change


Percent
Change

Adjusted gross margin**

$ 99,969


$ 89,746


$ 10,223


11.4 %

Depreciation, amortization and property taxes

15,582


13,438


2,144


16.0 %

Other operating expenses

60,005


55,644


4,361


7.8 %

Operating income

$ 24,382


$ 20,664


$ 3,718


18.0 %

Operating income for the Unregulated Energy segment for 2021 was $24.4 million, an increase of $3.7 million compared to 2020. The higher operating income is a result of weather that was colder than 2020, higher retail propane margins per gallon and service fees, incremental contributions from the propane acquisitions completed in 2020 and 2021, increased demand for compressed natural gas ("CNG") transportation services from our subsidiary, Marlin Gas Services, LLC ("Marlin Gas Services") and increased customer consumption along with higher rates from our subsidiary Aspire Energy of Ohio LLC ("Aspire Energy"). These increases were partially offset by higher depreciation, amortization and property taxes related to recent capital investments and acquisitions, a return toward pre-pandemic conditions and a general increase in operating expenses to support growth in the business.

The key components of the increase in adjusted gross margin** are shown below:

(in thousands)



Propane Operations



Increased customer consumption - primarily weather related


$ 3,603

Increased retail propane margins per gallon and service fees


3,250

Acquisitions of Western Natural Gas and Diversified Energy (completed October 2020 and
December 2021)


1,986

Increased wholesale propane margins per gallon


388

Marlin Gas Services



Increased demand for CNG services


334

Aspire Energy



Increased customer consumption - primarily weather related


757

Higher overall rates inclusive of natural gas liquid processing


325

Other variances


(420)

Year-over-year increase in adjusted gross margin**


$ 10,223

The key components of the increase in other operating expenses are as follows:

(in thousands)


Operating expenses from Western Natural Gas and Diversified Energy acquisitions

$ 1,130

Increased facilities and maintenance costs

1,036

Increased vehicle expenses

417

Insurance related costs (non-health)

395

Outside services due to growth and a return toward pre-pandemic conditions

364

Payroll, benefits and other employee-related expenses due to growth

311

Other variances

708

Year-over-year increase in other operating expenses

$ 4,361

Operating Results for the Quarters Ended December 31, 2021 and 2020

Consolidated Results


Three Months Ended
December 31,





(in thousands)

2021


2020


Change


Percent
Change

Adjusted gross margin**

$ 101,779


$ 96,841


$ 4,938


5.1 %

Depreciation, amortization and property taxes

21,914


20,810


1,104


5.3 %

Other operating expenses

43,040


40,825


2,215


5.4 %

Operating income

$ 36,825


$ 35,206


$ 1,619


4.6 %

Operating income during the fourth quarter of 2021 increased by $1.6 million, or 4.6 percent, compared to the same period in 2020 driven by higher operating income from organic growth projects (pipeline expansions and new customer additions), increased consumption as our customers' usage returned closer to pre-pandemic conditions, contributions from acquisitions completed in 2020 and 2021, higher propane retail margins per gallon and service fees as well as additional income from our regulated infrastructure programs.

Regulated Energy Segment


Three Months Ended
December 31,





(in thousands)

2021


2020


Change


Percent
Change

Adjusted gross margin**

$ 73,465


$ 69,007


$ 4,458


6.5 %

Depreciation, amortization and property taxes

17,863


17,223


640


3.7 %

Other operating expenses

28,748


26,035


2,713


10.4 %

Operating income

$ 26,854


$ 25,749


$ 1,105


4.3 %

Operating income for the Regulated Energy segment increased by $1.1 million in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. Higher operating income reflects continued pipeline expansions by Eastern Shore and Peninsula Pipeline, increased consumption from a return toward pre-pandemic consumption levels, organic growth in the Company's natural gas distribution businesses and contributions from increased investments in the regulated infrastructure programs. These increases were partially offset by higher depreciation, amortization and property taxes, along with higher operating expenses which include the absence of a $1.4 million regulatory deferral of COVID-19 related costs recorded in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The key components of the increase in adjusted gross margin** are shown below:

(in thousands)


Eastern Shore and Peninsula Pipeline service expansions

$ 1,153

Increased customer consumption - primarily due to return to pre-pandemic consumption

914

Natural gas growth (excluding service expansions)

848

Florida GRIP

412

Eastern Shore capital relocation and non-service expansion projects

376

Contributions from 2020 and 2021 acquisitions

162

Decreased customer consumption - primarily weather related

(353)

Other variances

946

Quarter-over-quarter increase in adjusted gross margin**

$ 4,458

The major components of the increase in other operating expenses are as follows:

(in thousands)


Absence of Regulatory deferral of COVID-19 expenses per PSCs orders

$ 1,392

Outside services due to growth and a return toward pre-pandemic conditions

1,119

Operating expenses from the Elkton Gas acquisition

132

Payroll, benefits and other employee-related expenses

(761)

Other variances

831

Quarter-over-quarter increase in other operating expenses

$ 2,713

Unregulated Energy Segment


Three Months Ended
December 31,





(in thousands)

2021


2020


Change


Percent

Change

Adjusted gross margin**

$ 28,344


$ 27,864


$ 480


1.7 %

Depreciation, amortization and property taxes

4,030


3,568


462


12.9 %

Other operating expenses

15,709


14,682


1,027


7.0 %

Operating income

$ 8,605


$ 9,614


$ (1,009)


(10.5) %

Operating income for the Unregulated Energy segment decreased by $1.0 million for the three months ended December 31, 2021, compared to the same period in 2020. Improved adjusted gross margin performance was driven by the propane acquisitions of Western Natural Gas and Diversified Energy, increased retail propane margins per gallon and service fees, increased customer consumption from a return toward pre-pandemic conditions. These increases were partially offset by milder weather, expenses associated with recent acquisitions, and increased operating expenses associated with a return toward pre-pandemic conditions.

The major components of the increase in adjusted gross margin** are shown below:

(in thousands)



Propane Operations:



Increased retail propane margins per gallon and service fees


$ 925

Western Natural Gas and Diversified Energy acquisitions (completed October 2020 and
December 2021)


675

Increased customer consumption -primarily due to a return toward pre-pandemic conditions


224

Decreased customer consumption - primarily weather related


(220)

Aspire Energy:



Decreased results from negotiated rates


(665)

Decreased customer consumption - primarily weather related


(393)

Other variances


(66)

Quarter-over-quarter increase in adjusted gross margin**


$ 480

The major components of the increase in other operating expenses are as follows:

(in thousands)



Operating expenses from Western Natural Gas and Diversified Energy acquisitions


$ 250

Outside services due to growth and a return toward pre-pandemic conditions


214

Increased facilities and maintenance costs


195

Payroll, benefits and other employee-related expenses


(313)

Other variances


681

Quarter-over-quarter increase in other operating expenses


$ 1,027

Environmental, Social and Governance ("ESG") Initiatives

ESG is at the core of our well-established culture and our informed business decisions. Over the years, we have reduced our greenhouse gas emissions, while responsibly growing our businesses. We have also helped to accelerate the reduction of emissions by many of our customers. Our combined efforts have enhanced the sustainability of our local communities. We look forward to publishing our inaugural Sustainability Report. Below we have highlighted several of Chesapeake Utilities' initiatives in each area of ESG:

Advancing Environmental Initiatives
We continue to make progress with our three-part action plan. We are pursuing a three-part action plan that supports decarbonization and a lower carbon energy future. First, we are taking actions that will continue to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. For example, we have largely completed our Florida GRIP to replace older portions of our natural gas distribution system. The remaining capital expenditures associated with this program will be invested through 2022. Our Elkton Gas subsidiary also reached a settlement agreement with the Maryland PSC to accelerate its Aldyl-A pipeline replacement program and to recover the costs of the plan in the form of a fixed charge rider through a 5-year surcharge. Throughout our pipeline system, we have also implemented improved emission detection technology at our pipeline compressor stations.

The second component of our action plan is providing services and support to our customers who are reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Our extension from Eastern Shore's Del-Mar Energy Pathway Project, which was recently completed, brings natural gas to our distribution system in Somerset County, Maryland for the first time. As part of this project, our services will support the conversion by two significant industrial customers in Somerset County from less environmentally friendly fuel sources, including in one case, wood chips. Similarly, several of our commercial customers continue to convert their vehicle fleet to compressed natural gas or propane, further reducing their greenhouse gas emissions and positively impacting the environment.

We continue to see significant demand for new natural gas service in both our Delmarva (Delaware, Maryland and Virginia) and Florida territories, with our growth rates more than double the industry's growth rates. In many of our local markets, natural gas is a cleaner fuel option than alternative energy sources. Natural gas is an important component of the country's energy transition and we are committed to responsibly expanding the infrastructure in our growing service areas.

These same markets are also presenting renewable natural gas ("RNG") opportunities with ongoing projects to transform landfill, food, dairy and poultry waste into usable energy. The development of several RNG projects is the third component of our action plan. Our participation in these projects extends from transporting the RNG to market by pipeline or our Marlin Gas Services compressed natural gas trailers, to potential investments in biogas plants and, in some cases, solar energy facilities to provide electricity to the plants and significantly improve the RNG carbon intensity score. In October 2021, we completed construction of the Noble Road Landfill Renewable Natural Gas pipeline project. This is our first RNG transportation project and when combined with our previously announced projects will expand our ability to utilize RNG in our services territories. We are continuing to actively consider other renewable projects and the potential of increasing the number of RNG projects in our diversified energy portfolio. We are committed to remaining disciplined in our approach by pursuing projects that meet our return thresholds and strategic goals.

We also have several other initiatives underway, including plans to add additional small solar facilities along our system, and our recent participation in a pilot program to blend hydrogen into the natural gas distribution system that serves our combined heat and power ("CHP") plant on Amelia Island, Florida which is owned and operated by our subsidiary, Eight Flags Energy, LLC ("Eight Flags"). We are excited about the outcome of this pilot program an.../

To finance these projects, we are working with many of our key banking partners to utilize sustainable financing capacity at attractive pricing. During 2021, we secured $9.6 million in sustainability linked financing from Bank of America to fund capital investments in energy delivery solutions provided by Marlin Gas Services.

Advancing Social Initiatives
Promoting equity, diversity and inclusion ("EDI"). Our success is the direct result of our employees and our strong culture that fully engages our team and promotes equity, diversity, inclusion, integrity, accountability and reliability. We were recognized nationally as a 2022 Top Workplace USA recipient for the second consecutive year. In addition to this recognition, earlier this year, we were recognized for the second consecutive year as a Top Workplaces USA award recipient for mid-sized companies. These recognitions are a testament to our employees' commitment to excellence. Our employees are the backbone of our continued growth and success.

We believe that a combination of diverse team members and an inclusive culture contributes to the success of our Company and to enhanced societal advancement. During the third quarter of 2021, we hired William Hughston as Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer. Mr. Hughston brings tremendous EDI experience to the team, including drawing from his previous experiences and prior role as Chief Diversity Officer. Additionally, in October 2021, we announced the addition of our third female Director to our Board of Directors, Lisa Bisaccia. Ms. Bisaccia's addition continues our steady progress of gender and ethnic diversity that represents the communities we serve. Our Board of Directors includes, three female Directors, an African American Director and a Director who is of Middle Eastern descent.

We established an EDI Council in 2020, complementing and broadening the work of the Women in Energy group started years ago. The EDI Council oversees our efforts to improve diversity in recruitment, employee development and advancement, cultural awareness and related policies. These efforts are expanded through the broad reach of our eight Employee Resource Groups, including two new groups started in 2021 and other partnerships we have in the community. Employees have access to communications and on-demand learning sessions on an array of topics, including equity, diversity and inclusion, through our "EDI Wise" webinars. We have also expanded our supplier diversity program to gather information that will enable us to further expand, measure and report on the diversity of our suppliers and associated spend. In late 2021, we launched a new vendor registration portal for potential new suppliers, building on our commitment to utilize diverse businesses in sourcing goods and services.

Safety at the center of Chesapeake Utilities culture and the way we do business. There is nothing more important than the safety of our team, our customers and our communities. The importance of safety is exhibited throughout our organization, with the direction and tone set by the Board of Directors and our President and Chief Executive Officer. Employees are required to attend monthly safety meetings and incorporate safety moments at operational and other meetings. In 2021, four of our business units were recognized with awards from the American Gas Association for their commitment to safety. Additionally, through 2021, our Eight Flags CHP plant celebrated five years of zero accidents, injuries or safety incidents.

The achievement of superior safety performance is both an important short and long-term strategic initiative in managing our operations. Our new state-of-the-art training center, named 'Safety Town,' provides our employees with hands-on training and simulated on-the-job field experiences, further developing our team and enhancing the reliability and integrity of our systems. Safety Town has also expanded our community outreach by offering safety training to many regional first responders . Development of o ur second Safety Town facility, which will be located in Florida, is underway.

Advancing Governance Initiatives
Commitment to sound governance practices. Consistent with our culture of teamwork, the broad responsibility of ESG stewardship is supported across our organization by the dedication and efforts of the Board and its Committees, as well as the entrepreneurship and dedication of our team. As stewards of long-term enterprise value, the Board is committed to overseeing the sustainability of the Company. The Board and Corporate Governance Committee annually review our corporate governance documents and practices to ensure that they provide the appropriate framework under which we operate. In recent years, we have received national recognition as the Governance Team of the Year, and just this year were also recognized as Best for Corporate Governance Among North American Utilities by Ethical Boardroom magazine. To learn more about our corporate governance practices and transparency, stakeholder engagement, the experience and diversity of our Board members, and our Business Code of Ethics and Conduct, which highlights our commitment to the highest ethical standards and the importance of engaging in sustainable practices, please view our Proxy Statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 22, 2021. Additionally, please view Chesapeake Utilities' news releases and historical quarterly earnings conference calls for additional discussions on ESG and our sustainability practices.

Conference Call

Chesapeake Utilities (NYSE: CPK) will host a conference call on Thursday, February 24, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time to discuss the Company's financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2021. The earnings press release will be issued on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, after market close. To participate in this call, dial 877.224.1468 and reference Chesapeake Utilities Corporation's 2021 Fourth Quarter and Full Year Financial Results Conference Call. To access the replay recording of this call, please visit the Events & Presentations section of the Investors page on www.chpk.com.

About Chesapeake Utilities Corporation

Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is a diversified energy delivery company, listed on the New York Stock Exchange, which is engaged in natural gas transmission and distribution; electricity generation and distribution; propane gas distribution; mobile compressed natural gas utility services and solutions; and other businesses. Information about Chesapeake Utilities Corporation's businesses is available at www.chpk.com .

Please note that Chesapeake Utilities Corporation is not affiliated with Chesapeake