FLORIDA PUBLIC UTILITIES ACQUIRES THE NATURAL GAS OPERATING SYSTEM FROM THE CITY OF FORT MEADE
WEST PALM BEACH, FL (December 2, 2013) – Florida Public Utilities Company (FPU), a subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation, announced today that it has acquired the natural gas operating and distribution system from the City of Fort Meade.
The acquisition will allow FPU to expand and safely maintain the integrity of the natural gas system. The Company’s financial stability, dedicated employees, experienced management team, and commitment to the customers it serves will permit FPU to offer a greater range of programs and services than were available through the City. Examples of such programs and services include energy conservation rebates (effective January 1, 2014), a water heater payment plan program and Free Energy Check-Ups—all designed to reduce energy consumption and help consumers reduce their utility bills.
FPU and City officials negotiated to freeze the non-fuel rate (also known as energy charge) for three years. However, residents will see a slight increase in their natural gas bills due to a 6% franchise fee. Had the city maintained the operation of the natural gas system, service fees would have also risen to cover training, staffing, maintenance and regulatory compliance requirements. With the sale of the natural gas system, residents will enjoy energy conservation rebates and programs that are not currently available to natural gas customers.
“It was not an easy decision for the City,” stated Fred Hilliard, Fort Meade City Manager. “Our partnership with Florida Public Utilities is a compromise that will benefit both the City and the gas system customers. FPU will maintain the existing operation and work with the City to expand the system to support future commercial and residential projects in Fort Meade. As our partner, they have pledged to support our community programs and kick it off with an economic summit in support of the Chamber of Commerce efforts.” An economic summit, designed to advance development opportunities in the City is being planned for early next year.
In 2014, FPU will celebrate 90 years of service to customers throughout the state. Florida Public Utilities, under the brand of Central Florida Gas, has proudly served customers of Polk County for over fifty years and is looking forward to serving and getting to know Fort Meade residents through community involvement.
“We are pleased to have been able to make this acquisition. FPU looks forward to serving Fort Meade’s natural gas customers and investing resources in the growth of the area,” stated Kevin Webber, Vice President of FPU.
Florida Public Utilities Company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. Headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida, FPU (www.fpuc.com) distributes natural gas, propane and electric services to approximately 100,000 customers in markets throughout Florida.
Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK) is a diversified utility company engaged in natural gas distribution, transmission and marketing, electric distribution, propane gas distribution and wholesale marketing, advanced information services and other related services. Information about Chesapeake’s businesses is available at www.chpk.com.
For more information, contact Aleida Socarras: 863.885.1806; [email protected].