Transition Underway After Eversource Acquires Columbia Gas of Massachusetts
Energy company ready to serve more than 300,000 new customers following transaction to bring Columbia Gas under local ownership of one of the nation’s most trusted utilities
BOSTON, Mass. and HARTFORD, Conn. (October 13, 2020) – With last week’s regulatory approval of its $1.1 billion purchase of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts finalized, Eversource today announced the transaction is complete, and the company is now launching its robust transition plan to serve its more than 300,000 new customers and integrate its new employees. The energy company is focused on ensuring a safe and seamless transition for its new customers, communities, municipal leaders and other stakeholders while also engaging new employees to encourage a sense of inclusion and pride. As one of the nation’s most trusted and responsible utilities, Eversource is excited to begin delivering its strong track record of operational excellence to its new customers and communities and increasing affordable and cleaner energy options.
“This acquisition is a great fit for our company, our new customers and Massachusetts, delivering strategic benefits to those customers through our unwavering commitment to safety, superior service and sustainability,” said Eversource Chairman, President and CEO Jim Judge. “We thank the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities for their thorough consideration and approval of this acquisition, and we can’t wait to hit the ground running to ensure a safe and smooth transition for our new customers and employees.”
With state and federal approval of the transaction finalized, Eversource now serves more than 600,000 natural gas customers in 110 communities across the commonwealth. Columbia Gas previously served 330,000 natural gas customers in more than 60 communities in Massachusetts. Many of those gas customers already received electric service from Eversource. Under the asset purchase agreement, liabilities related to the September 2018 gas distribution incidents in the Merrimack Valley will remain the responsibility of Columbia Gas’ parent company, NiSource.
This acquisition delivers a number of significant benefits to customers, including:
• Ownership by a larger, locally-focused company with expertise and resources to excel at delivering safe and reliable energy for customers
• Improved safety and reliability through additional investments in infrastructure upgrades
• The advantage of locally-based gas dispatch and emergency response in Massachusetts
• Expanded opportunities to benefit from Eversource’s #1 in the nation energy efficiency programs
• Improved potential to participate in demand response and other clean energy initiatives
• Potential for reduced gas supply costs and increased reliability through portfolio optimization and management
• A commitment to maintain safe and reliable operations
• Strong financial profile with access to Eversource’s top-tier credit ratings, which helps to lower infrastructure financing costs for customers
In addition, Eversource’s industry-leading goal to achieve carbon neutrality in its operations by 2030 will be extended to the former Columbia Gas operations in Massachusetts, creating additional opportunities to expand the development and use of innovative, clean natural gas technologies.
“We have a strong track record of investing in infrastructure to deliver benefits to our customers and significantly improve the reliability and safety of our systems,” said Eversource Gas President Bill Akley. “Our commitment to operational excellence and superior customer service will create value for customers, employees, shareholders, and the communities we serve.”