PUC In Choice State Approves Sale Of Utility's Water Heater Rental Business
June 19, 2018 Email This Story Copyright 2010-17 EnergyChoiceMatters.com
Reporting by Paul Ring • firstname.lastname@example.org
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The New Hampshire PUC approved, in an order nisi, Liberty Utilities' (Granite State Electric) sale of its Electric Water Heater Rental Program.
The order was being issued on a nisi basis to ensure that all interested persons receive notice of the Commission's determination and have the opportunity to request a hearing prior to the effective date.
Under the Rental Program, Liberty buys water heaters, installs and services the water heaters, and charges its customers a rate that is included in the customer's monthly utility bills. Liberty is responsible for repair and, if necessary, replacement of each water heater.
Under the order, Liberty Utilities is to sell its Electric Water Heater Rental Program to Grand HVAC Leasing USA, LLC (GHL), which sells and rents water heaters and related products.
Approximately 1,500 customers are enrolled in the Rental Program.
Liberty Utilities stated that it decided to sell its Rental Program for the following reasons: (1) operating a water heater rental program is not a core business for the company and thus takes resources away from core tasks; (2) the company is having trouble locating contractors to provide services to customers under the Program; and (3) the Rental Program currently operates at a loss.
GHL has agreed to buy the Rental Program at a price equivalent to Liberty Utilities' net book value of the water heater portfolio as of the date the transaction closes. As of September 30, 2017, the Total Net Book Value of the program is $131,279.36
Although the Rental Program is not implemented under the utility's tariff, revenues and expenses associated with the Rental Program have always been recorded "above the line" as utility operating revenue or expenses, and, therefore, included in rates.
The Order Nisi shall be effective July 16, 2018, unless otherwise provided by the PUC (such as due to a request for hearing)