10-K 1 f2012form10kedgar.htm FORM 10-K Converted by EDGARwiz







 


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UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

FORM 10-K


[X]

ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE     
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

 

For the Fiscal Year Ended December 31, 2012     

 

OR     

[  ]

TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE     
SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

 

 

 

For the transition period from ____________ to ____________


Commission
File Number

Registrant; State of Incorporation;
Address; and Telephone Number

I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.

 

 

 

1-5324

NORTHEAST UTILITIES
(a Massachusetts voluntary association)
One Federal Street
Building 111-4
Springfield, Massachusetts 01105
Telephone:  (413) 785-5871

04-2147929


0-00404

THE CONNECTICUT LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY
(a Connecticut corporation)
107 Selden Street
Berlin, Connecticut 06037-1616
Telephone:  (860) 665-5000

06-0303850


1-02301

NSTAR ELECTRIC COMPANY
(a Massachusetts corporation)
800 Boylston Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02199
Telephone:  (617) 424-2000

04-1278810


1-6392

PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
(a New Hampshire corporation)
Energy Park
780 North Commercial Street
Manchester, New Hampshire 03101-1134
Telephone:  (603) 669-4000

02-0181050


0-7624

WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC COMPANY
(a Massachusetts corporation)
One Federal Street
Building 111-4
Springfield, Massachusetts 01105
Telephone:  (413) 785-5871

04-1961130






 










Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:



Registrant


Title of Each Class

Name of Each Exchange

   on Which Registered  

 

 

 

Northeast Utilities

Common Shares, $5.00 par value

New York Stock Exchange, Inc.

 

 

 


Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:


Registrant

Title of Each Class

 

 

The Connecticut Light and Power Company

Preferred Stock, par value $50.00 per share, issuable in series, of which the following series are outstanding:



$1.90 

Series 

of 1947


$2.00 

Series

of 1947


$2.04 

Series

of 1949


$2.20 

Series

of 1949


3.90%

Series

of 1949


$2.06 

Series E

of 1954


$2.09 

Series F

of 1955


4.50% 

Series

of 1956


4.96% 

Series

of 1958


4.50% 

Series

of 1963


5.28% 

Series

of 1967


$3.24

Series G

of 1968


6.56%

Series

of 1968


NSTAR Electric Company


Preferred Stock, par value $100.00 per share, issuable in series, of which the following series are outstanding:



4.25% 

Series

 


4.78% 

Series

 


NSTAR Electric Company, Public Service Company of New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts Electric Company each meet the conditions set forth in General Instruction I(1)(a) and (b) of Form 10-K and each is therefore filing this Form 10-K with the reduced disclosure format specified in General Instruction I(2) to Form 10-K.  


Indicate by check mark if the registrants are well-known seasoned issuers, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.


 

Yes

No

 

 

 

 

ü

 


Indicate by check mark if the registrants are not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.


 

Yes

No

 

 

 

 

 

ü


Indicate by check mark whether the registrants (1) have filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrants were required to file such reports), and (2) have been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.


 

Yes

No

 

 

 

 

ü

 










Indicate by check mark whether the registrants have submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web sites, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).


 

Yes

No

 

 

 

 

ü

 


Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of the registrants' knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.  [ü]


Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, or a non-accelerated filer.  See definition of "accelerated filer and large accelerated filer" in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.  (Check one):


 

Large
Accelerated Filer

 

Accelerated
Filer

 

Non-accelerated
Filer

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast Utilities

ü

 

 

 

 

The Connecticut Light and Power Company

 

 

 

 

ü

NSTAR Electric Company

 

 

 

 

ü

Public Service Company of New Hampshire

 

 

 

 

ü

Western Massachusetts Electric Company

 

 

 

 

ü


Indicate by check mark whether the registrants are shell companies (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act):


 

Yes

No

 

 

 

Northeast Utilities

 

ü

The Connecticut Light and Power Company

 

ü

NSTAR Electric Company

 

ü

Public Service Company of New Hampshire

 

ü

Western Massachusetts Electric Company

 

ü


The aggregate market value of Northeast Utilities’ Common Shares, $5.00 par value, held by non-affiliates, computed by reference to the price at which the common equity was last sold, or the average bid and asked price of such common equity, as of the last business day of Northeast Utilities’ most recently completed second fiscal quarter (June 30, 2012) was $12,177,646,948 based on a closing sales price of $38.81 per share for the 313,776,010 common shares outstanding on June 30, 2012.  


Northeast Utilities, directly or indirectly, holds all of the 6,035,205 shares, 100 shares, 301 shares, and 434,653 shares of the outstanding common stock of The Connecticut Light and Power Company, NSTAR Electric Company, Public Service Company of New Hampshire and Western Massachusetts Electric Company, respectively.


Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuers' classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date:


Company - Class of Stock

Outstanding as of January 31, 2013

Northeast Utilities
Common shares, $5.00 par value

314,338,271 shares


The Connecticut Light and Power Company
Common stock, $10.00 par value

6,035,205 shares

 

 

NSTAR Electric Company
Common Stock, $1.00 par value

100 shares

 

 

Public Service Company of New Hampshire
Common stock, $1.00 par value

301 shares

 

 

Western Massachusetts Electric Company
Common stock, $25.00 par value

434,653 shares










GLOSSARY OF TERMS


The following is a glossary of abbreviations or acronyms that are found in this report.  

 

CURRENT OR FORMER NU COMPANIES, SEGMENTS OR INVESTMENTS:

 

 

CL&P

The Connecticut Light and Power Company

CYAPC

Connecticut Yankee Atomic Power Company

Hopkinton

Hopkinton LNG Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of NSTAR LLC

HWP

HWP Company, formerly the Holyoke Water Power Company

MYAPC

Maine Yankee Atomic Power Company

NGS

Northeast Generation Services Company and subsidiaries

NPT

Northern Pass Transmission LLC

NSTAR

Parent Company of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and other subsidiaries (prior to the merger with NU); also the term used for NSTAR LLC and its subsidiaries

NSTAR Electric

NSTAR Electric Company

NSTAR Electric & Gas

NSTAR Electric & Gas Corporation, a Northeast Utilities service company

NSTAR Gas

NSTAR Gas Company

NSTAR LLC

Post-merger parent company of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and other subsidiaries, and successor to NSTAR

NU Enterprises

NU Enterprises, Inc., the parent company of Select Energy, NGS, NGS Mechanical, Select Energy Contracting, Inc. and E.S. Boulos Company

NU or the Company

Northeast Utilities and subsidiaries

NU parent and other companies

NU parent and other companies is comprised of NU parent, NSTAR LLC, NSTAR Electric & Gas, NUSCO and other subsidiaries, including NU Enterprises, NSTAR Communications, Inc., HWP, RRR (a real estate subsidiary), the non-energy-related subsidiaries of Yankee (Yankee Energy Services Company and Yankee Energy Financial Services Company), and the consolidated operations of CYAPC and YAEC

NUSCO

Northeast Utilities Service Company

NUTV

NU Transmission Ventures, Inc., the parent company of NPT and Renewable Properties, Inc.

PSNH

Public Service Company of New Hampshire

Regulated companies

NU's Regulated companies, comprised of the electric distribution and transmission businesses of CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH, and WMECO, the natural gas distribution businesses of Yankee Gas and NSTAR Gas, the generation activities of PSNH and WMECO, and NPT

RRR

The Rocky River Realty Company

Select Energy

Select Energy, Inc.

WMECO

Western Massachusetts Electric Company

YAEC

Yankee Atomic Electric Company

Yankee

Yankee Energy System, Inc.

Yankee Companies

CYAPC, YAEC and MYAPC

Yankee Gas

Yankee Gas Services Company

REGULATORS:

 

DEEP

Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

DOE

U.S. Department of Energy

DOER

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

DPU

Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities

EPA

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

FERC

Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

ISO-NE

ISO New England, Inc., the New England Independent System Operator

MA DEP 

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection 

NHPUC

New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission

PURA

Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority

SEC

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission

SJC

Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

OTHER: 

 

2010 Healthcare Act

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

AFUDC 

Allowance For Funds Used During Construction 

AOCI

Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income/(Loss)

ARO

Asset Retirement Obligation

C&LM 

Conservation and Load Management 

CfD

Contract for Differences

Clean Air Project

The construction of a wet flue gas desulphurization system, known as "scrubber technology," to reduce mercury emissions of the Merrimack coal-fired generation station in Bow, New Hampshire

CO2

Carbon dioxide

CPSL

Capital Projects Scheduling List

CTA 

Competitive Transition Assessment 

CWIP

Construction work in progress

EPS 

Earnings Per Share 

ERISA

Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974

ES 

Default Energy Service 



i









ESOP

Employee Stock Ownership Plan

ESPP

Employee Share Purchase Plan

Fitch

Fitch Ratings

FMCC 

Federally Mandated Congestion Charge 

FTR 

Financial Transmission Rights 

GAAP 

Accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America 

GSC 

Generation Service Charge 

GSRP

Greater Springfield Reliability Project

GWh 

Gigawatt-Hours 

HG&E 

Holyoke Gas and Electric, a municipal department of the City of Holyoke, MA

HQ

Hydro-Québec, a corporation wholly owned by the Québec government, including its divisions that produce, transmit and distribute electricity in Québec, Canada

HVDC

High voltage direct current

Hydro Renewable Energy

Hydro Renewable Energy, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Hydro-Québec

IPP

Independent Power Producers

ISO-NE Tariff

ISO-NE FERC Transmission, Markets and Services Tariff

kV 

Kilovolt 

kW

Kilowatt (equal to one thousand watts)

kWh

Kilowatt-Hours (the basic unit of electricity energy equal to one kilowatt of power supplied for one hour)

LNG

Liquefied natural gas

LOC 

Letter of Credit 

LRS

Supplier of last resort service

MGP 

Manufactured Gas Plant 

Millstone

Millstone Nuclear Generating station, made up of Millstone 1, Millstone 2, and Millstone 3.  All three units were sold in March 2001.  

MMBtu

One million British thermal units

Moody's

Moody's Investors Services, Inc.

MW 

Megawatt 

MWh 

Megawatt-Hours 

NEEWS 

New England East-West Solution

Northern Pass

The high voltage direct current transmission line project from Canada into New Hampshire

NOx

Nitrogen oxide

NU Money Pool

Northeast Utilities Money Pool

NU supplemental benefit trust 

The NU Trust Under Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan 

NU 2011 Form 10-K

The Northeast Utilities and Subsidiaries 2011 combined Annual Report on Form 10-K as filed with the SEC

NSTAR 2011 Form 10-K

NSTAR 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K as filed with the SEC

NSTAR Electric 2011
  Form 10-K

NSTAR Electric 2011 Annual Report on Form 10-K as filed with the SEC

PAM

Pension and PBOP Rate Adjustment Mechanism

PBOP 

Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pension 

PBOP Plan

Postretirement Benefits Other Than Pension Plan that provides certain retiree health care benefits, primarily medical and dental, and life insurance benefits

PCRBs 

Pollution Control Revenue Bonds 

Pension Plan

Single uniform noncontributory defined benefit retirement plan

PPA

Pension Protection Act

RECs

Renewable Energy Certificates

Regulatory ROE 

The average cost of capital method for calculating the return on equity related to the distribution and generation business segment excluding the wholesale transmission segment

ROE 

Return on Equity 

RRB 

Rate Reduction Bond or Rate Reduction Certificate

RSUs 

Restricted share units 

S&P

Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC

SBC 

Systems Benefits Charge 

SCRC

Stranded Cost Recovery Charge

SERP 

Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan 

SIP

Simplified Incentive Plan

SO2

Sulfur dioxide

SS

Standard service

TCAM 

Transmission Cost Adjustment Mechanism 

TSA

Transmission Service Agreement

UI 

The United Illuminating Company 



ii






NORTHEAST UTILITIES AND SUBSIDIARIES
THE CONNECTICUT LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY
NSTAR ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE AND SUBSIDIARIES
WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY

2012 FORM 10-K ANNUAL REPORT

TABLE OF CONTENTS


 

Part I

Page

Item 1.

Business

2

Item 1A.

Risk Factors

19

Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments

23

Item 2.

Properties

24

Item 3.

Legal Proceedings

26

Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures

28

 

Part II

 

Item 5.

Market for the Registrants' Common Equity and Related Stockholder Matters

28

Item 6.

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

30

Item 7.

Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

32

Item 7A.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures about Market Risk

72

Item 8.

Financial Statements and Supplementary Data

73

Item 9.

Changes in and Disagreements with Accountants on Accounting and Financial Disclosure

175

Item 9A.

Controls and Procedures

175

Item 9B.

Other Information

175

 

Part III

 

Item 10.

Directors, Executive Officers and Corporate Governance

176

Item 11.

Executive Compensation

179

Item 12.

Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters

205

Item 13.

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions, and Director Independence

207

Item 14.

Principal Accountant Fees and Services

207


Part IV

 

Item 15.

Exhibits and Financial Statement Schedules

209

Signatures

210



iii






NORTHEAST UTILITIES AND SUBSIDIARIES

THE CONNECTICUT LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY

NSTAR ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES

PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE AND SUBSIDIARIES

WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY



SAFE HARBOR STATEMENT UNDER THE PRIVATE SECURITIES

LITIGATION REFORM ACT OF 1995


References in this Annual Report on Form 10-K to "NU," "we," "our," and "us" refer to Northeast Utilities and its consolidated subsidiaries, including NSTAR LLC and its subsidiaries for periods after April 10, 2012.


From time to time we make statements concerning our expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, goals, strategies, assumptions of future events, financial performance or growth and other statements that are not historical facts.  These statements are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  You can generally identify our forward-looking statements through the use of words or phrases such as "estimate," "expect," "anticipate," "intend," "plan," "project," "believe," "forecast," "should," "could," and other similar expressions.  Forward-looking statements are based on the current expectations, estimates, assumptions or projections of management and are not guarantees of future performance.  These expectations, estimates, assumptions or projections may vary materially from actual results.  Accordingly, any such statements are qualified in their entirety by reference to, and are accompanied by, the following important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those contained in our forward-looking statements, including, but not limited to:


·

the possibility that expected merger synergies will not be realized or will not be realized within the expected time period,

·

cyber breaches, acts of war or terrorism, or grid disturbances,

·

actions or inaction by local, state and federal regulatory and taxing bodies,

·

changes in business and economic conditions, including their impact on interest rates, bad debt expense, and demand for our products and services,

·

changes in weather patterns,

·

changes in laws, regulations or regulatory policy,

·

changes in levels and timing of capital expenditures,

·

disruptions in the capital markets or other events that make our access to necessary capital more difficult or costly,

·

developments in legal or public policy doctrines,

·

technological developments,

·

changes in accounting standards and financial reporting regulations,

·

actions of rating agencies, and

·

other presently unknown or unforeseen factors.  


Other risk factors are detailed in our reports filed with the SEC and updated as necessary, and we encourage you to consult such disclosures.


All such factors are difficult to predict, contain uncertainties that may materially affect our actual results and are beyond our control.  You should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, each speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made, and we undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statement or statements to reflect events or circumstances after the date on which such statement is made or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.  New factors emerge from time to time and it is not possible for us to predict all of such factors, nor can we assess the impact of each such factor on the business or the extent to which any factor, or combination of factors, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements.  For more information, see Item 1A, Risk Factors, included in this combined Annual Report on Form 10-K. This Annual Report on Form 10-K also describes material contingencies and critical accounting policies in the accompanying Management’s Discussion and Analysis and Combined Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements.  We encourage you to review these items.




1






NORTHEAST UTILITIES AND SUBSIDIARIES

THE CONNECTICUT LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES

NSTAR ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES

PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE AND SUBSIDIARIES

WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARY


PART I


Item 1.

Business


Please refer to the Glossary of Terms for definitions of defined terms and abbreviations used in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


NU, headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut, is a public utility holding company subject to regulation by FERC under the Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005.  We are engaged primarily in the energy delivery business through the following wholly owned utility subsidiaries:


The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P), a regulated electric utility that serves residential, commercial and industrial customers in parts of Connecticut;


NSTAR Electric Company (NSTAR Electric), a regulated electric utility that serves residential, commercial and industrial customers in parts of Massachusetts;


Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH), a regulated electric utility that serves residential, commercial and industrial customers in parts of New Hampshire and owns generation assets used to serve customers;


Western Massachusetts Electric Company (WMECO), a regulated electric utility that serves residential, commercial and industrial customers in parts of western Massachusetts and owns solar generating assets;


NSTAR Gas Company (NSTAR Gas), a regulated natural gas utility that serves residential, commercial and industrial customers in parts of Massachusetts; and


Yankee Gas Services Company (Yankee Gas), a regulated natural gas utility that serves residential, commercial and industrial customers in parts of Connecticut.


NU also owns certain unregulated businesses through its wholly owned subsidiaries, NU Enterprises and NSTAR LLC, which are included in its Parent and other companies’ results of operations.


Although NU, CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO each report their financial results separately, we also include information in this report on a segment, or line-of-business, basis.  The Regulated companies' segments include the electric distribution segment, the natural gas distribution segment and the electric transmission segment.  The electric distribution segment includes the generation businesses of PSNH and WMECO.  The Regulated companies' segments represented substantially all of NU's total consolidated revenues for years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011.  


MERGER WITH NSTAR


On April 10, 2012, NU completed its merger with NSTAR (Merger).  Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Agreement and Plan of Merger, as amended, NSTAR was merged with and into a wholly owned subsidiary of NU, which was subsequently renamed NSTAR LLC.  NU’s consolidated financial statements include the results of operations of NSTAR LLC and its subsidiaries for the period after April 10, 2012.


ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION SEGMENT


General


NU’s electric distribution segment consists of the distribution businesses of CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO, which are engaged in the distribution of electricity to retail customers in Connecticut, eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire and western Massachusetts, respectively, plus the regulated electric generation businesses of PSNH and WMECO.  


The following table shows the sources of 2012 electric franchise retail revenues for NU’s electric distribution companies, collectively, based on categories of customers, including the electric franchise retail revenues of NSTAR Electric from the date of merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012:




2









(Thousands of Dollars, except percentages)

 

2012

 

% of Total

Residential

$

 2,731,951 

 

52   

Commercial

 

 1,563,709 

 

30   

Industrial

 

 753,974 

 

14   

Streetlighting and Railroads

 

40,952 

 

1   

Miscellaneous and Eliminations

 

 130,137 

 

3   

Total Retail Electric Revenues

$

 5,220,723 

 

100%


A summary of our distribution companies’ retail electric GWh sales and percentage changes for 2012, as compared to 2011, is as follows:


 

 

2012 (1)

 

2011

 

Percentage
Change

Residential 

 

19,719

 

14,766

 

33.5%

Commercial

 

24,117

 

14,301

 

68.6%

Industrial 

 

5,462

 

4,418

 

23.6%

Other 

 

420

 

327

 

28.6%

Total

 

49,718

 

33,812

 

47.0%


(1)

NU retail electric sales include the sales of NSTAR Electric from the date of merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012.


Actual retail electric sales for CL&P, NSTAR Electric and WMECO decreased in 2012, as compared to 2011, due primarily to the warmer than normal weather in the first quarter of 2012, as compared to colder than normal weather in the first quarter of 2011, while actual retail electric sales for PSNH were 0.1 percent higher than last year.  In 2012, heating degree days were 11 percent lower in Connecticut and western Massachusetts, 7 percent lower in the Boston metropolitan area, and 9 percent lower in New Hampshire, as compared to 2011.  On a weather normalized basis (based on 30-year average temperatures), the average NU combined consolidated total retail electric sales decreased 0.2 percent in 2012, as compared to 2011, assuming NSTAR Electric had been part of the NU combined electric distribution system for all periods under consideration.  We believe these decreases were due primarily to increased conservation efforts among all our customer classes and the continued installation of distributed generation at our commercial and industrial customers’ facilities.  For WMECO, the fluctuations in retail electric sales no longer impact earnings as the DPU approved a sales decoupling plan effective February 1, 2011.  Under this decoupling plan, WMECO now has an established annual level of baseline distribution delivery service revenues of $125.4 million that it is able to recover.  This effectively breaks the relationship between sales volume and revenues recognized.


Major Storms


On August 28, 2011, Tropical Storm Irene caused extensive damage to our distribution system.  Approximately 800,000 CL&P, PSNH and WMECO customers were without power at the peak of the outages, with approximately 670,000 of those customers in Connecticut.  Approximately 500,000 customer outages occurred on the NSTAR Electric distribution system in its aftermath.


On October 29, 2011, an unprecedented storm inundated our service territory with heavy snow causing significant damage to our distribution and transmission systems.  Approximately 1.2 million of CL&P, PSNH and WMECO’s electric distribution customers were without power at the peak of the outages, with 810,000 of those customers in Connecticut, 237,000 in New Hampshire, and 140,000 in western Massachusetts.  In terms of customer outages, this was the most severe storm in CL&P’s history, surpassing Tropical Storm Irene; the third most severe in PSNH’s history; and the most severe in WMECO's history.  The storm also caused approximately 200,000 customer outages on the NSTAR Electric distribution system.  


On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage to our electric distribution system across all three states.  Approximately 1.5 million of our 3.1 million electric distribution customers were without power during or following the storm, with approximately 850,000 of those customers in Connecticut, approximately 472,000 in Massachusetts, and approximately 137,000 in New Hampshire.


As of December 31, 2012, deferred storm restoration costs related to these major storms that are deferred for future recovery at CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH, and WMECO were as follows:


(Millions of Dollars)

 

Tropical
Storm Irene

 

October
Snowstorm

 

Hurricane
Sandy

 

Total

CL&P

 

$

108.6

 

$

173.0

 

$

159.9

 

$

441.5

NSTAR Electric

 

21.9

 

13.9

 

27.8

 

63.6

PSNH

 

6.8

 

15.5

 

12.1

 

34.4

WMECO

 

3.2

 

23.3

 

4.2

 

30.7

Total

 

$

140.5

 

$

225.7

 

$

204.0

 

$

570.2




3






On February 8, 2013, a blizzard caused damage to the electric delivery systems of CL&P and NSTAR Electric.  We have estimated that approximately 71,000 and 350,000 of CL&P and NSTAR Electric's distribution customers, respectively, were without power during or following the storm.  We believe that this storm will cost between $100 million to $120 million, with approximately 90 percent of those costs relating to NSTAR Electric.  Management expects the costs to meet the criteria for specific cost recovery in Connecticut and Massachusetts and, as a result, does not expect the storm to have a material impact on the results of operations of CL&P or NSTAR Electric.  Each operating company will seek recovery of these anticipated deferred storm costs through its applicable regulatory recovery process.


ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION – CONNECTICUT


THE CONNECTICUT LIGHT AND POWER COMPANY


CL&P’s distribution business consists primarily of the purchase, delivery and sale of electricity to its residential, commercial and industrial customers.  As of December 31, 2012, CL&P furnished retail franchise electric service to approximately 1.2 million customers in 149 cities and towns in Connecticut, covering an area of 4,400 square miles.  CL&P does not own any electric generation facilities.  


The following table shows the sources of CL&P’s 2012 electric franchise retail revenues based on categories of customers:


 

CL&P

(Thousands of Dollars, except percentages)

 

2012

 

% of Total

Residential

$

 1,263,845 

 

58   

Commercial

 

 711,337 

 

32   

Industrial

 

 126,165 

 

6   

Streetlighting and Railroads

 

21,283 

 

1   

Miscellaneous

 

70,012 

 

3   

Total Retail Electric Revenues

$

2,192,642 

 

100%


A summary of CL&P’s retail electric GWh sales and percentage changes for 2012, as compared to 2011, is as follows:


 

 

2012

 

2011

 

Percentage
Change

Residential 

 

9,978

 

10,092

 

(1.1)%

Commercial

 

9,414

 

9,525

 

(1.2)%

Industrial 

 

2,426

 

2,414

 

0.5 %

Other 

 

291

 

284

 

2.3 %

Total

 

22,109

 

22,315

 

(0.9)%


Rates


CL&P is subject to regulation by PURA, which, among other things, has jurisdiction over rates, accounting procedures, certain dispositions of property and plant, mergers and consolidations, issuances of long-term securities, standards of service, management efficiency and construction and operation of facilities.  CL&P's present general rate structure consists of various rate and service classifications covering residential, commercial and industrial services.  CL&P's retail rates include a delivery service component, which includes distribution, transmission, conservation, renewables, CTA, SBC and other charges that are assessed on all customers. Connecticut utilities are entitled under state law to charge rates that are sufficient to allow them an opportunity to recover their reasonable operation and capital costs, to attract needed capital and maintain their financial integrity, while also protecting relevant public interests.


Under Connecticut law, all of CL&P's customers are entitled to choose their energy suppliers, while CL&P remains their electric distribution company.  For those customers who do not choose a competitive energy supplier, under SS rates for customers with less than 500 kilowatts of demand, and LRS rates for customers with 500 kilowatts or more of demand, CL&P purchases power under standard offer contracts and passes the cost of the power to customers through a combined GSC and FMCC charge on customers’ bills.  


CL&P continues to supply approximately 35 percent of its customer load at SS or LRS rates while the other 65 percent of its customer load has migrated to competitive energy suppliers.  Because this customer migration is only for energy supply service, it has no impact on CL&P’s delivery business or its operating income.


The distribution rates established by the PURA for CL&P are comprised of the following:


·

GSC charge (the electric generation services component), which recovers energy-related costs incurred as a result of providing electric generation service supply to all customers that have not migrated to competitive energy suppliers.  The GSC charge is adjusted periodically and reconciled semi-annually in accordance with the directives of PURA.  Expense/revenue reconciliation amounts are recovered in subsequent rates.




4






·

FMCC charge, which recovers any costs imposed by the FERC as part of the New England Standard Market Design, including locational marginal pricing, locational installed capacity payments, any cost approved by PURA to reduce FMCC charges (with conditions) and reliability must run contracts.  The FMCC charge is adjusted periodically and reconciled semi-annually in accordance with the directives of PURA.  Expense/revenue reconciliation amounts are recovered in subsequent rates.


·

SBC charge, established to fund expenses for the public education outreach program, costs associated with various hardship and low income programs, a program to compensate municipalities for losses in property tax revenue due to decreases in the value of electric generating facilities resulting directly from electric industry restructuring, displaced worker protection costs, unfunded storage and disposal costs for spent nuclear fuel generated before January 1, 2000, and decommissioning fund contributions.  Any element of the SBC charge may be revised by PURA as the need arises.  The SBC charge is reconciled annually to actual costs incurred, with any difference refunded to, or recovered from, customers.


·

CTA charge, which pays the principal and interest on RRBs as well as the reasonable and necessary costs related to the RRBs financing.  The CTA charge is also assessed to recover stranded costs associated with electric industry restructuring as well as various IPP contracts that were not funded with the proceeds of the RRBs. The CTA charge is reconciled annually to actual costs incurred, with any difference refunded to, or recovered from, customers.


·

The Renewable Energy Investment Fund charge, which is used to promote investment in renewable energy sources.  Funds collected by this charge are deposited into the Renewable Energy Investment Fund and administered by Connecticut Innovations, Incorporated.  The Renewable Energy Investment Fund charge is set by statute and is currently 0.1 cent per kWh.  


·

C&LM charge, established to implement cost-effective energy conservation programs and market transformation initiatives.  


·

Transmission adjustment clause, which reconciles on a semi-annual basis the transmission revenues billed to customers against the transmission costs of acquiring such services, to recover all of its transmission expenses on a timely basis.  


CL&P, jointly with UI, has entered into four CfDs for a total of approximately 787 MW of capacity consisting of three generation projects and one demand response project.  The capacity CfDs extend through 2026 and obligate the utilities to pay the difference between a set price and the value that the projects receive in the ISO-NE markets.  The contracts have terms of up to 15 years beginning in 2009 and are subject to a sharing agreement with UI, whereby UI will have a 20 percent share of the costs and benefits of these contracts.  CL&P's portion of the costs and benefits of these contracts will be paid by or refunded to CL&P's customers.


CL&P, jointly with UI, has entered into three CfDs (each having a 80 percent to 20 percent sharing mechanism as described above), with developers of peaking generation units approved by the PURA (Peaker CfDs).  These units have a total of approximately 500 MW of peaking capacity.  The Peaker CfDs pay the developer the difference between capacity, forward reserve and energy market revenues and a cost-of-service payment stream for 30 years.  The ultimate cost or benefit to CL&P under these contracts will depend on the costs of plant construction and operation and the prices that the projects receive for capacity and other products in the ISO-NE markets.  CL&P's portion of the amounts paid or received under the Peaker CfDs will be recoverable from or refunded to CL&P's customers.  


On June 30, 2010, PURA issued a final order in CL&P’s most recent retail distribution rate case approving distribution rates and establishing CL&P’s authorized distribution regulatory ROE at 9.4 percent.  


On March 13, 2012, NU and NSTAR reached a comprehensive settlement agreement with both the Connecticut Attorney General and the Connecticut Office of Consumer Counsel related to the Merger.  The settlement agreement covered a variety of matters, including a CL&P base distribution rate freeze until December 1, 2014.  The settlement agreement also provided for a $25 million rate credit to CL&P customers and the establishment of a $15 million fund for energy efficiency and other initiatives to be disbursed at the direction of the DEEP.  CL&P also agreed to forego rate recovery of $40 million of deferred storm costs associated with restoration activities following Tropical Storm Irene and the October 2011 snowstorm.  On April 2, 2012, the PURA approved the settlement agreement and the Merger.


Sources and Availability of Electric Power Supply


As noted above, CL&P does not own any generation assets and purchases energy to serve its SS and LRS loads from a variety of competitive sources through periodic requests for proposals.  CL&P enters into supply contracts for SS periodically for periods of up to three years to mitigate the risks associated with energy price volatility for its residential and small and medium load commercial and industrial customers.  CL&P enters into supply contracts for LRS for larger commercial and industrial customers every three months.  Currently, CL&P has contracts in place with various suppliers for all of its SS loads for the first half of 2013, and 70 percent of expected load for the second half of 2013.  CL&P intends to purchase 10 percent of the SS load for the second half of 2013.  None of the SS load for 2014 has been procured.  CL&P’s contracts for its LRS loads extend through the second quarter of 2013, and CL&P intends to purchase 10 percent of the LRS load for the third quarter of 2013.




5







ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION – MASSACHUSETTS


NSTAR ELECTRIC COMPANY

WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS ELECTRIC COMPANY


The electric distribution businesses of NSTAR Electric and WMECO consist primarily of the purchase, delivery and sale of electricity to residential, commercial and industrial customers within their respective franchise service territories.  As of December 31, 2012, NSTAR Electric furnished retail franchise electric service to approximately 1.1 million customers in Boston and 80 surrounding cities and towns in Massachusetts, including Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, covering an area of 1,702 square miles.  WMECO provides retail franchise electric service to approximately 207,000 retail customers in 59 cities and towns in the western region of Massachusetts, covering an area of 1,500 square miles.  Neither NSTAR Electric nor WMECO owns any fossil or hydro-electric generating facilities, and each purchases its respective energy requirements from competitive suppliers.  


In 2009, WMECO was authorized by the DPU to install 6 MW of solar energy generation in its service territory.  In October 2010, WMECO completed development of a 1.8 MW solar generation facility on a site in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and in December 2011 completed development of a 2.3 MW solar generation facility in Springfield, Massachusetts.  In connection with the Attorney General settlement agreement (as defined below) that approved the Merger in Massachusetts, WMECO committed to increase its solar generation capacity to 8 MW.  WMECO is continuing to evaluate sites suitable for development of the remaining 3.9 MW of capacity.  WMECO will sell all energy and other products from its solar generation facilities into the ISO-NE market.  NSTAR Electric does not own any solar generating facilities, but agreed to issue a request for proposals to enter into long-term contracts for 10 megawatts of solar power in connection with the Attorney General settlement agreement that approved the Merger in Massachusetts.  NSTAR Electric has entered in two contracts for 5 MW of capacity, which contracts are still pending approval at the DPU.  


The following table shows the sources of the 2012 electric franchise retail revenues of NSTAR Electric and WMECO based on categories of customers:


 

 

NSTAR Electric

 

WMECO

(Thousands of Dollars, except percentages)

 

2012

 

% of Total

 

2012

 

% of Total

Residential

$

1,000,038

 

44

 

$

213,494

 

55

Commercial

 

1,101,575

 

48

 

 

123,651

 

32

Industrial

 

94,130

 

4

 

 

40,207

 

10

Streetlighting and Railroads

 

13,047

 

1

 

 

3,780

 

1

Miscellaneous

 

85,885

 

3

 

 

5,973

 

2

Total Retail Electric Revenues

$

2,294,675

 

100%

 

$

387,105

 

100%


A summary of NSTAR Electric’s and WMECO’s retail electric GWh sales and percentage changes for 2012, as compared to 2011, is as follows:


 

 

NSTAR Electric

 

WMECO

 

 

2012

 

2011

 

Percentage
Change

 

2012

 

2011

 

Percentage
Change

Residential 

 

6,741

 

6,727

 

0.2 %

 

 1,517

 

 1,533

 

(1.0)%

Commercial

 

12,987

 

13,211

 

(1.7)%

 

 1,485

 

 1,474

 

0.7 %

Industrial 

 

1,353

 

1,418

 

(4.6)%

 

 663

 

 669

 

(0.9)%

Other 

 

128

 

146

 

(12.2)%

 

 18

 

 19

 

(5.7)%

Total

 

21,209

 

21,502

 

(1.4)%

 

 3,683

 

 3,695

 

(0.3)%


Rates


NSTAR Electric and WMECO are each subject to regulation by the DPU, which has jurisdiction over, among other things, rates, accounting procedures, certain dispositions of property and plant, mergers and consolidations, issuances of long-term securities, acquisition of securities, standards of service, management efficiency and construction and operation of distribution, production and storage facilities.  The present general rate structure for both NSTAR Electric and WMECO consists of various rate and service classifications covering residential, commercial and industrial services.  Massachusetts utilities are entitled under state law to charge rates that are sufficient to allow them an opportunity to recover their reasonable operation and capital costs, to attract needed capital and maintain their financial integrity, while also protecting relevant public interests.


Under Massachusetts law, all customers of each of NSTAR Electric and WMECO are entitled to choose their energy suppliers, while NSTAR Electric or WMECO, as the case may be, remains their distribution company.  Both NSTAR Electric and WMECO purchase power from competitive suppliers for, and pass through the cost to, their respective customers who do not choose a competitive energy supplier (basic service).  Basic service charges are adjusted and reconciled on an annual basis.  Most of the residential and small commercial and industrial customers of NSTAR Electric and WMECO have continued to buy their power from NSTAR Electric or WMECO, as the case may be, at basic service rates.  Most large commercial and industrial customers have switched to a competitive energy supplier.



6







The Cape Light Compact, an inter-governmental organization consisting of the 21 towns and two counties on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, serves 200,000 customers through the delivery of energy efficiency programs, effective consumer advocacy, competitive electricity supply and green power options.  NSTAR Electric continues to provide electric service to these customers including the delivery of power, meter reading, billing, and customer service.


NSTAR Electric continues to supply approximately 40 percent of its customer load at basic service rates while the other 60 percent of its customer load has migrated to competitive energy suppliers.  WMECO continues to supply approximately 49 percent of its customer load at basic service rates while the other 51 percent of its customer load has migrated to competitive energy suppliers.  Because customer migration is limited to energy supply service, it has no impact on the delivery business or operating income of NSTAR and WMECO.


The distribution rates established by the DPU for NSTAR Electric and WMECO are comprised of the following:


·

A distribution charge, which includes a fixed customer charge and a demand and/or energy charge to collect the costs of building and expanding the infrastructure to deliver power to its destination, as well as ongoing operating costs.  The distribution charge also includes the recovery, on a fully reconciling basis, of certain DPU-approved safety and reliability program costs, a Pension and PBOP Rate Adjustment Mechanism (PAM) to recover incremental pension and PBOP benefit costs, a reconciling rate adjustment mechanism to recover costs associated with the residential assistance adjustment clause, a net-metering reconciliation surcharge to collect the lost revenues and credits associated with net-metering facilities installed by customers, and an Energy Efficiency Reconciling Factor (EERF) to recover energy efficiency program costs and lost base revenues in addition to those charges recovered in the energy conservation charge.


·

A basic service charge represents the collection of energy costs, including costs related to charge-offs of uncollected energy costs, through DPU-approved rate mechanisms.  Electric distribution companies in Massachusetts are required to obtain and resell power to retail customers through basic service for those who choose not to buy energy from a competitive energy supplier.  Basic service rates are reset every six months (every three months for large commercial and industrial customers).  The price of basic service is intended to reflect the average competitive market price for electric power.  Additionally, the DPU has authorized NSTAR Electric to recover the cost of its Dynamic Pricing Smart Grid Pilot Program through the basic service charge.


·

A transition charge represents costs to be collected primarily from previously held investments in generating plants, costs related to existing above-market power contracts, and contract costs related to long-term power contracts buy-outs.


·

A transmission charge to recover the costs of transporting electricity over high voltage lines from generating plants to substations, including costs allocated by ISO-NE to maintain the wholesale electric market.


·

An energy conservation charge represents a legislatively-mandated charge to collect costs for energy efficiency programs.


·

A renewable energy charge represents a legislatively-mandated charge to collect the costs to support the development and promotion of renewable energy projects.


Rate Settlement Agreement


On February 15, 2012, NU and NSTAR reached comprehensive settlement agreements with the Massachusetts Attorney General (Attorney General settlement agreement) and the DOER related to the Merger.  The Attorney General settlement agreement covered a variety of rate-making and rate design issues, including a base distribution rate freeze through 2015 for NSTAR Electric and WMECO, a rate credit of $15 million to customers of NSTAR Electric and a rate credit of $3 million to customers of WMECO.  The settlement agreement reached with the DOER covered the same rate-making and rate design issues as the Attorney General's settlement agreement, as well as a variety of matters impacting the advancement of Massachusetts clean energy policy established by the Green Communities Act and Global Warming Solutions Act. On April 4, 2012, the DPU approved the settlement agreements and the Merger.


NSTAR Electric is operating under a DPU-approved Rate Settlement Agreement (Rate Settlement Agreement) that was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012.  As noted above, the rates under the Rate Settlement Agreement are subject to a base distribution rate freeze through 2015 pursuant to the Attorney General settlement agreement.  Pursuant to a 2008 DPU order, Massachusetts electric utilities must adopt rate structures that decouple the volume of energy sales from the utility’s revenues in their next rate case.  The exact timing of NSTAR Electric’s next rate case has not yet been determined, but it will not be before 2015.


In WMECO’s January 31, 2011 rate decision, the DPU approved a revenue decoupling reconciliation mechanism that provides assurance that WMECO will recover a DPU pre-established level of baseline distribution delivery service revenue to manage all other distribution operating expenses and earn a level of return on its capital investment.  The rates under the January 31, 2011 rate decision are subject to a base distribution rate freeze through 2015 pursuant to the Attorney General settlement agreement .


NSTAR Electric and WMECO are each subject to service quality (SQ) metrics that measure safety, reliability and customer service, and must pay to customers any charges incurred for failure to meet such metrics.  Neither NSTAR Electric nor WMECO will be required to



7






pay an assessment charge for its 2012 performance results as both companies performed at or above target for all of their respective SQ metrics in 2012.


Sources and Availability of Electric Power Supply


As noted above, neither NSTAR Electric nor WMECO owns any generation assets (other than WMECO’s recently constructed solar generation), and both companies purchase their respective energy requirements from a variety of competitive sources through requests for proposals issued periodically, consistent with DPU regulations.  NSTAR Electric and WMECO enter into supply contracts for basic service for 50 percent of their respective residential and small commercial and industrial customers twice a year for twelve month terms.  Both NSTAR Electric and WMECO enter into supply contracts for basic service for 100 percent of large commercial and industrial customers every three months.


ELECTRIC DISTRIBUTION – NEW HAMPSHIRE


PUBLIC SERVICE COMPANY OF NEW HAMPSHIRE


PSNH’s distribution business consists primarily of the generation, delivery and sale of electricity to its residential, commercial and industrial customers.  As of December 31, 2012, PSNH furnished retail franchise electric service to approximately 500,000 retail customers in 211 cities and towns in New Hampshire, covering an area of 5,628 square miles. PSNH also owns and operates approximately 1,200 MW of primarily fossil fueled electricity generation plants.  Included in those electric generating plants is PSNH’s 50 MW wood-burning Northern Wood Power Project at its Schiller Station in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and approximately 70 MW of hydroelectric generation.  PSNH’s distribution business includes the activities of its generation business.


The Clean Air Project, a wet flue gas desulphurization system (Scrubber), was constructed and placed in service by PSNH at its Merrimack Station in September 2011.  The cost of the Scrubber is expected to be recovered through PSNH's ES rates under New Hampshire law.  By November 2011, both of Merrimack Station’s coal-fired units were integrated with the Scrubber, and the Scrubber is now reducing emissions from the units.  PSNH completed remaining project construction activities in 2012 and the final cost of the project was approximately $421 million.


The Clean Air Project was placed in service and began operations nearly two years before the statutory deadline of July 1, 2013.  Tests to date indicate that the Scrubber reduces emissions of SO2 and mercury from Merrimack Station by over 90 percent, which is well in excess of state and federal requirements.  Notwithstanding the Clean Air Project's environmental successes well in advance of the statutory deadline, competitors and environmental groups continue to challenge PSNH's right to recover the costs of this legally-mandated project.  In particular, TransCanada, a Canadian energy company that is pursuing the transcontinental Keystone XL pipeline across the United States and is a participant in the U.S. competitive electricity market, and the Conservation Law Foundation, an environmental group which initially supported the law requiring installation of the Scrubber and which formally notified PSNH that it intended to sue PSNH under the Clean Air Act for not installing such emissions control technology, both now claim PSNH was imprudent for pursuing the Clean Air Project.  PSNH is vigorously defending its constitutionally protected right to recover the costs of the Clean Air Project, which were invested to comply with the express mandates of state law.


The following table shows the sources of PSNH’s 2012 electric franchise retail revenues based on categories of customers:


 

PSNH

(Thousands of Dollars, except percentages)

 

2012

 

% of Total

Residential

$

 511,036 

 

54   

Commercial

 

 313,201 

 

33   

Industrial

 

 82,141 

 

9   

Streetlighting and Railroads

 

6,061 

 

1   

Miscellaneous

 

33,948 

 

3   

Total Retail Electric Revenues

$

946,387 

 

100%


A summary of PSNH’s retail electric GWh sales and percentage changes for 2012, as compared to 2011, is as follows:


 

 

2012

 

2011

 

Percentage
Change

Residential 

 

3,138

 

3,141

 

(0.1)%

Commercial

 

3,315

 

3,315

 

0.0 %

Industrial 

 

1,345

 

1,336

 

0.7 %

Other 

 

23

 

23

 

(1.0)%

Total

 

7,821

 

7,815

 

0.1 %




8






Rates


PSNH is subject to regulation by the NHPUC, which has jurisdiction over, among other things, rates, certain dispositions of property and plant, mergers and consolidations, issuances of securities, standards of service, management efficiency and construction and operation of facilities. New Hampshire utilities are entitled under state law to charge rates that are sufficient to allow them an opportunity to recover their reasonable operation and capital costs, to attract needed capital and maintain their financial integrity, while also protecting relevant public interests.


Under New Hampshire law, all of PSNH's customers are entitled to choose competitive energy suppliers, with PSNH providing default energy service under its ES rate for those customers who do not elect to use a third party supplier.  Prior to 2009, PSNH experienced only a minimal amount of customer migration.  However, customer migration levels began to increase significantly in 2009 as energy costs decreased from their historic high levels and competitive energy suppliers with more pricing flexibility were able to offer electricity supply at lower prices than PSNH.  By the end of 2012, approximately 9.4 percent of all of PSNH’s customers (approximately 44 percent of load), mostly large commercial and industrial customers, had switched to competitive energy suppliers.  This was an increase from 2011, when 2.6 percent of customers (approximately 36 percent of load) had switched to competitive energy suppliers.  The increased level of migration has caused an increase in the ES rate, as fixed costs of PSNH’s generation assets must be spread over a smaller group of customers and lower sales volume.  The customers that did not choose a third party supplier, predominately residential and small commercial and industrial customers, are now paying a larger proportion of these fixed costs. On July 26, 2011, the NHPUC ordered PSNH to file a rate proposal that would mitigate the impact of customer migration expected to occur when the ES rate is higher than market prices.  On January 26, 2012, the NHPUC rejected the PSNH proposal and ordered PSNH to file a new proposal no later than June 30, 2012, addressing certain issues raised by the NHPUC.  On April 27, 2012, PSNH filed its proposed Alternative Default Energy Service Rate that addresses customer migration, with an effective date of July 1, 2012.  The proposal, if implemented, would result in no impact to earnings and would allow for an increased contribution to fixed costs for all ES customers.  Hearings were held on October 18, 2012 and November 26, 2012.  A final decision is expected in the first quarter of 2013.


PSNH cannot predict if the upward pressure on ES rates due to customer migration will continue into the future, as future migration levels are dependent on market prices and supplier alternatives.  If future market prices once more exceed the average ES rate level, some or all of these customers on third party supply may migrate back to PSNH.  


The distribution rates established by the NHPUC for PSNH are comprised of the following:


·

ES charge, which recovers PSNH’s generation and purchased power costs from customers on a current basis and allows for an ROE of 9.81 percent on its generation investment.  


·

SCRC, which allows PSNH to recover its stranded costs, including above-market expenses incurred under mandated power purchase obligations and other long-term investments and obligations.  PSNH has financed a significant portion of its stranded costs through securitization by issuing RRBs secured by the right to recover these stranded costs from customers over time. PSNH recovers the costs of these RRBs through the SCRC rate.  The amount of the RRB obligation decreases each quarter and the RRBs are scheduled to be retired as of May 1, 2013.


·

TCAM, which allows PSNH to recover its transmission related costs on a fully reconciling basis.  The TCAM is adjusted on July 1 of each year.


On an annual basis, PSNH files with the NHPUC an ES/SCRC cost reconciliation filing for the preceding year.  The difference between revenues and costs are included in the ES/SCRC rate calculations and refunded to or recovered from customers in the subsequent period approved by the NHPUC.  On December 28, 2012, the NHPUC issued orders approving PSNH’s requests to adjust its ES and SCRC rates effective with service rendered on and after January 1, 2013.  The orders approve an increase to the ES billing rate to reflect projected costs for 2013 and a decrease to the SCRC billing rate to reflect the full amortization of RRBs as of May 1, 2013.  The impact to customers that purchase energy from PSNH is a net increase of 1.287 cents per kWh in total rates.


On June 28, 2010, the NHPUC approved a joint settlement of PSNH's rate case.  Under the approved settlement, if PSNH's 12-month rolling average ROE for distribution exceeds 10 percent, amounts over the 10 percent level are to be allocated 75 percent to customers and 25 percent to PSNH.  Additionally, the settlement provided that the authorized regulatory ROE on distribution plant would continue at the previously allowed level of 9.67 percent, and also permitted PSNH to file a request to collect certain exogenous costs and step increases on an annual basis.  In 2012, PSNH filed for a step increase and a change in its accrual to its major storm reserve fund.  On June 27, 2012, the NHPUC approved an annualized distribution rate increase of $7.1 million effective July 1, 2012, for the step increase.  Additionally, PSNH was allowed a $3.5 million increase in the annual accrual to its major storm reserve fund effective July 1, 2012.


On November 22, 2011, the NHPUC opened a docket to review the Clean Air Project including the establishment of temporary rates for near-term recovery of Clean Air Project costs, a prudence review of PSNH's overall construction program, and establishment of permanent rates for recovery of prudently incurred Clean Air Project costs. On April 10, 2012, the NHPUC issued an order authorizing temporary rates, effective April 16, 2012, which recover a significant portion of the Clean Air Project costs, including a return on equity. The docket will continue for a comprehensive prudence review of the Clean Air Project and the establishment of a permanent rate. The temporary rates will remain in effect until a permanent rate allowing full recovery of all prudently incurred costs is approved. At that time,



9






the NHPUC will reconcile recoveries collected under the temporary rates with final approved rates.  PSNH expects hearings to commence in this proceeding on or about the third quarter of 2013.  PSNH believes that its actions related to Clean Air Project construction will be deemed prudent. The project was completed for $421 million, approximately $36 million below budget, and has reduced mercury and sulfur emissions by more than 90 percent.  On September 6, 2012, a consultant for the NHPUC filed a report with the NHPUC concluding that PSNH had effectively managed the Clean Air Project.


Sources and Availability of Electric Power Supply


During 2012, approximately 59 percent of PSNH’s load was met through its own generation, long-term power supply provided pursuant to orders of the NHPUC, and contracts with third parties.  The remaining 41 percent of PSNH's load was met by short-term (less than one year) purchases and spot purchases in the competitive New England wholesale power market.  PSNH expects to meet its load requirements in 2013 in a similar manner.  Included in the 59 percent above are PSNH’s obligations to purchase power from approximately two dozen IPPs, the output of which it either uses to serve its customer load or sells into the ISO-NE market.


NATURAL GAS DISTRIBUTION SEGMENT


General


NU’s natural gas distribution segment consists of the distribution businesses of NSTAR Gas and Yankee Gas, which are engaged in the distribution of natural gas to retail customers in eastern Massachusetts and Connecticut, respectively.  


The following table shows the sources of the 2012 natural gas franchise retail revenues of NSTAR Gas and Yankee Gas based on categories of customers:


 

 

NSTAR Gas(1)

 

Yankee Gas

(Thousands of Dollars, except percentages)

 

2012

 

% of Total

 

2012

 

% of Total

Residential

$

212,428

 

63

 

$

194,110

 

52   

Commercial

 

110,493

 

33

 

 

118,124

 

32   

Industrial

 

14,243

 

4

 

 

61,767

 

16   

Total Retail Natural Gas Revenues

$

337,164

 

100%

 

$

374,001

 

100%


(1)

NSTAR Gas’ revenue for the full-year ended December 31, 2012, has been provided for comparative purposes only.


A summary of NSTAR Gas’ and Yankee Gas’ retail firm natural gas sales and percentage changes in million cubic feet for 2012, as compared to 2011, is as follows:


 

 

NSTAR Gas(1)

 

Yankee Gas

 

 

2012

 

2011

 

Percentage
Change

 

2012

 

2011

 

Percentage
Change

Residential 

 

18,385

 

20,595

 

(10.7)%

 

 12,488

 

 13,508

 

(7.6)%

Commercial

 

19,095

 

19,662

 

(2.9)%

 

 16,567

 

 17,175

 

(3.5)%

Industrial 

 

5,205

 

5,226

 

(0.4)%

 

 15,787

 

 16,197

 

(2.5)%

Total

 

42,685

 

45,483

 

(6.2)%

 

 44,842

 

 46,880

 

(4.3)%

Total, Net of Special Contracts (2)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 39,087

 

 38,197

 

2.3 %


(1)

NSTAR Gas’ sales data for the full-year ended December 31, 2012 compared to 2011 has been provided for comparative purposes only.

(2)

Special contracts are unique to the Yankee Gas customers who take service under such an arrangement and generally specify the amount of distribution revenue to be paid to Yankee Gas regardless of the customers’ usage.


Our firm natural gas sales are subject to many of the same influences as our retail electric sales, but have benefitted from lower natural gas prices and customer growth across all three customer classes.  In 2012, excluding the impact of NSTAR Gas sales, actual sales decreased, as compared to 2011, due primarily to the warmer than normal weather in the first quarter of 2012, as compared to colder than normal weather in the first quarter of 2011.  On a weather normalized basis, Yankee Gas’ 2012 sales increased due primarily to customer growth, lower cost of natural gas, the migration of interruptible customers switching to firm service rates, and the addition of gas-fired distributed generation in Yankee Gas’ service territory.


On a weather-normalized basis, the average NU combined consolidated total firm natural gas sales increased 2.7 percent in 2012, as compared to 2011, assuming NSTAR Gas had been part of the NU combined natural gas distribution system for all periods under consideration.




10






NSTAR GAS COMPANY


NSTAR Gas distributes natural gas to approximately 272,000 customers in 51 communities in central and eastern Massachusetts covering 1,067 square miles.  Total throughput (sales and transportation) in 2012 was approximately 60.5 Bcf.  NSTAR Gas provides firm natural gas sales service to retail customers who require a continuous natural gas supply throughout the year, such as residential customers who rely on gas for heating, hot water and cooking needs, and commercial and industrial customers who choose to purchase natural gas from NSTAR Gas.  


Rates


NSTAR Gas generates revenues primarily through the sale and/or transportation of natural gas. Gas sales and transportation services are divided into two categories: firm, whereby NSTAR Gas must supply gas and/or transportation services to customers on demand; and interruptible, whereby NSTAR Gas may, generally during colder months, temporarily discontinue service to high volume commercial and industrial customers. Sales and transportation of gas to interruptible customers have no impact on NSTAR Gas’ operating income because a substantial portion of the margin for such service is returned to its firm customers as rate reductions.


The Attorney General settlement agreement that approved the Merger provided for a rate freeze through 2015 and a rate credit of $3 million to NSTAR Gas customers.


Retail natural gas delivery and supply rates are established by the DPU and are comprised of:


·

A distribution charge consisting of a fixed customer charge and a demand and/or energy charge that collects the costs of building and expanding the natural gas infrastructure to deliver natural gas supply to its customers. This also includes collection of ongoing operating costs;


·

A seasonal cost of gas adjustment clause (CGAC) that collects natural gas supply costs, pipeline and storage capacity costs, costs related to charge-offs of uncollected energy costs and working capital related costs. The CGAC is reset every six months. In addition, NSTAR Gas files interim changes to its CGAC factor when the actual costs of natural gas supply vary from projections by more than 5 percent; and


·

A local distribution adjustment clause (LDAC) that collects energy efficiency program costs, environmental costs, PAM related costs, and costs associated with the residential assistance adjustment clause.  The LDAC is reset annually and provides for the recovery of certain costs applicable to both sales and transportation customers.


NSTAR Gas purchases financial contracts based on NYMEX natural gas futures in order to reduce cash flow variability associated with the purchase price for approximately one-third of its natural gas purchases.  These purchases are made under a program approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities in 2006.  This practice attempts to minimize the impact of fluctuations in prices to NSTAR Gas’ firm gas customers.  These financial contracts do not procure gas supply.  All costs incurred or benefits realized when these contracts are settled are included in the CGAC.


Sources and Availability of Natural Gas Supply


NSTAR Gas maintains a flexible resource portfolio consisting of natural gas supply contracts, transportation contracts on interstate pipelines, market area storage and peaking services.  NSTAR Gas purchases transportation, storage, and balancing services from Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company and Algonquin Gas Transmission Company, as well as other upstream pipelines that transport gas from major producing regions in the U.S., including Gulf Coast, Mid-continent, and Appalachian Shale supplies to the final delivery points in the NSTAR Gas service area.  NSTAR Gas purchases all of its natural gas supply from a firm portfolio management contract with a term of one year, which has a maximum quantity of approximately 139,500 MMBtu/day.


In addition to the firm transportation and natural gas supplies mentioned above, NSTAR Gas utilizes contracts for underground storage and LNG facilities to meet its winter peaking demands.  The LNG facilities, described below, are located within NSTAR Gas’ distribution system and are used to liquefy and store pipeline gas during the warmer months for vaporization and use during the heating season.  During the summer injection season, excess pipeline capacity and supplies are used to deliver and store natural gas in market area underground storage facilities located in the New York and Pennsylvania region.  Stored natural gas is withdrawn during the winter season to supplement flowing pipeline supplies in order to meet firm heating demand.  NSTAR Gas has firm underground storage contracts and total storage capacity entitlements of approximately 6.6 Bcf.


A portion of the storage of natural gas supply for NSTAR Gas during the winter heating season is provided by Hopkinton, a wholly-owned subsidiary of NSTAR LLC.  The facilities consist of an LNG liquefaction and vaporization plant and three above-ground cryogenic storage tanks in Hopkinton, Massachusetts having an aggregate capacity of 3.0 Bcf of liquefied natural gas.  NSTAR Gas also has access to facilities in Acushnet, Massachusetts that include additional storage capacity of 0.5 Bcf and additional vaporization capacity.




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Based on information currently available regarding projected growth in demand and estimates of availability of future supplies of pipeline natural gas, NSTAR Gas believes that participation in planned and anticipated pipeline expansion projects will be required in order for it to meet current and future sales growth opportunities.


YANKEE GAS SERVICES COMPANY


Yankee Gas operates the largest natural gas distribution system in Connecticut as measured by number of customers (approximately 212,000 customers in 71 cities and towns), and size of service territory (2,187 square miles).  Total throughput (sales and transportation) in 2012 was approximately 51 Bcf.  Yankee Gas provides firm natural gas sales service to retail customers who require a continuous natural gas supply throughout the year, such as residential customers who rely on gas for heating, hot water and cooking needs, and commercial and industrial customers who choose to purchase natural gas from Yankee Gas.  Yankee Gas also owns a 1.2 Bcf LNG facility in Waterbury, Connecticut, which is used primarily to assist it in meeting its supplier-of-last-resort obligations and also enables it to make economic purchases of natural gas, which typically occur during periods of low demand.


Retail natural gas service in Connecticut is partially unbundled: residential customers in Yankee Gas’ service territory buy gas supply and delivery only from Yankee Gas while commercial and industrial customers may choose their gas suppliers.  Yankee Gas offers firm transportation service to its commercial and industrial customers who purchase gas from sources other than Yankee Gas as well as interruptible transportation and interruptible gas sales service to those commercial and industrial customers that have the capability to switch from natural gas to an alternative fuel on short notice, for whom Yankee Gas can interrupt service during peak demand periods or at any other time to maintain distribution system integrity.  


Rates


Yankee Gas is subject to regulation by PURA, which has jurisdiction over, among other things, rates, accounting procedures, certain dispositions of property and plant, mergers and consolidations, issuances of long-term securities, standards of service, affiliate transactions, management efficiency and construction and operation of distribution, production and storage facilities.


Retail natural gas delivery and supply rates are established by the PURA and are comprised of:


·

A distribution charge consisting of a fixed customer charge and a demand and/or energy charge that collects the costs of building and expanding the natural gas infrastructure to deliver natural gas supply to its customers. This also includes collection of ongoing operating costs;


·

Purchased Gas Adjustment (PGA) clause, which allows Yankee Gas to recover the costs of the procurement of natural gas for its firm and seasonal customers.  Differences between actual natural gas costs and collection amounts on August 31st of each year are deferred and then recovered or returned to customers during the following year.  Carrying charges on outstanding balances are calculated using Yankee Gas' weighted average cost of capital in accordance with the directives of the PURA; and


·

Conservation Adjustment Mechanism (CAM), which allows 100 percent recovery of conservation costs through this mechanism, with a return.  The reconciliation process produces deferrals for future recovery or refund in future customer rates each year.


On June 29, 2011 PURA issued a final decision in Yankee Gas’ rate proceeding, which it amended in September 2011.  The final amended decision approved a regulatory ROE of 8.83 percent, based on a capital structure of 52.2 percent common equity and 47.8 percent debt, approved the inclusion in rates of costs associated with the WWL project, and also allowed for a substantial increase in annual spending for bare steel and cast iron pipe replacement, as requested by Yankee Gas.


Sources and Availability of Natural Gas Supply


PURA requires that Yankee Gas meet the needs of its firm customers under all weather conditions.  Specifically, Yankee Gas must structure its supply portfolio to meet firm customer needs under a design day scenario (defined as the coldest day in 30 years) and under a design year scenario (defined as the average of the four coldest years in the last 30 years).  Yankee Gas also owns a 1.2 Bcf LNG facility in Waterbury, Connecticut, which is used primarily to assist Yankee Gas in meeting its supplier-of-last-resort obligations and also enables Yankee Gas to make economic purchases of natural gas, typically in periods of low demand.  Yankee Gas’ on-system stored LNG and underground storage supplies help to meet consumption needs during the coldest days of winter.  Yankee Gas obtains its interstate capacity from the three interstate pipelines that directly serve Connecticut: the Algonquin, Tennessee and Iroquois Pipelines.  Yankee Gas has long-term firm contracts for capacity on TransCanada Pipelines Limited Pipeline, Vector Pipeline, L.P., Tennessee Gas Pipeline, Iroquois Gas Transmission Pipeline, Algonquin Pipeline, Union Gas Limited, Dominion Transmission, Inc., National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation, Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company, and Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P. pipelines.  Based on information currently available regarding projected growth in demand and estimates of availability of future supplies of pipeline natural gas, Yankee Gas believes that its present sources of natural gas supply are adequate to meet existing load and allow for future growth in sales.  




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ELECTRIC TRANSMISSION SEGMENT


General


CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO, and most other New England utilities, generation owners and marketers are parties to a series of agreements that provide for coordinated planning and operation of the region's generation and transmission facilities and the rules by which they participate in the wholesale markets and acquire transmission services.  Under these arrangements, ISO-NE, a non-profit corporation whose board of directors and staff are independent of all market participants, has served since 2005 as the regional transmission organization of the New England transmission system.  ISO-NE works to ensure the reliability of the system, administers, subject to FERC approval, the independent system operator tariff, oversees the efficient and competitive functioning of the regional wholesale power market and determines which costs of all regional major transmission facilities are shared by consumers throughout New England.


Wholesale Transmission Rates


Wholesale transmission revenues are recovered through formula rates that are approved by the FERC.  Our transmission revenues are recovered from New England customers through charges that recover costs of transmission and other transmission-related services provided by all regional transmission owners, with a portion of those revenues collected from the distribution businesses of CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO.  These rates provide for the annual reconciliation and recovery or refund of estimated costs to actual costs.  The difference between estimated and actual costs is deferred for future recovery from, or refunded to, transmission customers.


FERC ROE Proceedings


Pursuant to a series of orders involving the ROE for regionally planned New England transmission projects, the FERC set the base ROE at 11.14 percent and approved incentives that increased the ROE to 12.64 percent for those projects that were in-service by the end of 2008.  Beginning in 2009, the ROE for all regional transmission investment approved by ISO-NE is 11.64 percent, which includes 50 basis points for joining a regional transmission organization.  In addition, certain projects were granted additional ROE incentives by FERC under its transmission incentive policy.  As a result, CL&P earns between 12.64 percent and 13.1 percent on its major transmission projects, NSTAR Electric earns between 11.64 percent and 12.64 percent on its major transmission projects, and WMECO earns 12.89 percent on the Massachusetts portion of GSRP.


On September 30, 2011, several New England state attorneys general, state regulatory commissions, consumer advocates and other parties filed a joint complaint with the FERC under Sections 206 and 306 of the Federal Power Act alleging that the base ROE used in calculating formula rates for transmission service under the ISO-NE Open Access Transmission Tariff by New England transmission owners, including CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO, is unjust and unreasonable.  The complainants asserted that the current 11.14 percent rate, which became effective in 2006, is excessive due to changes in the capital markets and are seeking an order to reduce the rate, which would be effective September 30, 2011 through December 31, 2012.  In response, the New England transmission owners filed testimony and analysis based on standard FERC methodology and precedent, demonstrating that the base ROE of 11.14 percent remained just and reasonable.


On May 3, 2012, the FERC issued an order establishing hearing and settlement procedures for the complaint.  The settlement proceedings were subsequently terminated, as the parties had reached an impasse in their efforts to reach a settlement.  In August 2012, the FERC trial judge assigned to the complaint established a schedule for the trial phase of the proceedings.  Complainant testimony supporting a base ROE of 9 percent was filed on October 1, 2012.  Additional testimony was filed on October 1, 2012 by a group of Massachusetts municipal electric companies, which recommended a base ROE of 8.2 percent.  The New England transmission owners filed testimony and analysis on November 20, 2012, demonstrating they believe that the current base ROE continues to be just and reasonable.  On January 18, 2013, the FERC trial staff filed testimony and analysis recommending a base ROE of 9.66 percent based on the midpoint of their analysis with a range of reasonableness of 6.82 percent to 12.51 percent.  The New England transmission owners criticized trial staff's analysis in responsive testimony filed on February 12, 2013.  Complainants' final testimony is due February 27, 2013.  Hearings on this complaint are scheduled for May 2013 and a trial judge’s recommended decision is due in September 2013. A decision from FERC commissioners is expected in 2014.  Refunds to customers, if any, as a result of a reduction in the NU transmission companies’ base ROE would be retroactive to October 1, 2011.


On December 27, 2012, several additional parties filed a separate complaint concerning the New England transmission owners' ROE with the FERC.  This new complaint seeks to reduce the New England transmission owner’s base transmission ROE effective January 1, 2013, and to consolidate this new complaint with the joint complaint filed on September 30, 2011.  The New England transmission owners have asked the FERC to reject this new complaint, and the FERC has not yet acted on it.


As of December 31, 2012, CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH, and WMECO had approximately $2.1 billion of aggregate shareholder equity invested in their transmission facilities.  As a result, each 10 basis point change in the authorized base ROE would change annual consolidated earnings by an approximate $2.1 million.  We cannot at this time predict the ultimate outcome of this proceeding or the estimated impact on CL&P’s, NSTAR Electric’s, PSNH’s, or WMECO’s respective financial position, results of operations or cash flows.




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FERC Order No. 1000:  On October 25, 2012, ISO-NE and a majority of the New England transmission owners, including  CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO, made a comprehensive compliance filing as required by FERC Order No. 1000 and Order No. 1000-A, issued on July 21, 2011 and May 17, 2012, respectively.  The compliance filing first seeks to preserve the existing reliability planning process in New England, based on FERC’s previous approval of transmission owners’ rights under the Transmission Operating Agreement with ISO-NE, and the superiority of the current planning process, which has resulted in major transmission construction, large reliability benefits and reduction of market costs.  The filing also contains a new process for public policy transmission planning that incorporates opportunities for competing, non-incumbent projects and cost allocation among the supporting states.  In mid-January 2013, ISO-NE and the majority of New England transmission owners filed answers to various stakeholders that submitted protests to the compliance filing.  We cannot predict the final outcome or impact on us; however implementation of FERC’s goals in New England, including within our service territories, may expose us to competition for construction of transmission projects, additional regulatory considerations, and potential delay with respect to future transmission projects.


Transmission Projects


NEEWS:  GSRP, a project that involves the construction of 115 kV and 345 kV overhead lines by CL&P and WMECO from Ludlow, Massachusetts to Bloomfield, Connecticut, is the first, largest and most complicated project within the NEEWS family of projects.  The $718 million project is expected to be fully placed in service in late 2013.  As of December 31, 2012, the project was approximately 93 percent complete and we have placed $298 million in service.  


The Interstate Reliability Project, which includes CL&P’s construction of an approximately 40-mile, 345 kV overhead line from Lebanon, Connecticut to the Connecticut-Rhode Island border in Thompson, Connecticut where it will connect to transmission enhancements being constructed by National Grid, is our second major NEEWS project.  All siting applications have been filed by CL&P and National Grid.  On January 2, 2013, the Connecticut Siting Council issued a final decision and order approving the Connecticut portion of the project.  Decisions in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are expected between the end of 2013 and early 2014.  The $218 million project is expected to be placed in service in late 2015.  


Included as part of NEEWS are associated reliability related projects, approximately $70 million of which have been placed in service and approximately $30 million of which are in various phases of construction and will continue to go into service through 2013.  


Through December 31, 2012, CL&P and WMECO had capitalized $212 million and $518.1 million, respectively, in costs associated with NEEWS, of which $79.4 million and $183.4 million, respectively, were capitalized in 2012.    


Greater Hartford Central Connecticut Project (GHCC):  In August 2012, ISO-NE presented its preliminary needs analysis for the GHCC to the ISO-NE Planning Advisory Committee.  The results showed severe thermal overloads and voltage violations in each of the four study areas now and in the near future.  A combination of 345 kV and 115 kV transmission solutions are being considered to address these reliability concerns and a set of preferred solutions are expected to be identified by ISO-NE in 2013.  Approximately $300 million has been included in our five-year capital program for future projects being identified to enhance these reliability concerns, which have recently been confirmed by ISO-NE.


Cape Cod Reliability Projects:  Transmission projects serving Cape Cod in the Southeastern Massachusetts (SEMA) reliability region consist of an expansion and upgrade of NSTAR Electric's existing transmission infrastructure including construction of a new 345 kV transmission line that will cross the Cape Cod Canal (The Lower SEMA Transmission Project) as well as a new 115kV transmission line and other 115kV upgrades in the center of Cape Cod.  All regulatory and licensing and permitting is complete for the Lower SEMA Transmission Project.  Construction commenced in September 2012 and is expected to be completed by mid-2013.  The total estimated construction cost for the Cape Cod projects is approximately $150 million.


Northern Pass:  Northern Pass is NPT's planned HVDC transmission line from the Québec-New Hampshire border to Franklin, New Hampshire and an associated alternating current radial transmission line between Franklin and Deerfield, New Hampshire.  Northern Pass will interconnect at the Québec-New Hampshire border with a planned HQ HVDC transmission line.  Effective April 10, 2012, as a result of the merger, NUTV owned 100 percent of NPT.  NPT has identified a new route in the northern-most part of the project’s route where PSNH did not own any rights of way.  We expect to file the new route with the DOE in the first quarter of 2013, and we believe that NPT will be completed in early 2017.


We estimate the costs of the Northern Pass transmission project will be approximately $1.2 billion (including capitalized AFUDC).


Greater Boston Reliability and Boston Network Improvements:  As a result of continued analysis of the transmission needs to enhance system reliability and improve capacity in eastern Massachusetts, NSTAR Electric expects to implement a series of new transmission initiatives over the next five years.  We have included $479 million in our five-year capital program related to these initiatives.


Transmission Rate Base


Under our FERC-approved tariff, transmission projects generally enter rate base after they are placed in commercial operation.  At the end of 2012, our transmission rate base was approximately $4.2 billion, including approximately $2.2 billion at CL&P, $960 million at NSTAR Electric, $412 million at PSNH, and $620 million at WMECO.




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CAPITAL EXPENDITURES


We project capital expenditures of approximately $5 billion from 2013 through 2015.  Of the $5 billion, we expect to invest approximately $2.5 billion in our electric and natural gas distribution segments, including our generation businesses, and $2.3 billion in our electric transmission segment.  In addition, we project capital expenditures of approximately $1.6 billion from 2016 through 2017 in our electric transmission segment.


FINANCING


Our credit facilities and indentures require that NU parent and certain of its subsidiaries, including CL&P, NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, NSTAR LLC, PSNH, WMECO and Yankee Gas, comply with certain financial and non-financial covenants as are customarily included in such agreements, including maintaining a ratio of consolidated debt to total capitalization of no more than 65 percent.  All such companies currently are, and expect to remain in compliance with these covenants.    


As of December 31, 2012, approximately $730 million of NU's long-term debt will be paid in the next 12 months, consisting of $550 million for NU parent, $55 million for WMECO, and $125 million for CL&P.  


NUCLEAR DECOMMISSIONING


General


CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH, WMECO and several other New England electric utilities are stockholders in three inactive regional nuclear generation companies, CYAPC, MYAPC and YAEC (collectively, the Yankee Companies).  The Yankee Companies have completed the physical decommissioning of their respective generation facilities and are now engaged in the long-term storage of their spent nuclear fuel.  Each Yankee Company collects decommissioning and closure costs through wholesale FERC-approved rates charged under power purchase agreements with CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO and several other New England utilities.  These companies in turn recover these costs from their customers through state regulatory commission-approved retail rates.  


The ownership percentages of CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO in the Yankee Companies are set forth below:


 

 

CL&P

 

NSTAR Electric

 

PSNH

 

WMECO

 

Total

CYAPC

 

34.5%

 

14.0%

 

5.0%

 

9.5%

 

63.0%

YAEC

 

24.5%

 

14.0%

 

7.0%

 

7.0%

 

52.5%

MYAPC

 

12.0%

 

4.0%

 

5.0%

 

3.0%

 

24.0%


Our share of the obligations to support the Yankee Companies under FERC-approved contracts is the same as the ownership percentages above.  As a result of the Merger, we consolidate the assets and obligations of CYAPC and YAEC on our consolidated balance sheet.


OTHER REGULATORY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MATTERS


General


We are regulated in virtually all aspects of our business by various federal and state agencies, including FERC, the SEC, and various state and/or local regulatory authorities with jurisdiction over the industry and the service areas in which each of our companies operates, including the PURA, which has jurisdiction over CL&P and Yankee Gas, the NHPUC, which has jurisdiction over PSNH, and the DPU, which has jurisdiction over NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and WMECO.


Environmental Regulation


We are subject to various federal, state and local requirements with respect to water quality, air quality, toxic substances, hazardous waste and other environmental matters.  Additionally, major generation and transmission facilities may not be constructed or significantly modified without a review of the environmental impact of the proposed construction or modification by the applicable federal or state agencies.  PSNH owns approximately 1,200 MW of generation assets.  In 2011, PSNH’s Clean Air Project, the installation of a wet flue gas desulphurization system at its Merrimack coal station to reduce its mercury and sulfur dioxide emissions, was placed into service.  The Clean Air Project was fully operational by mid-2012 and is designed to capture more than 80 percent of the mercury in the coal from the coal burning stations and to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by more than 90 percent, making Merrimack one of the cleanest coal-burning plants in the nation.  The final cost of the project was approximately $421 million.  Compliance with additional environmental laws and regulations, particularly air and water pollution control requirements, may cause changes in operations or require further investments in new equipment at existing facilities.  




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Water Quality Requirements


The Clean Water Act requires every “point source” discharger of pollutants into navigable waters to obtain a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit from the EPA or state environmental agency specifying the allowable quantity and characteristics of its effluent. States may also require additional permits for discharges into state waters.  We are in the process of maintaining or renewing all required NPDES or state discharge permits in effect for our facilities.  In each of the last three years, the costs incurred by PSNH related to compliance with NPDES and state discharge permits have not been material.


On September 29, 2011, the EPA issued for public review and comment a draft renewal NPDES permit under the Clean Water Act for PSNH’s Merrimack Station.  The draft permit would require PSNH to install a closed-cycle cooling system at the station.  The EPA estimated that the net present value cost to install this system and operate it over a 20-year period would be approximately $112 million.  On October 27, 2011, the EPA extended the initial 60-day public review and comment period on the draft permit for an additional 90 days until February 28, 2012.  In its filed comments, PSNH stated that the data and studies supplied to the EPA demonstrates the fact that a closed-cycle cooling system is not warranted.  The EPA has no deadline to consider comments and to issue a final permit.  Merrimack Station can continue to operate under its current permit pending issuance of the final permit and subsequent resolution of appeals by PSNH and other parties. Due to the site specific characteristics of PSNH's other fossil fueled electric generating stations, we believe it is unlikely that there would be similar permit requirements imposed on them.


Air Quality Requirements


The Clean Air Act Amendments (CAAA), as well as New Hampshire law, impose stringent requirements on emissions of SO2 and NOX for the purpose of controlling acid rain and ground level ozone.  In addition, the CAAA address the control of toxic air pollutants.  Requirements for the installation of continuous emissions monitors and expanded permitting provisions also are included.


In December 2011, the EPA finalized the Mercury and Air Toxic Standards (MATS) that require the reduction of emissions of hazardous air pollutants from new and existing coal- and oil-fired electric generating units.  Previously referred to as the Utility MACT (maximum achievable control technology) rules, it establishes emission limits for mercury, arsenic and other hazardous air pollutants from coal and oil-fired units.  MATS is the first implementation of a nationwide emissions standard for hazardous air pollutants across all electric generating units and provides utility companies with up to five years to meet the requirements.  PSNH owns and operates approximately 1,000 MW of fossil fueled electric generating units subject to MATS, including the two units at Merrimack Station, Newington Station and the two coal units at Schiller Station. We believe the Clean Air Project at our Merrimack Station, together with existing equipment, will enable the facility to meet the MATS requirements.  A review of the potential impact of MATS on our other PSNH units is not yet complete.  Additional incremental controls may be required for the two coal fired units at Schiller Station.  To date, the financial impact of this potential control has not been determined.


NU’s carbon emission inventory accounts for and reports all direct carbon dioxide (CO2) methane (CH4) nitrous oxide (N2O) sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) emissions for operations of NU and its subsidiaries in carbon dioxide equivalents.  Total carbon emissions include those from sources owned or operated by NU (Scope 1) and those that are a consequence of NU’s activities, but occur from sources owned or controlled by others, such as emissions from purchased electricity and line loss during the transmission and distribution of electricity (Scope 2).  NU emissions expressed in thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) for NU and its system companies for 2009 through 2011 are shown below.


 

2011

 

2010

 

2009

Total CO2-e emissions (excludes CO2
 
from biomass and biofuels)


2,984

 


3,976

 


3,390


Data was collected and calculated using the World Resource Institute greenhouse gas protocol tools except for stationary combustion emissions associated with electric generating units where more accurate Continuous Emissions Monitoring System data was available.  EPA reporting protocol was used for generation calculations where applicable.


Each of the states in which we do business also has Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) requirements, which generally require fixed percentages of our energy supply to come from renewable energy sources such as solar, hydropower, landfill gas, fuel cells and other similar sources.  


New Hampshire’s RPS provision requires increasing percentages of the electricity sold to retail customers to have direct ties to renewable sources.  In 2012, the total RPS obligation was 13 percent and it will ultimately reach 26.5 percent in 2025.  Energy suppliers, like PSNH, purchase RECs from producers that generate energy from a qualifying resource and use them to satisfy the RPS requirements.  PSNH also owns renewable sources and uses a portion of internally generated RECs and purchased RECs to meet its RPS obligations.  To the extent that PSNH is unable to purchase sufficient RECs, it makes up the difference between the RECs purchased and its total obligation by making an alternative compliance payment for each REC requirement for which PSNH is deficient.  The costs of both the RECs and alternative compliance payments are recovered by PSNH through its ES rates charged to customers.  


The RECs generated from PSNH’s Northern Wood Power Project, a wood-burning facility, are typically sold to other energy suppliers or load carrying entities and the net proceeds from the sale of these RECs are credited back to customers.




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Similarly, Connecticut's RPS statute requires increasing percentages of the electricity sold to retail customers to have direct ties to renewable sources.  In 2012, the total RPS obligation was 16 percent and will ultimately reach 27 percent in 2020.  CL&P is permitted to recover any costs incurred in complying with RPS from its customers through rates.


Massachusetts’ RPS program also requires electricity suppliers to meet renewable energy standards.  For 2012, the requirement was 16.6 percent, and will ultimately reach 27.1 percent in 2020.  NSTAR Electric and WMECO are permitted to recover any costs incurred in complying with RPS from its customers through rates.  WMECO also owns renewable solar generation resources.  The RECs generated from WMECO’s solar units are sold to other energy suppliers and the proceeds from these sales are credited back to customers.


Hazardous Materials Regulations


Prior to the last quarter of the 20th century when environmental best practices and laws were implemented, utility companies often disposed of residues from operations by depositing or burying them on-site or disposing of them at off-site landfills or other facilities.  Typical materials disposed of include coal gasification byproducts, fuel oils, ash, and other materials that might contain polychlorinated biphenyls or that otherwise might be hazardous.  It has since been determined that deposited or buried wastes, under certain circumstances, could cause groundwater contamination or create other environmental risks.  We have recorded a liability for what we believe, based upon currently available information, is our estimated environmental investigation and/or remediation costs for waste disposal sites for which we expect to bear legal liability.  We continue to evaluate the environmental impact of our former disposal practices.  Under federal and state law, government agencies and private parties can attempt to impose liability on us for these practices.  As of December 31, 2012, the liability recorded by us for our reasonably estimable and probable environmental remediation costs for known sites needing investigation and/or remediation, exclusive of recoveries from insurance or from third parties, was approximately $39.4 million, representing 77 sites.  These costs could be significantly higher if remediation becomes necessary or when additional information as to the extent of contamination becomes available.


The most significant liabilities currently relate to future clean-up costs at former MGP facilities.  These facilities were owned and operated by our predecessor companies from the mid-1800's to mid-1900's.  By-products from the manufacture of gas using coal resulted in fuel oils, hydrocarbons, coal tar, purifier wastes, metals and other waste products that may pose risks to human health and the environment.  We, through our subsidiaries, currently have partial or full ownership responsibilities at former MGP sites that have a reserve balance of $34.5 million of the total $39.4 million as of December 31, 2012.


HWP, a wholly owned subsidiary of NU, is continuing to evaluate additional potential remediation requirements at a river site in Massachusetts containing tar deposits associated with an MGP site that HWP sold to HG&E, a municipal electric utility, in 1902.  HWP is at least partially responsible for this site and has already conducted substantial investigative and remediation activities.  HWP's share of the remediation costs related to this site is not recoverable from customers.


Electric and Magnetic Fields


For more than twenty years, published reports have discussed the possibility of adverse health effects from electric and magnetic fields (EMF) associated with electric transmission and distribution facilities and appliances and wiring in buildings and homes.  Although weak health risk associations reported in some epidemiology studies remain unexplained, most researchers, as well as numerous scientific review panels, considering all significant EMF epidemiology and laboratory studies, have concluded that the available body of scientific information does not support the conclusion that EMF affects human health.


We have closely monitored research and government policy developments for many years and will continue to do so.  In accordance with recommendations of various regulatory bodies and public health organizations, we reduce EMF associated with new transmission lines by the use of designs that can be implemented without additional cost or at a modest cost.  We do not believe that other capital expenditures are appropriate to minimize unsubstantiated risks.


Global Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Emission Issues


Global climate change and greenhouse gas emission issues have received an increased focus from state governments and the federal government.  The EPA initiated a rulemaking addressing greenhouse gas emissions and, on December 7, 2009, issued a finding that concluded that greenhouse gas emissions are “air pollution” that endanger public health and welfare and should be regulated.  The largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. is the electricity generating sector.  The EPA has mandated greenhouse gas emission reporting beginning in 2011 for emissions for certain aspects of our business including stationary combustion, volume of gas supplied to large customers and fugitive emissions of SF6 gas and methane.


We are continually evaluating the regulatory risks and regulatory uncertainty presented by climate change concerns.  Such concerns could potentially lead to additional rules and regulations that impact how we operate our business, both in terms of the generating facilities we own and operate as well as general utility operations.  These could include federal “cap and trade” laws, carbon taxes, fuel and energy taxes, or regulations requiring additional capital expenditures at our generating facilities.  We expect that any costs of these rules and regulations would be recovered from customers.




17






Connecticut, New Hampshire and Massachusetts are each members of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a cooperative effort by nine northeastern and mid-Atlantic states, to develop a regional program for stabilizing and reducing CO2 emissions from fossil fueled electric generating plants.  Because CO2 allowances issued by any participating state are usable across all nine RGGI state programs, the individual state CO2 trading programs, in the aggregate, form one regional compliance market for CO2 emissions.  A regulated power plant must hold CO2 allowances equal to its emissions to demonstrate compliance at the end of a three year compliance period that began in 2012.


PSNH anticipates that its generating units will emit between two million and four million tons of CO2 per year, depending on the capacity factor and the utilization of the plant, excluding emissions from the operation of PSNH’s Northern Wood Power Project.  New Hampshire legislation provides up to 1.5 million banked CO2 allowances per year for PSNH’s fossil fueled electric generating plants during the 2012 through 2014 compliance period.  PSNH expects to satisfy its remaining RGGI requirements by purchasing CO2 allowances at auction or in the secondary market. The cost of complying with RGGI requirements is recoverable from PSNH customers.  Current legislation provides a portion of the RGGI auction proceeds in excess of $1 per allowance will be refunded to customers.


Because none of NU’s other subsidiaries, CL&P, NSTAR Electric or WMECO, currently owns any generating assets (other than two solar photovoltaic facilities owned by WMECO, which do not emit CO2), none of them is required to acquire CO2 allowances.  However, the CO2 allowance costs borne by the generating facilities that are utilized by wholesale suppliers to satisfy energy supply requirements to CL&P, NSTAR Electric and WMECO will likely be included in the overall wholesale rates charged, which costs are then recoverable from customers.


Federal greenhouse gas legislation has stalled under the current administration.  Recently, climate change law has been discussed as an initiative that will be moved forward in the current Congress.  However, even without legislation, we can expect additional regulations from the EPA that could impact NU.  


FERC Hydroelectric Project Licensing


Federal Power Act licenses may be issued for hydroelectric projects for terms of 30 to 50 years as determined by the FERC.  Upon the expiration of an existing license, (i) the FERC may issue a new license to the existing licensee, (ii) the United States may take over the project, or (iii) the FERC may issue a new license to a new licensee, upon payment to the existing licensee of the lesser of the fair value or the net investment in the project, plus severance damages, less certain amounts earned by the licensee in excess of a reasonable rate of return.


PSNH owns nine hydroelectric generating stations with a current claimed capability representing winter rates of approximately 71 MW, eight of which are licensed by the FERC under long-term licenses that expire on varying dates from 2017 through 2047.  PSNH and its hydroelectric projects are subject to conditions set forth in such licenses, the Federal Power Act and related FERC regulations, including provisions related to the condemnation of a project upon payment of just compensation, amortization of project investment from excess project earnings, possible takeover of a project after expiration of its license upon payment of net investment and severance damages and other matters.  PSNH is currently involved with the early stages of relicensing at its Eastman Falls Hydro Station, which is comprised of two units, totaling 6.5 MW.


Licensed operating hydroelectric projects are not generally subject to decommissioning during the license term in the absence of a specific license provision that expressly permits the FERC to order decommissioning during the license term.  However, the FERC has taken the position that under appropriate circumstances it may order decommissioning of hydroelectric projects at relicensing or may require the establishment of decommissioning trust funds as a condition of relicensing.  The FERC may also require project decommissioning during a license term if a hydroelectric project is abandoned, the project license is surrendered or the license is revoked.  PSNH is not presently encountering any of these challenges.


EMPLOYEES


As of December 31, 2012, we employed a total of approximately 8,842 employees, excluding temporary employees, of which 1,787 were employed by CL&P, 1,204 were employed by PSNH, 348 were employed by WMECO, and 1,619 employees employed by NSTAR Electric & Gas Corporation provided services to NSTAR Electric.  Approximately 47.8 percent of our employees are members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the Utility Workers Union of America or The United Steelworkers, and are covered by 13 collective bargaining agreements.


INTERNET INFORMATION


Our website address is www.nu.com.  We make available through our website a link to the SEC's EDGAR website (http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/companysearch.html), at which site NU's, CL&P's, NSTAR Electric’s, PSNH's and WMECO's Annual Reports on Form 10-K, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, Current Reports on Form 8-K and any amendments to those reports may be reviewed.  Printed copies of these reports may be obtained free of charge by writing to our Investor Relations Department at Northeast Utilities, 56 Prospect Street, Hartford, CT 06103.




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Item 1A.

Risk Factors


In addition to the matters set forth under “Safe Harbor Statement Under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995” included immediately prior to Item 1, Business, above, we are subject to a variety of significant risks.  Our susceptibility to certain risks, including those discussed in detail below, could exacerbate other risks.  These risk factors should be considered carefully in evaluating our risk profile.


The Merger may present certain material risks to the Company’s business and operations.


The Merger, described in Item 1, Business, may present certain risks to our business and operations including, among other things, risks that:


·

We may be unable to successfully integrate the businesses and workforces of NSTAR with our businesses and workforces;

 

·

Conditions, terms, obligations or restrictions relating to the Merger imposed on us by regulatory authorities may adversely affect our business and operations;


·

We may be unable to avoid potential liabilities and unforeseen increased expenses or delays associated with integration plans;

 

·

We may be unable to successfully manage the complex integration of systems, technology, networks and other assets in a manner that minimizes any adverse impact on customers, vendors, suppliers, employees and other constituencies;


·

We may experience inconsistencies in each companies’ standards, controls, procedures and policies.


Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the Merger will result in the realization of the full benefits of synergies, innovation and operational efficiencies that we currently expect, that these benefits will be achieved within the anticipated timeframe or that we will be able to fully and accurately measure any such synergies.


Cyber breaches, acts of war or terrorism, or grid disturbances could negatively impact our business.


Cyber intrusions targeting our information systems could impair our ability to properly manage our data, networks, systems and programs, adversely affect our business operations or lead to release of confidential customer information or critical operating information.  While we have implemented measures designed to prevent cyber-attacks and mitigate their effects should they occur, our systems are vulnerable to unauthorized access and cyber intrusions.  We cannot discount the possibility that a security breach may occur or quantify the potential impact of such an event.


Acts of war or terrorism could target our generation, transmission and distribution facilities or our data management systems.  Such actions could impair our ability to manage these facilities or operate our system effectively, resulting in loss of service to customers.  


Because our generation and transmission facilities are part of an interconnected regional grid, we face the risk of blackout due to a disruption on a neighboring interconnected system.  


Any such cyber breaches, acts of war or terrorism, or grid disturbances could result in a significant decrease in revenues, significant expense to repair system damage or security breaches, and liability claims, which could have a material adverse impact on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.


Our goodwill is valued and recorded at an amount that, if impaired and written down, could adversely affect our future operating results and total capitalization.


We have a significant amount of goodwill on our consolidated balance sheet.  The carrying value of goodwill represents the fair value of an acquired business in excess of identifiable assets and liabilities as of the acquisition date.  As of December 31, 2012, goodwill totaled $3.5 billion, of which $3.2 billion was attributable to the acquisition of NSTAR in April 2012.  Total goodwill represented approximately 38 percent of our $9.2 billion of shareholders’ equity and approximately 12 percent of our total assets of $28.3 billion.  We perform an analysis of our goodwill balances to test for impairment on an annual basis or whenever events occur or circumstances change that would indicate a potential for impairment.  A determination that goodwill is deemed to be impaired would result in a non-cash charge that could materially adversely affect our results of operations and total capitalization.


Severe storms could cause significant damage to our electrical facilities requiring extensive capital expenditures, the recovery for which is subject to approval by regulators.


Severe weather, such as Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011, the October 29, 2011 snowstorm, Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, and the February 2013 blizzard, and other such major natural disasters, could cause widespread damage to our transmission and distribution facilities.  The resulting cost of repairing damage to our facilities and the potential disruption of our operations could exceed our financial reserves and insurance.  




19






Tropical Storm Irene, the October 29, 2011 snowstorm, and Hurricane Sandy caused significant damage to our transmission and distribution systems.  As a result, along with previously deferred costs from other storms, we have recorded approximately $548 million (approximately $414 million at CL&P) for estimated restoration costs as regulatory assets as of December 31, 2012, subject to future recovery from customers.  If, upon review, any of our state regulatory authorities finds that our actions were imprudent, some of those restoration costs may not be recoverable from customers.  The inability to recover a significant amount of such costs could have an adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.


NU and its utility subsidiaries are exposed to significant reputational risks, which make them vulnerable to increased regulatory oversight or other sanctions.


Because utility companies, including our electric and natural gas utility subsidiaries, have large consumer customer bases, they are subject to adverse publicity focused on the reliability of their distribution services and the speed with which they are able to respond to electric outages, natural gas leaks and similar interruptions caused by storm damage or other unanticipated events.  Adverse publicity of this nature could harm the reputations of NU and its subsidiaries, and may make state legislatures, utility commissions and other regulatory authorities less likely to view NU and its subsidiaries in a favorable light, and may cause NU and its subsidiaries to be subject to less favorable legislative and regulatory outcomes or increased regulatory oversight.  Unfavorable regulatory outcomes can include more stringent laws and regulations governing our operations, such as reliability and customer service quality standards or vegetation management requirements, as well as fines, penalties or other sanctions or requirements.  The imposition of any of the foregoing could have a material adverse effect on business, results of operations, cash flow and financial condition of NU and each of its utility subsidiaries.


The actions of regulators can significantly affect our earnings, liquidity and business activities.


The rates that our Regulated companies charge their respective retail and wholesale customers are determined by their state utility commissions and by FERC.  These commissions also regulate the companies’ accounting, operations, the issuance of certain securities and certain other matters.  FERC also regulates their transmission of electric energy, the sale of electric energy at wholesale, accounting, issuance of certain securities and certain other matters.  The commissions’ policies and regulatory actions could have a material impact on the Regulated companies’ financial position, results of operations and cash flows.


Our transmission, distribution and generation systems may not operate as expected, and could require unplanned expenditures, which could adversely affect our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.


Our ability to properly operate our transmission, distribution and generation systems is critical to the financial performance of our business.  Our transmission, distribution and generation businesses face several operational risks, including the breakdown or failure of or damage to equipment or processes (especially due to age); labor disputes; disruptions in the delivery of electricity and natural gas, including impacts on us or our customers; increased capital expenditure requirements, including those due to environmental regulation; information security risk, such as a breach of our systems on which sensitive utility customer data and account information are stored; catastrophic events such as fires, explosions, or other similar occurrences; extreme weather conditions beyond equipment and plant design capacity; other unanticipated operations and maintenance expenses and liabilities; and potential claims for property damage or personal injuries beyond the scope of our insurance coverage.  The failure of our transmission, distribution and generation systems to operate as planned may result in increased capital costs, reduced earnings or unplanned increases in operation and maintenance costs.  At PSNH, outages at generating stations may be deemed imprudent by the NHPUC resulting in disallowance of replacement power costs.  Such costs that are not recoverable from our customers would have an adverse effect on our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.


Limits on our access to and increases in the cost of capital may adversely impact our ability to execute our business plan.


We use short-term debt and the long-term capital markets as a significant source of liquidity and funding for capital requirements not obtained from our operating cash flow.  If access to these sources of liquidity becomes constrained, our ability to implement our business strategy could be adversely affected.  In addition, higher interest rates would increase our cost of borrowing, which could adversely impact our results of operations.  A downgrade of our credit ratings or events beyond our control, such as a disruption in global capital and credit markets, could increase our cost of borrowing and cost of capital or restrict our ability to access the capital markets and negatively affect our ability to maintain and to expand our businesses.


Our counterparties may not meet their obligations to us or may elect to exercise their termination rights, which could adversely affect our earnings.


We are exposed to the risk that counterparties to various arrangements who owe us money, have contracted to supply us with energy, coal, or other commodities or services, or who work with us as strategic partners, including on significant capital projects, will not be able to perform their obligations, will terminate such arrangements or, with respect to our credit facilities, fail to honor their commitments.  Should any of these counterparties fail to perform their obligations or terminate such arrangements, we might be forced to replace the underlying commitment at higher market prices and/or have to delay the completion of, or cancel a capital project.  Should any lenders under our credit facilities fail to perform, the level of borrowing capacity under those arrangements could decrease. In any such events, our financial position, results of operations, or cash flows could be adversely affected.




20






Difficulties in obtaining necessary rights of way, or siting, design or other approvals for major transmission projects, environmental concerns or actions of regulatory authorities, communities or strategic partners may cause delays or cancellation of such projects, which would adversely affect our earnings.


Various factors could result in increased costs or result in delays or cancellation of our transmission projects. These include the regulatory approval process, environmental and community concerns, design and siting issues, difficulties in obtaining required rights of way and actions of strategic partners.  Should any of these factors result in such delays or cancellations, our financial position, results of operations, and cash flows could be adversely affected.


Economic events or factors, changes in regulatory or legislative policy and/or regulatory decisions or construction of new generation may delay completion of or displace or result in the abandonment of our planned transmission projects or adversely affect our ability to recover our investments or result in lower than expected earnings.


Our transmission construction plans could be adversely affected by economic events or factors, new legislation, regulations, or judicial or regulatory interpretations of applicable law or regulations or regulatory decisions.  Any of such events could cause delays in, or the inability to complete or abandonment of, economic or reliability related projects, which could adversely affect our ability to achieve forecasted earnings or to recover our investments or result in lower than expected rates of return.  Recoverability of all such investments in rates may be subject to prudence review at the FERC.  While we believe that all of such costs have been and will be prudently incurred, we cannot predict the outcome of future reviews should they occur.


In addition, our transmission projects may be delayed or displaced by new generation facilities, which could result in reduced transmission capital investments, reduced earnings, and limited future growth prospects.


Many of our transmission projects are expected to help alleviate identified reliability issues and reduce customers' costs.  However, if, due to economic events or factors or further regulatory or other delays, the in-service date for one or more of these projects is delayed, there may be increased risk of failures in the electricity transmission system and supply interruptions or blackouts, which could have an adverse effect on our earnings.


The FERC has followed a policy of providing incentives designed to encourage the construction of new transmission facilities, including higher returns on equity and allowing facilities under construction to be placed in rate base.  Our projected earnings and growth could be adversely affected were FERC to reduce these incentives in the future below the levels presently anticipated.


Increases in electric and gas prices and/or a weak economy, can lead to changes in legislative and regulatory policy promoting energy efficiency, conservation, and self-generation and/or a reduction in our customers’ ability to pay their bills, which may adversely impact our business.


Energy consumption is significantly impacted by the general level of economic activity and cost of energy supply.  Economic downturns or periods of high energy supply costs typically can lead to the development of legislative and regulatory policy designed to promote reductions in energy consumption and increased energy efficiency and self-generation by customers.  This focus on conservation, energy efficiency and self-generation may result in a decline in electricity and gas sales in our service territories.  If any such declines were to occur without corresponding adjustments in rates, then our revenues would be reduced and our future growth prospects would be limited.


In addition, a period of prolonged economic weakness could impact customers’ ability to pay bills in a timely manner and increase customer bankruptcies, which may lead to increased bad debt expenses or other adverse effects on our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.


Changes in regulatory and/or legislative policy could negatively impact our transmission planning and cost allocation rules.


The existing FERC-approved New England transmission tariff allocates the costs of transmission facilities that provide regional benefits to all customers of participating transmission-owning utilities.  As new investment in regional transmission infrastructure occurs in any one state, its cost is shared across New England in accordance with a FERC approved formula found in the transmission tariff.  All New England transmission owners' agreement to this regional cost allocation is set forth in the Transmission Operating Agreement.  This agreement can be modified with the approval of a majority of the transmission owning utilities and approval by FERC.  In addition, other parties, such as state regulators, may seek certain changes to the regional cost allocation formula, which could have adverse effects on the rates our distribution companies charge their retail customers.  


FERC has issued rules requiring all regional transmission organizations and transmission owning utilities to make compliance changes to their tariffs and contracts in order to further encourage the construction of transmission for generation, including renewable generation.  This compliance will require ISO-NE and New England transmission owners to develop methodologies that allow for regional planning and cost allocation for transmission projects chosen in the regional plan that are designed to meet public policy goals such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions or encouraging renewable generation. Such compliance may also allow non-incumbent utilities and other entities to participate in the planning and construction of new projects in our service area and regionally.




21






Changes in the Transmission Operating Agreement, the New England Transmission Tariff or legislative policy, or implementation of these new FERC planning rules, could adversely affect our transmission planning, our earnings and our prospects for growth.


Changes in regulatory or legislative policy or unfavorable outcomes in regulatory proceedings could jeopardize our full and/or timely recovery of costs incurred by our regulated distribution and generation businesses.


Under state law, our Regulated companies are entitled to charge rates that are sufficient to allow them an opportunity to recover their reasonable operating and capital costs, to attract needed capital and maintain their financial integrity, while also protecting relevant public interests.  Each of these companies prepares and submits periodic rate filings with their respective state regulatory commissions for review and approval.  There is no assurance that these state commissions will approve the recovery of all such costs incurred by our Regulated companies, such as for construction, operation and maintenance, as well as a return on investment on their respective regulated assets, including the construction costs incurred by PSNH for the Clean Air Project at its Merrimack Station.  PSNH’s expenditures for the project are subject to prudence review by the NHPUC.  The amount of costs incurred by the Regulated companies, coupled with increases in fuel and energy prices, could lead to consumer or regulatory resistance to the timely recovery of such costs, thereby adversely affecting our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.  


Additionally, state legislators may enact laws that significantly impact our Regulated companies’ revenues, including by mandating electric or gas rate relief and/or by requiring surcharges to customer bills to support state programs not related to the utilities or energy policy.  Such increases could pressure overall rates to our customers and our routine requests to regulators for rate relief.


In addition, CL&P, NSTAR Electric and WMECO procure energy for a substantial portion of their customers’ needs via requests for proposal on an annual, semi-annual or quarterly basis.  CL&P, NSTAR Electric and WMECO receive approval to recover the costs of these contracts from the PURA and DPU, respectively.  While both regulatory agencies have consistently approved the solicitation processes, results and recovery of costs, management cannot predict the outcome of future solicitation efforts or the regulatory proceedings related thereto.


PSNH meets most of its energy requirements through its own generation resources and fixed-price forward purchase contracts.  PSNH’s remaining energy needs are met primarily through spot market purchases.  Unplanned forced outages of its generating plants could increase the level of energy purchases needed by PSNH and therefore increase the market risk associated with procuring the energy to meet its requirements.  PSNH recovers these costs through its ES rate, subject to a prudence review by the NHPUC.  We cannot predict the outcome of future regulatory proceedings related to recovery of these costs.


Migration of customers from PSNH energy service to competitive energy suppliers may increase the cost to the remaining customers of energy produced by PSNH generation assets.


The competitiveness of PSNH’s ES rates are sensitive to the cost of fuels, most notably natural gas, and customer load.  Recently, PSNH’s ES rate has been higher than competitive energy prices offered to some customers. Further increases may occur as the costs associated with the Clean Air Project are fully phased into rates. Customers remaining on PSNH’s ES rate may experience an increase in cost due to the lower base over which to recover PSNH's fixed generation costs. Any such increase may in turn cause further migration and further impact PSNH’s ES rate.  This trend could lead to PSNH continuing to lose retail customers and increasing the burden of supporting the cost of its generation facilities on remaining customers and being unable to support the cost of its generation facilities through an ES rate.


Judicial or regulatory proceedings or changes in regulatory or legislative policy could jeopardize full recovery of costs incurred by PSNH in constructing the Clean Air Project.


Pursuant to New Hampshire law, PSNH placed the Clean Air Project in service at its Merrimack Station in Bow, New Hampshire. PSNH’s recovery of costs in constructing the project is subject to prudence review by the NHPUC.  A material prudence disallowance could adversely affect PSNH’s financial position, results of operations or cash flows.  While we believe we have prudently incurred all expenditures to date, we cannot predict the outcome of any prudence reviews.  Our projected earnings and growth could be adversely affected were the NHPUC to deny recovery of some or all of PSNH’s investment in the project.


The loss of key personnel or the inability to hire and retain qualified employees could have an adverse effect on our business, financial position and results of operations.


Our operations depend on the continued efforts of our employees.  Retaining key employees and maintaining the ability to attract new employees are important to both our operational and financial performance.  We cannot guarantee that any member of our management or any key employee at the NU parent or subsidiary level will continue to serve in any capacity for any particular period of time.  In addition, a significant portion of our workforce, including many workers with specialized skills maintaining and servicing the electrical infrastructure, will be eligible to retire over the next five to ten years.  Such highly skilled individuals cannot be quickly replaced due to the technically complex work they perform.  We have developed strategic workforce plans to identify key functions and proactively implement plans to assure a ready and qualified workforce, but cannot predict the impact of these plans on our ability to hire and retain key employees.




22






Market performance or changes in assumptions require us to make significant contributions to our pension and other post-employment benefit plans.


We provide a defined benefit pension plan and other post-retirement benefits for a substantial number of employees, former employees and retirees.  Our future pension obligations, costs and liabilities are highly dependent on a variety of factors beyond our control.  These factors include estimated investment returns, interest rates, discount rates, health care cost trends, benefit changes, salary increases and the demographics of plan participants.  If our assumptions prove to be inaccurate, our future costs could increase significantly.  In 2008 and 2009, due to the financial crisis, the value of our pension assets declined.  As a result, we made a contribution of approximately $222 million in 2012 and expect to make an approximate $285 million contribution in 2013.  In addition, various factors, including underperformance of plan investments and changes in law or regulation, could increase the amount of contributions required to fund our pension plan in the future.  Additional large funding requirements, when combined with the financing requirements of our construction program, could impact the timing and amount of future equity and debt financings and negatively affect our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.  


Costs of compliance with environmental regulations, including climate change legislation, may increase and have an adverse effect on our business and results of operations.


Our subsidiaries' operations are subject to extensive federal, state and local environmental statutes, rules and regulations that govern, among other things, air emissions, water discharges and the management of hazardous and solid waste.  Compliance with these requirements requires us to incur significant costs relating to environmental monitoring, installation of pollution control equipment, emission fees, maintenance and upgrading of facilities, remediation and permitting.  The costs of compliance with existing legal requirements or legal requirements not yet adopted may increase in the future.  An increase in such costs, unless promptly recovered, could have an adverse impact on our business and our financial position, results of operations or cash flows.


In addition, global climate change issues have received an increased focus from federal and state governments, which could potentially lead to additional rules and regulations that impact how we operate our business, both in terms of the power plants we own and operate as well as general utility operations.  Although we would expect that any costs of these rules and regulations would be recovered from customers, their impact on energy use by customers and the ultimate impact on our business would be dependent upon the specific rules and regulations adopted and cannot be determined at this time.  The impact of these additional costs to customers could lead to a further reduction in energy consumption resulting in a decline in electricity and gas sales in our service territories, which would have an adverse impact on our business and financial position, results of operations or cash flows.


Any failure by us to comply with environmental laws and regulations, even if due to factors beyond our control, or reinterpretations of existing requirements, could also increase costs.  Existing environmental laws and regulations may be revised or new laws and regulations seeking to protect the environment may be adopted or become applicable to us.  Revised or additional laws could result in significant additional expense and operating restrictions on our facilities or increased compliance costs, which may not be fully recoverable in distribution company rates.  The cost impact of any such laws, rules or regulations would be dependent upon the specific requirements adopted and cannot be determined at this time.  For further information, see Item 1, Business - Other Regulatory and Environmental Matters, included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


As a holding company with no revenue-generating operations, NU parent’s liquidity is dependent on dividends from its subsidiaries, primarily the Regulated companies, its commercial paper program, and its ability to access the long-term debt and equity capital markets.


NU parent is a holding company and as such, has no revenue-generating operations of its own.  Its ability to meet its debt service obligations and to pay dividends on its common shares is largely dependent on the ability of its subsidiaries to pay dividends to or repay borrowings from NU parent, and/or NU parent’s ability to access its commercial paper program or the long-term debt and equity capital markets.  Prior to funding NU parent, the Regulated companies have financial obligations that must be satisfied, including among others, their operating expenses, debt service, preferred dividends (in the case of CL&P and NSTAR Electric), and obligations to trade creditors.  Additionally, the Regulated companies could retain their free cash flow to fund their capital expenditures in lieu of receiving equity contributions from NU parent.  Should the Regulated companies not be able to pay dividends or repay funds due to NU parent, or if NU parent cannot access its commercial paper programs or the long-term debt and equity capital markets, NU parent’s ability to pay interest, dividends and its own debt obligations would be restricted.


Item 1B.

Unresolved Staff Comments


We do not have any unresolved SEC staff comments.  




23









Item 2.

Properties

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transmission and Distribution System

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As of December 31, 2012, NU and our electric operating subsidiaries owned the following:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electric

 

Electric

 

NU

Distribution

 

Transmission

 

Number of substations owned

557

 

60

 

Transformer capacity (in kVa)

41,504,000

 

17,827,000

 

Overhead lines (distribution in pole miles and

 

 

 

 

  transmission in circuit miles)

51,988

 

3,835

 

Capacity range of overhead transmission lines (in kV)

 

 

69 to 345   

 

Underground lines (distribution in conduit bank miles and

 

 

 

 

  transmission in cable miles)

12,656

 

677

 

Capacity range of underground transmission lines (in kV)

 

 

69 to 345   

 


 

 

 

CL&P

 

NSTAR Electric

 

PSNH

 

WMECO

 

 

 

Distribution

 

Transmission

 

Distribution

 

Transmission

 

Distribution

 

Transmission

 

Distribution

 

Transmission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Number of substations owned

 

 212 

 

 19 

 

138 

 

20 

 

 163 

 

 13 

 

 44 

 

 8 

Transformer capacity (in kVa)

 

 18,487,000 

 

 3,117,000 

 

 11,374,000 

 

 9,575,000 

 

 7,626,000 

 

 3,868,000 

 

 4,017,000 

 

 1,267,000 

Overhead lines (distribution in

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

pole miles and transmission

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in circuit miles)

 

 18,375 

 

 1,625 

 

 16,570 

 

 708 

 

 13,253 

 

 1,010 

 

 3,790 

 

 492 

Capacity range of overhead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

transmission lines (in kV)

 

 

 

69 to 345

 

 

 

115 to 345

 

 

 

115 to 345

 

 

 

69 to 345

Underground lines (distribution

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

in conduit bank miles and

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

transmission in cable miles)

 

 1,154 

 

 403 

 

 9,508 

 

 243 

 

 1,704 

 

 1 

 

 290 

 

 30 

Capacity range of underground

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

transmission lines (in kV)

 

 

 

69 to 345

 

 

 

115 to 345

 

 

 

 115 

 

 

 

 115 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NSTAR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NU

 

CL&P

 

Electric

 

PSNH

 

WMECO

Underground and overhead

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

line transformers in service

 

 683,514 

 

 

 337,727 

 

 

 130,787 

 

 

 167,523 

 

 

 47,477 

 

Aggregate capacity (in kVa)

 

 49,357,003 

 

 

 28,398,407 

 

 

 10,111,403 

 

 

 6,995,487 

 

 

 3,851,706 

 


Electric Generating Plants


As of December 31, 2012, PSNH owned the following electric generating plants:  


Type of Plant

 

 

Number
of Units

 

Year
Installed

 

Claimed
Capability*
(kilowatts)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total - Fossil-Steam Plants

 

5 units

 

1952-74

 

935,343

Total - Hydro

 

20 units

 

1901-83

 

68,994

Total - Internal Combustion

 

5 units

 

1968-70

 

101,869

Total - Biomass - Steam Plant

 

1 unit

 

1954-2006

 

42,594

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total PSNH Generating Plant

 

31 units

 

 

 

1,148,800


*

Claimed capability represents winter ratings as of December 31, 2012.  The combined nameplate capacity of the generating plants is approximately 1,200 MW.


As of December 31, 2012, WMECO owned the following electric generating plant:  


Type of Plant

 

 

Number
of Sites

 

Year
Installed

 

Claimed
Capability**
(kilowatts)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total - Solar Fixed Tilt, Photovoltaic

 

2 sites

 

2010-11

 

4,100


** Claimed capability represents the direct current nameplate capacity of the plant.


CL&P did not own any electric generating plants during 2012.




24






Natural Gas Distribution System


As of December 31, 2012, Yankee Gas owned 28 active gate stations, 203 district regulator stations, and 3,265 miles of natural gas main pipeline.  Yankee Gas also owns a 1.2 Bcf LNG facility in Waterbury, Connecticut.  


As of December 31, 2012, NSTAR Gas owned 21 active gate stations, 145 district regulator stations, and 3,185 miles of natural gas main pipeline.  NSTAR Gas and Hopkinton own a satellite vaporization plant and above ground cryogenic storage tanks.  In addition, Hopkinton owns a liquefaction and vaporization plant.  Combined, the tanks have an aggregate storage capacity equivalent to 3.5 Bcf of natural gas.


Franchises


CL&P.  Subject to the power of alteration, amendment or repeal by the General Assembly of Connecticut and subject to certain approvals, permits and consents of public authority and others prescribed by statute, CL&P has, subject to certain exceptions not deemed material, valid franchises free from burdensome restrictions to provide electric transmission and distribution services in the respective areas in which it is now supplying such service.


In addition to the right to provide electric transmission and distribution services as set forth above, the franchises of CL&P include, among others, limited rights and powers, as set forth under Connecticut law and the special acts of the General Assembly constituting its charter, to manufacture, generate, purchase and/or sell electricity at retail, including to provide Standard Service, Supplier of Last Resort service and backup service, to sell electricity at wholesale and to erect and maintain certain facilities on public highways and grounds, all subject to such consents and approvals of public authority and others as may be required by law. The franchises of CL&P include the power of eminent domain.  Connecticut law prohibits an electric distribution company from owning or operating generation assets.  However, under "An Act Concerning Energy Independence," enacted in 2005, CL&P is permitted to own up to 200 MW of peaking facilities if the PURA determines that such facilities will be more cost effective than other options for mitigating FMCC and Locational Installed Capacity (LICAP) costs.  In addition, under "An Act Concerning Electricity and Energy Efficiency," enacted in 2007, an electric distribution company, such as CL&P, is permitted to purchase an existing electric generating plant located in Connecticut that is offered for sale, subject to prior approval from the PURA and a determination by the PURA that such purchase is in the public interest.  Finally, Connecticut law also allows CL&P to submit a proposal to the DEEP to build, own or operate one or more generation facilities up to 10 MWs using Class 1 renewable energy.


NSTAR ELECTRIC AND NSTAR GAS.  Through their charters, which are unlimited in time, NSTAR Electric and NSTAR Gas have the right to engage in the business of delivering and selling electricity and natural gas within their respective service territories, and have powers incidental thereto and are entitled to all the rights and privileges of and subject to the duties imposed upon electric and natural gas companies under Massachusetts laws.  The locations in public ways for electric transmission and distribution lines and gas distribution pipelines are obtained from municipal and other state authorities who, in granting these locations, act as agents for the state. In some cases the actions of these authorities are subject to appeal to the DPU.  The rights to these locations are not limited in time and are subject to the action of these authorities and the legislature.  Under Massachusetts law, with the exception of municipal-owned utilities, no other entity may provide electric or gas delivery service to retail customers within NSTAR’s service territory without the written consent of NSTAR Electric and/or NSTAR Gas. This consent must be filed with the DPU and the municipality so affected.


The Massachusetts restructuring legislation defines service territories as those territories actually served on July 1, 1997 and following municipal boundaries to the extent possible.  The restructuring legislation further provides that until terminated by law or otherwise, distribution companies shall have the exclusive obligation to serve all retail customers within their service territories and no other person shall provide distribution service within such service territories without the written consent of such distribution companies.  Pursuant to the Massachusetts restructuring legislation, the DPU (then, the Department of Telecommunications and Energy) was required to define service territories for each distribution company, including NSTAR Electric.  The DPU subsequently determined that there were advantages to the exclusivity of service territories and issued a report to the Massachusetts Legislature recommending against, in this regard, any changes to the restructuring legislation.


PSNH.  The NHPUC, pursuant to statutory requirements, has issued orders granting PSNH exclusive franchises to distribute electricity in the respective areas in which it is now supplying such service.  


In addition to the right to distribute electricity as set forth above, the franchises of PSNH include, among others, rights and powers to manufacture, generate, purchase, and transmit electricity, to sell electricity at wholesale to other utility companies and municipalities and to erect and maintain certain facilities on certain public highways and grounds, all subject to such consents and approvals of public authority and others as may be required by law.  PSNH’s status as a public utility gives it the ability to petition the NHPUC for the right to exercise eminent domain for its transmission and distribution services in appropriate circumstances.  


PSNH is also subject to certain regulatory oversight by the Maine Public Utilities Commission and the Vermont Public Service Board.


WMECO.  WMECO is authorized by its charter to conduct its electric business in the territories served by it, and has locations in the public highways for transmission and distribution lines.  Such locations are granted pursuant to the laws of Massachusetts by the Department of Public Works of Massachusetts or local municipal authorities and are of unlimited duration, but the rights thereby granted are not vested.  Such locations are for specific lines only and for extensions of lines in public highways.  Further similar locations must



25






be obtained from the Department of Public Works of Massachusetts or the local municipal authorities.  In addition, WMECO has been granted easements for its lines in the Massachusetts Turnpike by the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority and pursuant to state laws, has the power of eminent domain.  


The Massachusetts restructuring legislation applicable to NSTAR Electric (described above) is also applicable to WMECO.


Yankee Gas.  Yankee Gas holds valid franchises to sell gas in the areas in which Yankee Gas supplies gas service, which it acquired either directly or from its predecessors in interest.  Generally, Yankee Gas holds franchises to serve customers in areas designated by those franchises as well as in most other areas throughout Connecticut so long as those areas are not occupied and served by another gas utility under a valid franchise of its own or are not subject to an exclusive franchise of another gas utility.  Yankee Gas’ franchises are perpetual but remain subject to the power of alteration, amendment or repeal by the General Assembly of the State of Connecticut, the power of revocation by the PURA and certain approvals, permits and consents of public authorities and others prescribed by statute.  Generally, Yankee Gas’ franchises include, among other rights and powers, the right and power to manufacture, generate, purchase, transmit and distribute gas and to erect and maintain certain facilities on public highways and grounds, and the right of eminent domain, all subject to such consents and approvals of public authorities and others as may be required by law.


Item 3.

Legal Proceedings


1.

Yankee Companies v. U.S. Department of Energy


In 1998, the Yankee Companies (CYAPC, YAEC and MYAPC) filed separate complaints against the DOE in the Court of Federal Claims seeking monetary damages resulting from the DOE's failure to begin accepting spent nuclear fuel for disposal by January 31, 1998 pursuant to the terms of the 1983 spent fuel and high level waste disposal contracts between the Yankee Companies and the DOE (DOE Phase I Damages).  In a ruling released on October 4, 2006, the Court of Federal Claims held that the DOE was liable for damages to CYAPC for $34.2 million through 2001, YAEC for $32.9 million through 2001 and MYAPC for $75.8 million through 2002.  


In December 2006, the DOE appealed the ruling, and the Yankee Companies filed cross-appeals.  The Court of Appeals issued its decision on August 7, 2008, effectively agreeing with the trial court's findings as to the liability of the DOE but disagreeing with the method that the trial court used to calculate damages.  The Court of Appeals vacated the decision and remanded the case for new findings consistent with its decision.  


On September 7, 2010, the trial court issued its decision following remand, and judgment on the decision was entered on September 9, 2010.  The judgment awarded CYAPC $39.7 million, YAEC $21.2 million and MYAPC $81.7 million.  The DOE filed an appeal and the Yankee Companies cross-appealed on November 8, 2010.  Briefs were filed and oral arguments in the appeal of the remanded case occurred on November 7, 2011.  On May 18, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a unanimous panel decision in favor of the Yankee Companies upholding the trial court's awards to each company in the remanded cases, and increasing YAEC damages by approximately $17 million to cover certain wet pool operating expenses.  On August 1, 2012, the DOE filed a petition asking the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to reconsider its unanimous panel decision in favor of the Yankee Companies upholding the trial court's awards to each company in the remanded cases.  On September 5, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied the DOE’s petition.  The decisions became final and non-appealable and interest on the judgments began to accrue on or about December 5, 2012, as the DOE elected not to file a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court.  In late January 2013, the proceeds from the DOE Phase 1 Damages claim were received by CYAPC, in the amount of $39.6 million; YAEC, in the amount of $38.3 million; and MYAPC, in the amount of $81.7 million.  The funds were transferred to each Yankee Company’s respective decommissioning trust.  The final application of the proceeds for the benefit of customers of CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO will be determined following rate proceedings to be filed by the Yankee Companies at FERC in the second quarter of 2013.  Final FERC determinations are expected by the end of the third quarter of 2013.


In December 2007, the Yankee Companies each filed subsequent lawsuits against the DOE seeking recovery of actual damages incurred in the years following 2001 and 2002 related to the alleged failure of the DOE to provide for a permanent facility to store spent nuclear fuel generated in years after 2001 for CYAPC and YAEC and after 2002 for MYAPC (DOE Phase II Damages).  On November 18, 2011, the court ordered the record closed in the YAEC case, and closed the record in the CYAPC and MYAPC cases subject to a limited opportunity of the government to reopen the records for further limited proceedings.  The record is now closed, all post-trial briefing has been completed, and the case is awaiting the court decision.


The methodology for applying any DOE Phase II Damages that may be recovered from the DOE for the benefit of customers of CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO will be addressed in the same FERC rate proceedings.


2.

Conservation Law Foundation v. PSNH


On July 21, 2011, the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) filed a citizens suit under the provisions of the federal Clean Air Act against PSNH alleging permitting violations at the company’s Merrimack generating station.  The suit alleges that PSNH failed to have proper permits for replacement of the Unit 2 turbine at Merrimack, installation of activated carbon injection equipment for the unit, and violated a permit condition concerning operation of the electrostatic precipitators at the station.  The suit seeks injunctive relief, civil penalties, and costs.  CLF has pursued similar claims before the NHPUC, the N.H. Air Resources Council, and the N.H. Site Evaluation Committee, all of which have been denied.  PSNH believes this suit is without merit and intends to defend it vigorously.  On



26






September 27, 2012, the federal court dismissed portions of CLF’s suit pertaining to the installation of activated carbon injection and the electrostatic precipitators.  An additional motion to dismiss the remaining counts is still pending.


3.

Other Legal Proceedings


For further discussion of legal proceedings, see Item 1, Business:  "- Electric Distribution Segment," "- Natural Gas Distribution Segment" and  "- Electric Transmission Segment," for information about various state regulatory and rate proceedings, civil lawsuits related thereto, and information about proceedings relating to power, transmission and pricing issues; "- Nuclear Decommissioning" for information related to high-level nuclear waste; and "- Other Regulatory and Environmental Matters" for information about proceedings involving surface water and air quality requirements, toxic substances and hazardous waste, electric and magnetic fields, licensing of hydroelectric projects, and other matters. In addition, see Item 1A, Risk Factors, for general information about several significant risks.



EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE REGISTRANT


The following table sets forth the executive officers of NU as of February 15, 2013.  All of the Company’s officers serve terms of one year and until their successors are elected and qualified:


Name

 

Age

 

Title

Jay S. Buth

 

43

 

Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer.

Gregory B. Butler

 

55

 

Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary.

Christine M. Carmody*

 

50

 

Senior Vice President-Human Resources of NUSCO and NSTAR Electric & Gas.

James J. Judge

 

57

 

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

Thomas J. May

 

65

 

President and Chief Executive Officer.

David R. McHale

 

52

 

Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer.

Joseph R. Nolan, Jr.*

 

49

 

Senior Vice President-Corporate Relations of NUSCO and NSTAR Electric & Gas.

Leon J. Olivier

 

64

 

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.


* Deemed an executive officer of NU pursuant to Rule 3b-7 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.


Jay S. Buth.  Mr. Buth became Vice President, Controller and Chief Accounting Officer of NU, CL&P, NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, PSNH, WMECO, Yankee Gas, NUSCO and NSTAR Electric & Gas upon completion of the Merger.  Previously, Mr. Buth was Vice President-Accounting and Controller of NU, CL&P, PSNH, WMECO, Yankee Gas and NUSCO from June 2009 through the completion of the Merger.  From June 2006 through January 2009, Mr. Buth was the Vice President and Controller for New Jersey Resources Corporation, an energy services holding company that provides natural gas and wholesale energy services, including transportation, distribution and asset management.


Gregory B. Butler.  Mr. Butler became Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of NU and Senior Vice President and General Counsel of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and NSTAR Electric & Gas upon completion of the Merger.  He has served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of CL&P, PSNH, WMECO, Yankee Gas and NUSCO since March 9, 2006.  Mr. Butler was elected a Director of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and NSTAR Electric & Gas upon completion of the Merger.  He has served as a Director of NUSCO since November 27, 2012, and of CL&P, PSNH, WMECO and Yankee Gas since April 22, 2009.  Previously Mr. Butler served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel of NU from December 1, 2005 to April 2012.  Mr. Butler became a Trustee of the NSTAR Foundation effective upon completion of the Merger.  He has served as a Director of Northeast Utilities Foundation, Inc. since December 1, 2002.  


Christine M. Carmody.  Ms. Carmody became Senior Vice President-Human Resources of NUSCO upon completion of the Merger and of CL&P, PSNH, WMECO and Yankee Gas effective November 27, 2012.  She has served as Senior Vice President-Human Resources of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and NSTAR Electric & Gas since August 1, 2008.  Ms. Carmody was elected a Director of CL&P, PSNH, WMECO and Yankee Gas upon completion of the Merger, and of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, NUSCO and NSTAR Electric & Gas effective November 27, 2012.  Previously, Ms. Carmody served as Vice President-Organizational Effectiveness of NSTAR, NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and NSTAR Electric & Gas from June 2006 to August 2008.  Ms. Carmody became a Director of Northeast Utilities Foundation, Inc. effective upon completion of the Merger.  She has served as a Trustee of the NSTAR Foundation since August 1, 2008.


James J. Judge.  Mr. Judge became Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of NU, CL&P, NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, PSNH, WMECO, Yankee Gas, NUSCO and NSTAR Electric & Gas upon completion of the Merger.  Mr. Judge was elected a Director of CL&P, PSNH, WMECO, Yankee Gas and NUSCO upon completion of the Merger.  He has served as a Director of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and NSTAR Electric & Gas since September 27, 1999.  Previously, Mr. Judge served as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of NSTAR, NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and NSTAR Electric & Gas from 1999 until April 2012.  Mr. Judge became Treasurer and a Director of Northeast Utilities Foundation, Inc. effective upon completion of the Merger.  He has served as a Trustee of the NSTAR Foundation since December 12, 1995.  


Thomas J. May.  Mr. May became President and Chief Executive Officer and a Trustee of NU, Chairman and a Director of CL&P, NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, PSNH, WMECO and Yankee Gas, and Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer and a Director



27






of NUSCO upon completion of the Merger.  He has been President and Chief Executive Officer of NSTAR Electric & Gas since January 1, 2002.  Mr. May has served as a Director of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and NSTAR Electric & Gas (or their predecessor companies) since September 27, 1999.  Previously, Mr. May served as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer and a Trustee of NSTAR, and as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and NSTAR Electric & Gas until the closing of the Merger.  He served as Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and a Trustee since NSTAR was formed in 1999, and was elected President in 2002.  Mr. May became a Director of Northeast Utilities Foundation, Inc. upon completion of the Merger.  He has served as a Trustee of the NSTAR Foundation since August 18, 1987.  


David R. McHale.  Mr. McHale became Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer of NU, CL&P, NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, PSNH, WMECO, Yankee Gas, NUSCO and NSTAR Electric & Gas upon completion of the Merger.  Mr. McHale has served as a Director of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and NSTAR Electric & Gas since November 27, 2012, of PSNH, WMECO, Yankee Gas and NUSCO since January 1, 2005, and of CL&P since January 15, 2007.  Previously, Mr. McHale served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of NU, CL&P, PSNH, WMECO, Yankee Gas and NUSCO from January 2009 to April 2012, and Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of NU, CL&P, PSNH, WMECO, Yankee Gas and NUSCO from January 2005 to December 2008.  Mr. McHale became a Trustee of the NSTAR Foundation upon completion of the Merger.  He has served as a Director of Northeast Utilities Foundation, Inc. since January 1, 2005.


Joseph R. Nolan, Jr.  Mr. Nolan became Senior Vice President-Corporate Relations of NUSCO, NSTAR Electric & Gas, NSTAR Electric and NSTAR Gas upon completion of the Merger.  He became Senior Vice President-Corporate Relations of CL&P, PSNH, WMECO and Yankee Gas effective November 27, 2012.  Mr. Nolan was elected a Director of CL&P, PSNH, WMECO and Yankee Gas upon completion of the Merger, and of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, NUSCO and NSTAR Electric & Gas effective November 27, 2012.  Previously, Mr. Nolan served as Senior Vice President-Customer & Corporate Relations of NSTAR, NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and NSTAR Electric and Gas from 2006 until the closing of the Merger.  Mr. Nolan became a Director of Northeast Utilities Foundation, Inc. upon completion of the Merger.  He has served as a Trustee of the NSTAR Foundation since October 1, 2000.  


Leon J. Olivier.  Mr. Olivier has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of NU and NUSCO since May 13, 2008, and of NSTAR Electric & Gas since the completion of the Merger.  He became Chief Executive Officer of NSTAR Electric and NSTAR Gas upon completion of the Merger.  Mr. Olivier has served as Chief Executive Officer of CL&P, PSNH, WMECO and Yankee Gas since January 15, 2007.  Mr. Olivier was elected a Director of NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas and NSTAR Electric & Gas effective November 27, 2012, of PSNH, WMECO and Yankee Gas effective January 17, 2005, and of CL&P effective September 10, 2001.  Previously, Mr. Olivier served as Executive Vice President-Operations of NU from February 13, 2007 to May 12, 2008.  Mr. Olivier became a Trustee of the NSTAR Foundation upon completion of the Merger.  He has served as a Director of Northeast Utilities Foundation, Inc. since April 1, 2006.  


Item 4.

Mine Safety Disclosures


Not applicable.


PART II


Item 5.

Market for the Registrants' Common Equity, Related Stockholder Matters and Issuer Purchases of Equity Securities


(a)

Market Information and (c) Dividends


NU.  Our common shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange.  The ticker symbol is "NU," although it is frequently presented as "Noeast Util" and/or "NE Util" in various financial publications.  The high and low sales prices of our common shares and the dividends declared, for the past two years, by quarter, are shown below.


Year

 

Quarter

 

High

 

Low

 

Dividends
Declared

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012

 

First

 

$

37.64

 

$

33.48

 

$

0.294

 

 

Second

 

 

39.09

 

 

34.84

 

 

0.343

 

 

Third

 

 

40.86

 

 

36.68

 

 

0.343

 

 

Fourth

 

 

40.38

 

 

37.53

 

 

0.343

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2011

 

First

 

$

35.13

 

$

31.19

 

$

0.275

 

 

Second

 

 

36.47

 

 

33.31

 

 

0.275

 

 

Third

 

 

35.87

 

 

30.02

 

 

0.275

 

 

Fourth

 

 

36.40

 

 

30.80

 

 

0.275


Information with respect to dividend restrictions for us, CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH, and WMECO is contained in Item 7, Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, under the caption "Liquidity" and Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, in the Combined Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements, within this Annual Report on Form 10-K.   



28







There is no established public trading market for the common stock of CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO.  All of the common stock of CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO is held solely by NU.


During 2012 and 2011, CL&P approved and paid $100.5 million and $243.2 million, respectively, of common stock dividends to NU.


Since April 10, 2012, NSTAR Electric approved and paid $159.9 million of common stock dividends to NSTAR LLC.


During 2012 and 2011, PSNH approved and paid $90.7 million and $58.8 million, respectively, of common stock dividends to NU.


During 2012 and 2011, WMECO approved and paid $9.4 million and $26.3 million, respectively, of common stock dividends to NU.


(b)

Holders


As of January 31, 2013, there were 49,487 registered common shareholders of our company on record.  As of the same date, there were a total of 332,767,098 common shares issued.


(c)

Securities Authorized for Issuance Under Equity Compensation Plans


For information regarding securities authorized for issuance under equity compensation plans, see Item 12, Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters, included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.


(d)

Performance Graph


As allowed under Exchange Act Rule 14c-3 (17 CFR 240.14c-3), we provide the five-year cumulative performance graph annually, accompanying our Definitive Proxy Statement pursuant to section 14(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.   


(e)

Purchases of Equity Securities by the Issuer and Affiliated Purchasers


The following table discloses purchases of shares of our common stock made by us or on our behalf for the periods shown below.


 

 

 

 

Period

 

Total Number
of Shares
Purchased

 

 

Average Price Paid per Share

Total Number of Shares Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced
Plans or Programs

Approximate Dollar
Value of Shares that
May Yet Be Purchased
Under the Plans and
Programs (at month end)

 

 

 

 

October 1 - October 31, 2012

 

714,846

 

$

39.53

 - 

 - 

 

 

 

 

November 1 - November 30, 2012

 

21,159

 

 

38.48

 - 

 - 

 

 

 

 

December 1 - December 31, 2012

 

258,263

 

 

38.98

 - 

 - 

 

 

 

 

Total

 

994,268

 

$

39.37

 - 

 - 




29







Item 6.

Selected Consolidated Financial Data

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NU Selected Consolidated Financial Data (Unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Thousands of Dollars, except percentages and common
 share information)

2012 (a)

 

2011 

 

2010 

 

2009 

 

2008 

 

Balance Sheet Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Property, Plant and Equipment, Net

$

 16,605,010 

 

$

 10,403,065 

 

$

9,567,726 

 

$

8,839,965 

 

$

8,207,876 

 

 

Total Assets

 

 28,302,824 

 

 

 15,647,066 

 

 

14,472,601 

 

 

14,057,679 

 

 

13,988,480 

 

 

Total Capitalization (b)

 

 17,356,112 

 

 

 9,078,321 

 

 

8,627,985 

 

 

8,253,323 

 

 

7,293,960 

 

 

Obligations Under Capital Leases (b)

 

 11,071 

 

 

 12,358 

 

 

12,236 

 

 

12,873 

 

 

13,397 

 

Income Statement Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Revenues

$

 6,273,787 

 

$

 4,465,657 

 

$

4,898,167 

 

$

5,439,430 

 

$

5,800,095 

 

 

Net Income

 

 533,077 

 

 

 400,513 

 

 

394,107 

 

 

335,592 

 

 

266,387 

 

 

Net Income Attributable to Noncontrolling Interests

 

 7,132 

 

 

 5,820 

 

 

6,158 

 

 

5,559 

 

 

5,559 

 

 

Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest

$

 525,945 

 

$

 394,693 

 

$

 387,949 

 

$

 330,033 

 

$

 260,828 

 

Common Share Data:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic Earnings Per Common Share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest

$

 1.90 

 

$

 2.22 

 

$

 2.20 

 

$

1.91 

 

$

1.68 

 

 

Diluted Earnings Per Common Share:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest

$

 1.89 

 

$

 2.22 

 

$

2.19 

 

$

1.91 

 

$

1.67 

 

 

Weighted Average Common Shares Outstanding:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Basic

 

 277,209,819 

 

 

177,410,167 

 

 

176,636,086 

 

 

172,567,928 

 

 

155,531,846 

 

 

 

Diluted

 

 277,993,631 

 

 

177,804,568 

 

 

176,885,387 

 

 

172,717,246 

 

 

155,999,240 

 

 

Dividends Declared Per Common Share

$

 1.32 

 

$

 1.10 

 

$

1.03 

 

$

0.95 

 

$

0.83 

 

 

Market Price - Closing (high) (c)

$

40.57 

 

$

36.31 

 

$

32.05 

 

$

26.33 

 

$

31.15 

 

 

Market Price - Closing (low) (c)

$

33.53 

 

$

30.46 

 

$

24.78 

 

$

19.45 

 

$

19.15 

 

 

Market Price - Closing (end of year) (c)

$

39.08 

 

$

36.07 

 

$

31.88 

 

$

25.79 

 

$

24.06 

 

 

Book Value Per Share (end of year)

$

29.41 

 

$

22.65 

 

$

21.60 

 

$

20.37 

 

$

19.38 

 

 

Tangible Book Value Per Share (end of year) (d)

$

18.21 

 

$

21.03 

 

$

19.97 

 

$

18.74 

 

$

17.54 

 

 

Rate of Return Earned on Average Common Equity (%) (e)

 

7.9 

 

 

 10.1 

 

 

 10.7 

 

 

 10.2 

 

 

 8.8 

 

 

Market-to-Book Ratio (end of year) (f)

 

1.3 

 

 

 1.6 

 

 

 1.5 

 

 

 1.3 

 

 

 1.2 

 

Capitalization:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Equity

 

 53 

%

 

44 

%

 

44 

%

 

44 

%

 

41 

%

 

Preferred Stock, not subject to mandatory redemption

 

 1 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Long-Term Debt (b)

 

 46 

 

 

55 

 

 

55 

 

 

55 

 

 

57 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

100 

%

 

100 

%

 

100 

%

 

100 

%

 

100 

%

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(a)

The 2012 results include the operations of NSTAR from the date of the merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012.

 

 

(b)

Includes portions due within one year, but excludes RRBs for Capitalization and Long-Term Debt.

 

 

(c)

Market price information reflects closing prices as reflected by the New York Stock Exchange.

 

 

(d)

Common Shareholders' Equity adjusted for goodwill and intangibles divided by total common shares outstanding.

 

 

(e)

Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest divided by average Common Shareholders' Equity.

 

 

(f)

The closing market price divided by the book value per share.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CL&P Selected Consolidated Financial Data (Unaudited)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Thousands of Dollars)

2012 

 

2011 

 

2010 

 

2009 

 

2008 

 

Operating Revenues

$

 2,407,449 

 

$

 2,548,387 

 

$

 2,999,102 

 

$

 3,424,538 

 

$

 3,558,361 

 

Net Income

 

 209,725 

 

 

 250,164 

 

 

 244,143 

 

 

 216,316 

 

 

 191,158 

 

Cash Dividends on Common Stock

 

 100,486 

 

 

 243,218 

 

 

 217,691 

 

 

 113,848 

 

 

 106,461 

 

Property, Plant and Equipment, Net

 

 6,152,959 

 

 

 5,827,384 

 

 

 5,586,504 

 

 

 5,340,561 

 

 

 5,089,124 

 

Total Assets

 

 9,142,088 

 

 

 8,791,396 

 

 

 8,255,192 

 

 

 8,364,564 

 

 

 8,336,118 

 

Rate Reduction Bonds

 

 - 

 

 

 - 

 

 

 - 

 

 

 195,587 

 

 

 378,195 

 

Long-Term Debt (a)

 

 2,862,790 

 

 

 2,583,753 

 

 

 2,583,102 

 

 

 2,582,361 

 

 

 2,270,414 

 

Preferred Stock Not Subject to Mandatory Redemption

 

 116,200 

 

 

 116,200 

 

 

 116,200 

 

 

 116,200 

 

 

 116,200 

 

Obligations Under Capital Leases (a)

 

 9,960 

 

 

 10,715 

 

 

 10,613 

 

 

 10,956 

 

 

 11,207 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(a)

Includes portions due within one year, but excludes RRBs for Long-Term Debt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

See the Combined Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for a description of any accounting changes materially affecting the comparability of the information reflected in the tables above.

 




30










NU Selected Consolidated Sales Statistics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012 (a)

 

 

2011 

 

 

2010 

 

 

2009 

 

 

2008 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues:  (Thousands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

$

 2,731,951 

 

$

 2,091,270 

 

$

2,336,078 

 

$

2,569,278 

 

$

2,525,635 

Commercial

 

 1,563,709 

 

 

 1,201,091 

 

 

1,303,841 

 

 

1,462,786 

 

 

1,607,224 

Industrial

 

 753,974 

 

 

 252,878 

 

 

268,598 

 

 

297,854 

 

 

399,753 

Wholesale

 

 357,223 

 

 

 350,413 

 

 

506,475 

 

 

445,261 

 

 

545,127 

Streetlighting and Railroads

 

 40,952 

 

 

 35,283 

 

 

42,387 

 

 

33,035 

 

 

38,522 

Miscellaneous and Eliminations

 

 130,137 

 

 

 47,485 

 

 

(29,878)

 

 

128,118 

 

 

24,673 

Total Electric

 

 5,577,946 

 

 

 3,978,420 

 

 

4,427,501 

 

 

4,936,332 

 

 

5,140,934 

Natural Gas

 

 572,857 

 

 

 430,799 

 

 

434,277 

 

 

449,571 

 

 

577,390 

Total - Regulated Companies

 

 6,150,803 

 

 

 4,409,219 

 

 

4,861,778 

 

 

5,385,903 

 

 

5,718,324 

Other and Eliminations

 

 122,984 

 

 

 56,438 

 

 

36,389 

 

 

53,527 

 

 

81,771 

Total

$

 6,273,787 

 

$

 4,465,657 

 

$

 4,898,167 

 

$

 5,439,430 

 

$

 5,800,095 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regulated Companies - Sales:  (GWh)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

 

 19,719 

 

 

 14,766 

 

 

14,913 

 

 

14,412 

 

 

14,509 

Commercial

 

 24,117 

 

 

 14,301 

 

 

14,506 

 

 

14,474 

 

 

14,885 

Industrial

 

 5,462 

 

 

 4,418 

 

 

4,481 

 

 

4,423 

 

 

5,149 

Wholesale

 

 2,154 

 

 

 1,020 

 

 

3,423 

 

 

4,183 

 

 

3,576 

Streetlighting and Railroads

 

 420 

 

 

 327 

 

 

330 

 

 

336 

 

 

340 

Total

 

 51,872 

 

 

 34,832 

 

 

37,653 

 

 

37,828 

 

 

38,459 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Regulated Companies - Customers:  (Average)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

 

 2,711,407 

 

 

 1,710,342 

 

 

1,704,197 

 

 

1,696,756 

 

 

1,700,207 

Commercial

 

 355,385 

 

 

 193,505 

 

 

192,266 

 

 

189,265 

 

 

190,067 

Industrial

 

 8,279 

 

 

 7,083 

 

 

7,150 

 

 

7,207 

 

 

7,342 

Streetlighting, Railroads and Wholesale

 

 15,004 

 

 

 5,735 

 

 

6,292 

 

 

7,548 

 

 

4,605 

Total Electric

 

 3,090,075 

 

 

 1,916,665 

 

 

1,909,905 

 

 

1,900,776 

 

 

1,902,221 

Natural Gas

 

 483,770 

 

 

 207,753 

 

 

205,885 

 

 

206,438 

 

 

204,834 

Total

 

 3,573,845 

 

 

 2,124,418 

 

 

2,115,790 

 

 

2,107,214 

 

 

2,107,055 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(a) The 2012 results include the operations of NSTAR from the date of the merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012.


CL&P Selected Consolidated Sales Statistics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012 

 

 

2011 

 

 

2010 

 

 

2009 

 

 

2008 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues:  (Thousands)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

$

 1,263,845 

 

$

 1,345,290 

 

$

1,597,754 

 

$

1,840,750 

 

$

1,811,845 

Commercial

 

 711,337 

 

 

 732,968 

 

 

821,872 

 

 

935,586 

 

 

1,042,077 

Industrial

 

 126,165 

 

 

 126,783 

 

 

144,463 

 

 

151,839 

 

 

190,723 

Wholesale

 

 214,807 

 

 

 278,751 

 

 

441,660 

 

 

386,034 

 

 

484,843 

Streetlighting and Railroads

 

 21,283 

 

 

 25,177 

 

 

32,084 

 

 

22,638 

 

 

28,710 

Miscellaneous

 

 70,012 

 

 

 39,418 

 

 

(38,731)

 

 

87,691 

 

 

163 

Total

$

 2,407,449 

 

$

 2,548,387 

 

$

2,999,102 

 

$

3,424,538 

 

$

3,558,361 

Sales:  (GWh)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

 

 9,978 

 

 

 10,092 

 

 

10,196 

 

 

9,848 

 

 

9,913 

Commercial

 

 9,414 

 

 

 9,525 

 

 

9,716 

 

 

9,705 

 

 

9,993 

Industrial

 

 2,426 

 

 

 2,414 

 

 

2,467 

 

 

2,427 

 

 

2,945 

Wholesale

 

 1,155 

 

 

 1,592 

 

 

3,040 

 

 

3,434 

 

 

3,637 

Streetlighting and Railroads

 

 291 

 

 

 284 

 

 

286 

 

 

286 

 

 

294 

Total

 

 23,264 

 

 

 23,907 

 

 

25,705 

 

 

25,700 

 

 

26,782 

Customers:  (Average)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Residential

 

 1,103,397 

 

 

 1,100,740 

 

 

1,096,576 

 

 

1,093,229 

 

 

1,094,991 

Commercial

 

 104,323 

 

 

 103,975 

 

 

103,166 

 

 

101,814 

 

 

102,464 

Industrial

 

 3,301 

 

 

 3,331 

 

 

3,359 

 

 

3,381 

 

 

3,613 

Streetlighting, Railroads and Wholesale

 

 4,266 

 

 

 4,260 

 

 

4,366 

 

 

5,307 

 

 

2,883 

Total

 

 1,215,287 

 

 

 1,212,306 

 

 

1,207,467 

 

 

1,203,731 

 

 

1,203,951 




31






Item 7.

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations


The following discussion and analysis should be read in conjunction with our consolidated financial statements and related combined notes included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K.  References in this Annual Report to "NU," the "Company," "we," "us" and "our" refer to Northeast Utilities and its subsidiaries.  All per share amounts are reported on a diluted basis.  


Refer to the Glossary of Terms included in this Annual Report on Form 10-K for abbreviations and acronyms used throughout this Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.  


The only common equity securities that are publicly traded are common shares of NU.  The earnings and EPS of each business discussed below do not represent a direct legal interest in the assets and liabilities allocated to such business but rather represent a direct interest in our assets and liabilities as a whole.  EPS by business is a financial measure not recognized under GAAP that is calculated by dividing the Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest of each business by the weighted average diluted NU common shares outstanding for the period.  The discussion below also includes non-GAAP financial measures referencing our 2012, 2011, and 2010 earnings and EPS excluding certain impacts related to NU's merger with NSTAR, a 2011 non-recurring charge at CL&P for the establishment of a reserve to provide bill credits to its residential customers and donations to charitable organizations, and certain non-recurring benefits from the settlement of tax issues in 2010.  We use these non-GAAP financial measures to evaluate and to provide details of earnings results by business and to more fully compare and explain our 2012, 2011 and 2010 results without including the impact of these non-recurring items.  Due to the nature and significance of these items on Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest, we believe that the non-GAAP presentation is more representative of our financial performance and provides additional and useful information to readers of this report in analyzing historical and future performance by business.  These non-GAAP financial measures should not be considered as an alternative to reported Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest or EPS determined in accordance with GAAP as an indicator of operating performance.


Reconciliations of the above non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures of consolidated diluted EPS and Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest are included under "Financial Condition and Business Analysis – Overview – Consolidated" in Management's Discussion and Analysis, herein.  


Financial Condition and Business Analysis


Merger with NSTAR:  


On April 10, 2012, NU and NSTAR completed our merger.  Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the Agreement and Plan of Merger, as amended (the Merger Agreement), NSTAR merged into NSTAR LLC, becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of NU.  Unless otherwise noted, the results of NSTAR LLC and its subsidiaries, hereinafter referred to as "NSTAR," are included from the date of merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012 throughout this Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.


The transaction was structured as a merger of equals in a tax-free exchange of shares.  Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, NU issued to NSTAR shareholders 1.312 NU common shares for each issued and outstanding NSTAR common share.  As a result, NU issued approximately 136 million common shares to the NSTAR shareholders.  


Executive Summary


The following items in this executive summary are explained in more detail in this Annual Report:  


Results and Outlook:


·

We earned $525.9 million, or $1.89 per share, in 2012, compared with $394.7 million, or $2.22 per share, in 2011.  Excluding after-tax merger-related costs of $107.6 million, or $0.39 per share, we earned $633.5 million, or $2.28 per share, in 2012.  Excluding after-tax merger-related costs of $11.3 million, or $0.06 per share, and a non-recurring charge at CL&P of $17.9 million, or $0.10 per share, we earned $423.9 million, or $2.38 per share, in 2011.  The non-recurring 2011 charge at CL&P relates to the establishment of a reserve to provide bill credits to its residential customers and donations to charitable organizations (storm fund reserve).  Improved earnings results in 2012 were due primarily to the inclusion of NSTAR effective April 10, 2012 as well as higher transmission segment earnings as a result of increased investments in the transmission infrastructure.


·

The addition of NSTAR effective April 10, 2012 provided an earnings contribution of $182.9 million in 2012.  Due to the timing of the merger closing, NSTAR results for the first three months of 2012 are not reflected in NU’s 2012 results.


·

Our transmission segment earned $249.7 million, or $0.90 per share, in 2012, compared with $199.6 million, or $1.12 per share, in 2011.


·

Our electric distribution segment, which includes generation, earned $292.3 million, or $1.04 per share, in 2012, compared with $189.1 million, or $1.06 per share, in 2011.  The 2012 results include $51.1 million, or $0.19 per share, of after-tax merger settlement agreement costs and the 2011 results include the CL&P storm fund reserve.



32







·

Our natural gas distribution segment earned $30.8 million, or $0.11 per share, in 2012, compared with $31.7 million, or $0.18 per share, in 2011.  The 2012 results include $2.1 million, or $0.01 per share, of after-tax merger settlement agreement costs.


·

NU parent and other companies recorded net losses of $46.9 million, or $0.16 per share, in 2012, compared with net losses of $25.7 million, or $0.14 per share, in 2011.  The 2012 and 2011 results include $54.4 million, or $0.19 per share, and $11.3 million, or $0.06 per share, respectively, of after-tax merger costs.


·

We project capital expenditures of approximately $5 billion from 2013 through 2015.  Of the $5 billion, we expect to invest approximately $2.5 billion in our electric and natural gas distribution segments, and $2.3 billion in our electric transmission segment.  In addition, we project capital expenditures of approximately $1.6 billion from 2016 through 2017 in our electric transmission segment.


Legislative, Regulatory, Policy and Other Items:


·

On June 15, 2012, Connecticut enacted the "Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response Act," which is intended to enhance the state’s emergency preparedness and response in the event of natural disasters.  Among numerous provisions, the bill required the PURA to establish emergency performance standards for utilities and allows the PURA to levy penalties for failure to meet those standards.  


·

On August 1, 2012, efforts to settle a complaint filed at FERC by various New England parties concerning the base ROE earned by New England transmission owners ended without a settlement.  Soon thereafter, litigation began before a FERC trial judge.  In the fourth quarter of 2012, additional testimony and complaints were filed.  On January 18, 2013, the FERC trial staff filed testimony and analysis recommending a base ROE of 9.66 percent based on the midpoint of their analysis with a range of reasonableness of 6.82 percent to 12.51 percent.  Hearings are scheduled for May 2013, a trial judge’s ruling is due in September 2013, and a FERC decision is expected in 2014.


·

On August 1, 2012, PURA issued a final decision in the investigation of CL&P’s performance related to both Tropical Storm Irene and the October 2011 snowstorm.  The decision concluded that CL&P was deficient and inadequate in its preparation, response, and communication to both storms, and identified certain penalties that could be imposed on CL&P during its next rate case.  However, PURA will consider and weigh the extent to which CL&P has taken steps to improve current practices in future storm response in determining any potential penalties.  We believe such steps to improve current storm preparation and response practices have been successfully executed in recent storms, and that CL&P's response to these 2011 storms was prudent and consistent with industry standards, and that it is probable that it will be able to recover its deferred costs.


·

On August 3, 2012, Massachusetts Governor Patrick signed into law "An Act Relative to Competitively Priced Electricity in the Commonwealth."  The Act establishes distribution rate case requirements for both electric and natural gas utility companies, as well as limiting settlement agreements, establishes new timing on rate case proceedings, and establishes requirements for all distribution companies to enter into additional long-term renewable energy distribution contracts.  


·

On August 6, 2012, Massachusetts Governor Patrick signed into law "An Act relative to emergency service response of public utility companies" to help improve utility companies’ emergency response and communication, as well as indicate how any assessed penalties will be provided to customers.  


·

On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage to our electric distribution system across all three states resulting in deferred storm restoration costs of $204 million.  Approximately 1.5 million of our 3.1 million electric distribution customers were without power during or following the storm.  We believe the storm restoration costs meet the criteria for specific cost recovery in each state in which we operate and, as a result, we do not expect the storm to have a material impact on our results of operations.


·

On December 11, 2012, in separate orders issued by the DPU, NSTAR Electric and WMECO received penalties of $4.1 million and $2 million, respectively, related to the investigation into the electric utilities’ responses to Tropical Storm Irene and the October 2011 snowstorm.  The DPU stated that NSTAR Electric failed to communicate and prioritize restoration efforts in both storms and WMECO failed to prioritize restoration efforts in the October snowstorm.  On December 28, 2012, NSTAR Electric and WMECO each filed appeals arguing the DPU penalties should be vacated.  While we believe NSTAR Electric and WMECO should ultimately prevail upon appeal, we are unable to conclusively state that a favorable outcome is probable.


·

On January 16, 2013, PURA approved the $300 million plan CL&P filed on July 9, 2012 to improve the resiliency of the CL&P electric distribution system.  The plan is consistent with the terms of the Connecticut settlement agreement among NU, NSTAR, and various Connecticut state agencies.


·

On February 8, 2013, a blizzard caused damage to the electric delivery systems of CL&P and NSTAR Electric.  We have estimated that approximately 71,000 and 350,000 of CL&P and NSTAR Electric's distribution customers, respectively, were without power during or following the storm.  We believe that this storm will cost between $100 million to $120 million, with approximately 90 percent of those costs relating to NSTAR Electric.  We expect the storm restoration costs to meet the criteria for specific cost



33






recovery in each state in which we operate and, as a result, we do not expect the storm to have a material impact on our results of operations.


·

On February 19, 2013, Connecticut issued a final comprehensive energy strategy (strategy).  The strategy includes a series of policy proposals that aim to expand energy choices, including natural gas, improve environmental conditions, create clean energy jobs, and enhance the quality of life for customers in the state.  Many of the recommendations in the strategy will require actions by the PURA and potentially the legislature.


·

NPT has identified a new route in the northern-most part of the project’s route where PSNH did not own any rights of way.  We expect to file the new route with the DOE in the first quarter of 2013, and we believe that NPT will be completed in early 2017.  We estimate the costs of the Northern Pass transmission project will be approximately $1.2 billion.  


Liquidity:


·

Cash and cash equivalents totaled $45.7 million as of December 31, 2012, compared with $6.6 million as of December 31, 2011, while cash capital expenditures totaled $1.5 billion in 2012, compared with $1.1 billion in 2011.


·

Cash flows provided by operating activities in 2012 totaled $1.05 billion, compared with operating cash flows of $901.1 million in 2011 (amounts are net of RRB payments).  The improved cash flows were due primarily to the addition of NSTAR, which contributed $450.8 million of operating cash flows (net of RRB payments) to NU since the date of the merger, April 10, 2012. Offsetting the favorable NSTAR cash flow impact was an increase in storm restoration costs, NUSCO Pension Plan cash contributions, 2012 customer bill credits and NU Parent merger transaction cost payments.


·

In 2012, we issued $850 million of new long-term debt consisting of $400 million by NSTAR Electric, $300 million by NU Parent, and $150 million by WMECO.  These new issuances were used primarily to repay $716.8 million of existing long-term debt, of which $663 million matured in 2012 ($400 million at NSTAR Electric and $263 million at NU Parent) and WMECO’s tax-exempt PCRBs of $53.8 million scheduled to mature in 2028.  Additionally, CL&P remarketed $62 million of tax-exempt PCRBs in April 2012 and redeemed $116.4 million of tax-exempt PCRBs in October 2012.  As of December 31, 2012, approximately $730 million of NU's current liabilities relate to long-term debt that will be paid in the next 12 months.  


·

On March 26, 2012, CL&P entered into a five-year $300 million unsecured revolving credit facility.  The credit facility is intended to finance short-term borrowings that CL&P incurred to fund costs of restoring power following Tropical Storm Irene and the October 2011 snowstorm.  As of December 31, 2012, CL&P had $89 million in borrowings outstanding under this credit facility.


·

On July 25, 2012, NU and certain of its subsidiaries jointly entered into a five-year $1.15 billion revolving credit facility, and NSTAR Electric entered into a five-year $450 million revolving credit facility.  The new facilities expire on July 25, 2017 and will be used primarily to backstop NU’s $1.15 billion commercial paper program and NSTAR Electric’s $450 million commercial paper program.  As of December 31, 2012, NU and NSTAR Electric had $1.15 billion and $276 million in borrowings outstanding under their respective commercial paper programs.


·

On January 15, 2013, CL&P issued $400 million of 2.5 percent first mortgage bonds that will mature on January 15, 2023.  The proceeds, net of issuance costs, were used to repay CL&P’s revolving credit facility borrowings of $89 million and $305.8 million of its commercial paper program borrowings.


·

On February 5, 2013, our Board of Trustees approved a common dividend payment of $0.3675 per share, payable March 28, 2013 to shareholders of record as of March 1, 2013.  The dividend represented an increase of 7.1 percent over the $0.343 per share quarterly dividend paid in December 2012.




34






Overview


Consolidated:  A summary of our earnings by business, which also reconciles the non-GAAP financial measures of consolidated non-GAAP earnings and EPS, as well as EPS by business, to the most directly comparable GAAP measures of consolidated Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest and diluted EPS, for 2012, 2011 and 2010 is as follows:  


 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

 

 

2012 (1)

 

2011

 

2010

(Millions of Dollars, Except Per Share Amounts)

 

Amount

 

Per Share

 

Amount

 

Per Share

 

Amount

 

Per Share

Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest (GAAP)

$

525.9 

 

$

1.89 

 

$

394.7 

 

$

2.22 

 

$

387.9 

 

$

2.19 


Regulated Companies

 

$

626.0 

 

$

2.25 

 

$

438.3 

 

$

2.46 

 

$

384.0 

 

$

2.16 

NU Parent and Other Companies

 

 

7.5 

 

 

0.03 

 

 

(14.4)

 

 

(0.08)

 

 

(2.4)

 

 

(0.00)

Non-GAAP Earnings

 

 

633.5 

 

 

2.28 

 

 

423.9 

 

 

2.38 

 

 

381.6 

 

 

2.16 

Merger and Related Costs (after-tax)

 

 

(107.6)

 

 

(0.39)

 

 

(11.3)

 

 

(0.06)

 

 

(9.4)

 

 

(0.06)

Storm Fund Reserve

 

     - 

 

 

 

 

(17.9)

 

 

(0.10)

 

 

 

 

Non-Recurring Tax Settlements

 

     - 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15.7 

 

 

0.09 

Net Income Attributable to Controlling Interest (GAAP)

$

525.9 

 

$

1.89 

 

$

394.7 

 

$

2.22 

 

$

387.9 

 

$

2.19 


(1)

Results include the operations of NSTAR from the date of merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012.  


The after-tax merger and related costs for 2012 consisted of the following charges:


·

Transaction and integration-related costs of $34 million at NU parent related to investment advisory fees, attorney fees, and consulting costs;

·

Change in control costs and other compensation costs of $13.5 million at NU parent and NSTAR;

·

A $23.6 million charge at CL&P related to the Connecticut settlement agreement, pursuant to which CL&P agreed to forego recovery of $40 million (pre-tax) of deferred storm restoration costs associated with Tropical Storm Irene and the October 2011 snowstorm;

·

A $14.8 million charge at CL&P for customer bill credits related to the Connecticut settlement agreement;

·

An aggregate of $12.8 million of charges at NSTAR Electric, NSTAR Gas, and WMECO for customer bill credits related to the Massachusetts settlement agreement; and

·

An $8.9 million charge at NU parent for the establishment of a fund to advance Connecticut energy goals related to the Connecticut settlement agreement.


Excluding the impacts of the 2012 and 2011 merger and related settlement agreement costs and the 2011 storm fund reserve, our 2012 earnings increased by $209.6 million, as compared to 2011, due primarily to the inclusion of NSTAR effective April 10, 2012, and higher transmission segment earnings as a result of increased investments in the transmission infrastructure.  On an earnings per share basis, the 2012 NSTAR earnings contribution of $182.9 million ($204.5 million in non-GAAP earnings) was partially offset by the issuance of approximately 136 million common shares to close the merger.  Offsetting these favorable earnings impacts were lower retail electric and firm natural gas sales due primarily to significantly milder weather in the first quarter of 2012, compared with the first quarter of 2011, higher pension and healthcare costs, higher depreciation and property taxes.


Regulated Companies:  Our Regulated companies consist of the electric distribution, natural gas distribution, and transmission segments.  Generation activities of PSNH and WMECO are included in our electric distribution segment.  A summary of our segment earnings for 2012, 2011 and 2010 is as follows:


 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

(Millions of Dollars)

 

2012 (1)

 

2011

 

2010

Net Income - Regulated Companies (GAAP)

 

$

572.8 

 

$

420.4 

 

$

384.0

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Electric Distribution

 

$

343.4 

 

$

207.0 

 

$

173.5

Transmission

 

 

249.7 

 

 

199.6 

 

 

177.8

Natural Gas Distribution

 

 

32.9 

 

 

31.7 

 

 

32.7

Net Income - Regulated Companies (Non-GAAP)

 

 

626.0 

 

 

438.3 

 

 

384.0

Merger Settlement Agreement Costs (after-tax) (2)

 

 

(53.2)

 

 

 

 

-

Storm Fund Reserve (3)

 

 

 

 

(17.9)

 

 

-

Net Income - Regulated Companies (GAAP)

 

$

572.8 

 

$

420.4 

 

$

384.0


(1)

Results include NSTAR Electric and NSTAR Gas earnings from the date of merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012.

(2)

Merger settlement agreement costs are attributable to the electric distribution segment ($51.1 million) and the natural gas distribution segment ($2.1 million).

(3)

The storm fund reserve is attributable to the electric distribution segment.




35






The higher 2012 transmission segment earnings, as compared to 2011, were due primarily to the inclusion of the NSTAR Electric transmission business and increased investments in the transmission infrastructure, including GSRP, which is under construction in western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut.  


Our electric distribution segment earned $292.3 million in 2012, compared with $189.1 million in 2011.  Excluding the impacts of the 2012 merger settlement agreement costs and the 2011 storm fund reserve, our electric distribution segment earned $343.4 million in 2012 and $207 million in 2011.  The higher earnings were due primarily to the addition of NSTAR Electric.  Excluding $10.9 million of after-tax merger settlement agreement costs, which related to customer bill credits, NSTAR Electric’s distribution business earned $150.2 million from April 10, 2012 through December 31, 2012.  For further information regarding NSTAR Electric’s earnings, see "Results of Operations – NSTAR Electric Company and Subsidiaries – Earnings Summary" in this Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.  Offsetting this favorable earnings impact was lower retail revenue, which was primarily the result of warmer than normal weather in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to colder than normal weather in the first quarter of 2011.  In addition, our electric distribution segment had higher pension and employee benefit costs, higher depreciation and property taxes, and the DPU October snowstorm penalty ($2 million pre-tax) imposed on WMECO in December 2012, partially offset by the favorable impacts of the CL&P and PSNH 2010 distribution rate case decisions.  As a result of these decisions, the CL&P rates increased effective July 1, 2011, which resulted in a full year favorable impact to earnings in 2012, while the PSNH rates increased effective July 1, 2012.


Our natural gas distribution segment earned $30.8 million in 2012, compared with $31.7 million in 2011.  Excluding the impact of the merger settlement agreement costs, our natural gas distribution segment earned $32.9 million in 2012.  The higher earnings were due primarily to the addition of NSTAR Gas’ results.  Excluding $2.1 million of after-tax merger settlement agreement costs, which related to customer bill credits, NSTAR Gas’ earnings were $6.6 million from April 10, 2012 through December 31, 2012.  Offsetting this favorable earnings impact was a decrease in total firm natural gas sales, which was primarily the result of warmer than normal weather in the first quarter of 2012 as compared to colder than normal weather in the first quarter of 2011, and higher pension expense, depreciation and property taxes.  These costs were partially offset by lower operations and maintenance costs as well as the favorable impact of the Yankee Gas 2011 rate case decision resulting in the additional increase to annualized rates effective July 1, 2012.


A summary of our retail electric GWh sales and percentage changes, as well as changes in CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO retail electric GWh sales, and our firm natural gas sales and percentage changes in million cubic feet, as well as changes in Yankee Gas and NSTAR Gas’ sales in million cubic feet, for 2012, as compared to 2011, is as follows:


 

 

For the Year Ended
December 31, 2012 Compared to 2011

 

 

Sales (GWh)

 

Percentage

NU – Electric

 

2012 (1)

 

2011

 

Increase

Residential

 

19,719

 

14,766

 

33.5%

Commercial

 

24,117

 

14,301

 

68.6%

Industrial

 

5,462

 

4,418

 

23.6%

Other

 

420

 

327

 

28.6%

Total

 

49,718

 

33,812

 

47.0%


 

 

For the Year Ended
December 31, 2012 Compared to 2011

 

 

CL&P

 

NSTAR
Electric
(2)

 

PSNH

 

WMECO

Electric

 

Percentage
Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percentage
Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percentage
Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percentage
Increase/
(Decrease)

Residential

 

(1.1)%

 

0.2 %

 

(0.1)%

 

(1.0)%

Commercial

 

(1.2)%

 

(1.7)%

 

0.0 %

 

0.7 %

Industrial

 

0.5 %

 

(4.6)%

 

0.7 %

 

(0.9)%

Other

 

2.3 %

 

(12.2)%

 

(1.0)%

 

(5.7)%

Total

 

(0.9)%

 

(1.4)%

 

0.1 %

 

(0.3)%


(1)

NU retail electric sales include the sales of NSTAR Electric from the date of merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012.

(2)

Results for NSTAR Electric represent its standalone retail electric sales for the year ended December 31, 2012 and 2011.



36







 

 

For the Year Ended
December 31, 2012 Compared to 2011

 

 

Sales
(million cubic feet)

 

Percentage

NU – Firm Natural Gas

 

2012 (1)

 

2011

 

Increase

Residential

 

22,535

 

13,508

 

66.8%

Commercial

 

27,906

 

17,175

 

62.5%

Industrial

 

19,453

 

16,197

 

20.1%

Total

 

69,894

 

46,880

 

49.1%

Total, Net of Special Contracts (2)

 

64,140

 

38,197

 

67.9%


 

 

For the Year Ended
December 31, 2012
Compared to 2011

 

 

Yankee Gas

 

NSTAR Gas (3)

Firm Natural Gas

 

Percentage
Increase/
(Decrease)

 

Percentage
Decrease

Residential

 

(7.6)%

 

(10.7)%

Commercial

 

(3.5)%

 

(2.9)%

Industrial

 

(2.5)%

 

(0.4)%

Total

 

(4.3)%

 

(6.2)%

Total, Net of Special Contracts (2)

 

2.3 %

 

 


(1)

NU firm natural gas sales include the sales of NSTAR Gas from the date of merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012.

(2)

Special contracts are unique to the customers who take service under such an arrangement and generally specify the amount of distribution revenue to be paid to Yankee Gas regardless of the customers’ usage.

(3)

NSTAR Gas’ sales data for the year ended December 31, 2012 compared to 2011 has been provided for comparative purposes only.


Weather and, to a lesser extent, fluctuations in fuel costs, conservation measures, and economic conditions affect sales to our customers.  Industrial sales are less sensitive to temperature variations than residential and commercial sales.  Weather impacts electric sales primarily during the summer and natural gas sales during the winter in our service territories (natural gas sales are more sensitive to temperature variations than electric sales).  Customer heating or cooling usage may not directly correlate with historical levels or with the level of degree-days that occur, particularly when weather patterns experienced are consistently colder or warmer.  In addition, our electric and natural gas businesses are sensitive to variations in daily weather, are highly influenced by New England’s seasonal weather variations, and are susceptible to damage from major storms and other natural events and disasters that could adversely affect our ability to provide energy.


Our consolidated retail electric and firm natural gas sales were higher in 2012, as compared to 2011, due to the inclusion of NSTAR Electric and NSTAR Gas sales, respectively, from the date of merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012.  


Actual retail electric sales for CL&P, NSTAR Electric and WMECO decreased in 2012, as compared to 2011, due primarily to the warmer than normal weather in the first quarter of 2012, as compared to colder than normal weather in the first quarter of 2011, while actual retail electric sales for PSNH were 0.1 percent higher than last year.  In 2012, heating degree days were 11 percent lower in Connecticut and western Massachusetts, 7 percent lower in the Boston metropolitan area, and 9 percent lower in New Hampshire, as compared to 2011.  On a weather normalized basis (based on 30-year average temperatures), the average NU combined consolidated total retail electric sales decreased 0.2 percent in 2012, as compared to 2011, assuming NSTAR Electric had been part of the NU combined electric distribution system for all periods under consideration.  We believe these decreases were due primarily to increased conservation efforts among all our customer classes and the continued installation of distributed generation at our commercial and industrial customers’ facilities.  For WMECO, the fluctuations in retail electric sales no longer impact earnings as the DPU approved a sales decoupling plan effective February 1, 2011.  Under this decoupling plan, WMECO now has an established annual level of baseline distribution delivery service revenues of $125.4 million that it is able to recover.  This effectively breaks the relationship between sales volume and revenues recognized.


Our firm natural gas sales are subject to many of the same influences as our retail electric sales, but have benefitted from lower natural gas prices and customer growth across all three customer classes.  In 2012, excluding the impact of NSTAR Gas sales, actual sales decreased, as compared to 2011, due primarily to the warmer than normal weather in the first quarter of 2012, as compared to colder than normal weather in the first quarter of 2011.  On a weather normalized basis, Yankee Gas’ 2012 sales increased due primarily to customer growth, lower cost of natural gas, the migration of interruptible customers switching to firm service rates, and the addition of gas-fired distributed generation in Yankee Gas’ service territory.


On a weather-normalized basis, the average NU combined consolidated total firm natural gas sales increased 2.7 percent in 2012, as compared to 2011, assuming NSTAR Gas had been part of the NU combined natural gas distribution system for all periods under consideration.



37







NU Parent and Other Companies:  NU parent and other companies (which includes our competitive businesses held by NU Enterprises and, from April 10, 2012, NSTAR LLC) recorded net losses of $46.9 million in 2012, compared with net losses of $25.7 million in 2011.  Excluding the impact of the 2012 and 2011 merger and related settlement agreement costs, NU parent and other companies recorded earnings of $7.5 million and net losses of $14.4 million, respectively.  The NU parent merger and related settlement agreement costs primarily included fees paid to investment advisors and attorneys, a charge for the establishment of a fund to advance Connecticut energy goals related to the Connecticut settlement agreement, and change in control costs and other compensation costs.  Excluding merger and related settlement agreement costs, improved results were due primarily to lower interest expense, a lower effective tax rate and the inclusion of NSTAR Communications.


Major Storm Restoration Costs:  A storm must meet certain criteria specific to each state and utility company to be declared a major storm.  Once a storm is declared major, all qualifying expenses incurred during storm restoration efforts, if deemed prudent, are deferred and recovered from customers in future periods.  In Connecticut, qualifying storm restoration costs must exceed $5 million for a storm to be declared as a major storm.  In Massachusetts, qualifying storm costs must exceed $1 million for NSTAR Electric and $300,000 for WMECO and an emergency response plan must be initiated for a storm to be declared a major storm.  In New Hampshire, (1) at least 10 percent of customers must be without power with at least 200 concurrent locations requiring repairs (trouble spots), or (2) at least 300 concurrent trouble spots must be reported for a storm to be declared a major storm.


On October 29, 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused extensive damage to our electric distribution system across all three states resulting in deferred storm restoration costs of $204 million ($159.9 million for CL&P, $27.8 million for NSTAR Electric, $12.1 million for PSNH, and $4.2 million for WMECO).  Approximately 1.5 million of our 3.1 million electric distribution customers were without power during or following the storm, with approximately 850,000 of those customers in Connecticut, approximately 472,000 in Massachusetts, and approximately 137,000 in New Hampshire.  We expect the storm restoration costs to meet the criteria for specific cost recovery in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire and, as a result, we do not expect the storm to have a material impact on the results of operations of CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH or WMECO.  Each operating company will seek recovery of these deferred storm restoration costs through its applicable regulatory recovery process.


Liquidity


Consolidated:  Cash and cash equivalents totaled $45.7 million as of December 31, 2012, compared with $6.6 million as of December 31, 2011.  


On March 22, 2012, NU parent issued $300 million of 18-month floating rate Series D Senior Notes with a maturity date of September 20, 2013 and a coupon rate based on the three-month LIBOR rate plus a credit spread of 75 basis points, which resets every three months.  As of December 31, 2012, the interest rate on these notes was 1.059 percent.  The proceeds, net of issuance costs, were used to repay the NU parent $263 million Series A Senior Notes that matured on April 1, 2012, to repay short-term borrowings and for other general corporate purposes.  


On March 22, 2012, the FERC approved CL&P's application requesting to increase its total short-term borrowing capacity from a maximum of $450 million to a maximum of $600 million through December 31, 2013.


On March 26, 2012, CL&P entered into a five-year $300 million unsecured revolving credit facility.  The credit facility is intended to finance short-term borrowings that CL&P incurred to fund costs of restoring power following Tropical Storm Irene and the October 2011 snowstorm.  Under this new facility, CL&P can borrow either on a short-term or a long-term basis subject to any necessary regulatory approval, and may borrow at prime rates or LIBOR-based rates, plus an applicable margin based on the higher of S&P’s or Moody’s credit ratings.  As of December 31, 2012, CL&P had $89 million in borrowings outstanding under this credit facility.  The weighted-average interest rate on these borrowings as of December 31, 2012 was 3.325 percent.  


On April 2, 2012, CL&P remarketed $62 million of tax-exempt PCRBs that were subject to mandatory tender on that date.  The PCRBs, which mature on May 1, 2031, carry a coupon rate of 1.55 percent during the current three-year fixed-rate period, and are subject to mandatory tender for purchase on April 1, 2015.


On May 16, 2012, the FERC granted authorization to allow NSTAR Electric to issue total short-term debt securities in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $655 million outstanding at any one time, effective October 23, 2012 through October 23, 2014.  


On July 25, 2012, NU, CL&P, NSTAR LLC, NSTAR Gas, PSNH, WMECO, and Yankee Gas jointly entered into a five-year $1.15 billion revolving credit facility.  The new facility replaced (1) the NSTAR LLC revolving credit facility of $175 million that served to backstop a commercial paper program utilized by NSTAR LLC and was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012, (2) the NSTAR Gas revolving credit facility of $75 million that expired on June 8, 2012, and (3) the CL&P, PSNH, WMECO, and Yankee Gas joint $400 million and NU parent $500 million unsecured revolving credit facilities that were scheduled to expire on September 24, 2013.  The new facility expires on July 25, 2017.  We expect the new facility to be used primarily to backstop the $1.15 billion commercial paper program at NU, which commenced July 25, 2012.  As of December 31, 2012, NU had $1.15 billion in borrowings outstanding under this commercial paper program.  The weighted-average interest rate on these borrowings as of December 31, 2012 was 0.46 percent, which is generally based on money market rates.  As of December 31, 2012, there were inter-company loans of $987.5 million from NU to its subsidiaries ($405.1 million for CL&P, $63.3 million for PSNH, and $31.9 million for WMECO).  



38







On July 25, 2012, NSTAR Electric entered into a five-year $450 million revolving credit facility.  This new facility serves to backstop NSTAR Electric’s existing $450 million commercial paper program.  The new facility expires on July 25, 2017.  This new facility replaced a prior $450 million NSTAR Electric revolving credit facility that was scheduled to expire on December 31, 2012.  As of December 31, 2012, NSTAR Electric had $276 million in short-term borrowings outstanding under its commercial paper program, leaving $174 million of available borrowing capacity.  The weighted-average interest rate on these borrowings as of December 31, 2012 was 0.31 percent, which is generally based on money market rates.


On July 31, 2012, the DPU approved NSTAR Electric's application for a new two-year financing plan that provides for the issuance of long-term debt securities in an aggregate amount not to exceed $600 million prior to December 31, 2013.


On October 1, 2012, CL&P redeemed at par four different series of tax-exempt PCRBs totaling $116.4 million.  The PCRBs carried coupons that ranged from 5.85 percent to 5.95 percent and maturity dates that ranged from 2016 through 2028.  On October 1, 2012, WMECO redeemed at par $53.8 million of tax-exempt PCRBs.  The PCRBs had a maturity date of 2028 and a coupon of 5.85 percent.  


On October 4, 2012, WMECO issued at a premium $150 million of senior unsecured notes at a yield of 2.673 percent that will mature on September 15, 2021.  The senior unsecured notes are part of the same series of WMECO’s existing 3.5 percent coupon Series F Notes that were initially issued in September 2011.  As a result, the aggregate principal amount of WMECO’s outstanding Series F Notes now totals $250 million.  


On October 15, 2012, NSTAR Electric issued at a discount $400 million of 2.375 percent Debentures at a yield of 2.406 percent that will mature on October 15, 2022.  The proceeds, net of issuance costs, were used to pay $400 million of 4.875 percent Debentures that matured on October 15, 2012.


On January 15, 2013, CL&P issued $400 million of 2.5 percent first mortgage bonds that will mature on January 15, 2023.  The proceeds, net of issuance costs, were used to repay CL&P’s revolving credit facility borrowings of $89 million and $305.8 million of its commercial paper program borrowings.


NU, CL&P, NSTAR Electric, PSNH and WMECO use their available capital resources to fund their respective construction expenditures, meet debt requirements, pay costs, including storm-related costs, pay dividends and fund other corporate obligations, such as pension contributions.  The current growth in NU’s transmission construction expenditures utilizes a significant amount of cash for projects that have a long-term return on investment and recovery period.  In addition, NU’s Regulated companies operate in an environment where recovery of its electric and natural gas distribution construction expenditures takes place over an extended period of time.  This impacts the timing of the revenue stream designed to fully recover the total investment plus a return on the equity portion of the cost and related financing costs.  These factors have resulted in NU’s current liabilities exceeding current assets by approximately $1.4 billion, $268 million, $198 million and $60 million at NU, CL&P, NSTAR Electric and WMECO, respectively, as of December 31, 2012.


As of December 31, 2012, approximately $730 million of NU's current liabilities relates to long-term debt that will be paid in the next 12 months, consisting of $550 million for NU parent, $55 million for WMECO, and $125 million for CL&P.  NU, with its strong credit ratings, has several options available in the financial markets to repay or refinance these maturities with the issuance of new long-term debt.  NU, CL&P, NSTAR Electric, and WMECO will reduce their short-term borrowings with cash received from operating cash flows or with the issuance of new long-term debt, as deemed appropriate given our capital requirements and maintenance of our credit rating and profile.  Management expects the future operating cash flows of NU and its subsidiaries, along with the access to financial markets, will be sufficient to meet any future operating requirements and capital investment forecasted opportunities.


Cash flows provided by operating activities in 2012 totaled $1.05 billion, compared with operating cash flows of $901.1 million in 2011 and $832.6 million in 2010 (all amounts are net of RRB payments, which are included in financing activities on the accompanying consolidated statements of cash flows).  The improved cash flows were due primarily to the addition of NSTAR, which contributed $450.8 million of operating cash flows (net of RRB payments) to NU since the date of the merger, April 10, 2012.  Offsetting the favorable NSTAR cash flow impact was an increase of $100.6 million in cash disbursements made in 2012, compared to 2011, associated with CL&P, PSNH and WMECO storm restoration costs related to Tropical Storm Irene, the October 2011 snowstorm, and Hurricane Sandy, NUSCO Pension Plan cash contributions of $197.4 million in 2012, compared to $143.6 million in 2011, a total of $28 million of bill credits in 2012 to customers of CL&P and WMECO related to the merger, and $27 million in bill credits provided to CL&P residential customers in 2012 related to the October 2011 snowstorm.  In addition, there were approximately $42 million of NU parent transaction cost payments related to the merger.  The improved cash flows from 2010 to 2011 were due primarily to the impact of the CL&P and PSNH 2010 distribution rate case decisions that were effective July 1, 2010, the WMECO distribution rate case decision that was effective February 1, 2011, and income tax refunds of $76.6 million in 2011 largely attributable to accelerated depreciation tax benefits, compared to income tax payments of $84.5 million in 2010.  Offsetting these benefits was $143.6 million of Pension Plan cash contributions in 2011, compared to $45 million in 2010, and approximately $157 million of cash disbursements made in 2011 associated with Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm.  




39






A summary of the current credit ratings and outlooks by Moody's, S&P and Fitch for senior unsecured debt of NU parent, NSTAR Electric, and WMECO and senior secured debt of CL&P and PSNH is as follows:


 

 

Moody's

 

S&P

 

Fitch

 

 

Current

 

Outlook

 

Current

 

Outlook

 

Current

 

Outlook

NU Parent

 

Baa2

 

Stable

 

BBB+ 

 

Stable

 

BBB+ 

 

Stable

CL&P

 

A3

 

Stable

 

 

Stable

 

 

Stable

NSTAR Electric

 

A2

 

Stable

 

A-

 

Stable

 

A+

 

Stable

PSNH

 

A3

 

Stable

 

 

Stable

 

A  

 

Stable

WMECO

 

Baa2

 

Stable

 

A-

 

Stable

 

A-

 

Stable


On February 14, 2013, S&P revised its criteria for rating utility first mortgage bonds, resulting in one-level upgrades of CL&P and PSNH first mortgage bonds by S&P.  


We paid common dividends of $375 million in 2012, compared with $194.6 million in 2011.  This reflects an increase of approximately 17 percent in our common dividend beginning in the second quarter of 2012 following an increase of approximately 7 percent in the first quarter of 2012.  On February 5, 2013, our Board of Trustees approved a common dividend payment of $0.3675 per share, payable March 28, 2013 to shareholders of record as of March 1, 2013.  The dividend represented an increase of 7.1 percent over the $0.343 per share quarterly dividend paid in December 2012.


In 2012, CL&P, NSTAR LLC, PSNH, and WMECO paid $100.5 million, $141 million, $90.7 million, and $9.4 million, respectively, in common dividends to NU parent.  Since April 10, 2012, NSTAR Electric and NSTAR Gas have paid $159.9 million and $12 million, respectively, in common dividends to NSTAR LLC.  NU parent made equity contributions to CL&P and WMECO of $25 million and $50 million, respectively.  


Cash capital expenditures included on the accompanying consolidated statements of cash flows and described in this "Liquidity" section do not include amounts incurred on capital projects but not yet paid, cost of removal, AFUDC related to equity funds, and the capitalized portions of pension and PBOP expense or income.  A summary of our cash capital expenditures by company for the years ended December 31, 2012, 2011 and 2010 is as follows:


 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

(Millions of Dollars)

 

2012 (1)

 

2011

 

2010

CL&P

 

$

449.1

 

$

424.9

 

$

380.3

NSTAR Electric

 

 

324.3

 

 

N/A   

 

 

N/A  

PSNH

 

 

203.9

 

 

241.8

 

 

296.3

WMECO

 

 

264.2

 

 

238.0

 

 

115.2

Natural Gas

 

 

148.7

 

 

98.2

 

 

82.5

NPT

 

 

33.5

 

 

24.9

 

 

7.5

Other

 

 

48.6

 

 

48.9

 

 

72.7

Total

 

$

1,472.3

 

$

1,076.7

 

$

954.5


(1)

Cash capital expenditures include NSTAR from the date of merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012.  


The increase in our cash capital expenditures was the result of the addition of NSTAR’s capital expenditures, effective April 10, 2012, and higher transmission segment cash capital expenditures of $113.8 million, primarily at WMECO and CL&P.


Business Development and Capital Expenditures


Consolidated:  Our consolidated capital expenditures, including amounts incurred but not paid, cost of removal, AFUDC, and the capitalized portions of pension and PBOP expense or income (all of which are non-cash factors), totaled $1.5 billion in 2012, $1.2 billion in 2011, and $1 billion in 2010.  These amounts included $43.1 million in 2012, $51.9 million in 2011, and $68.7 million in 2010, related to our corporate service companies, NUSCO and RRR.




40






Transmission Business:  Transmission business capital expenditures increased by $189.6 million in 2012, compared with 2011, due primarily to increases at CL&P and WMECO related to the construction of GSRP and the addition of NSTAR Electric's capital expenditures since April 10, 2012.  A summary of transmission capital expenditures by company in 2012, 2011 and 2010 is as follows:  


 

 

For the Years Ended December 31,

(Millions of Dollars)

 

2012 (1)

 

2011

 

2010

CL&P

 

$

 

182.5

 

$

128.6

 

$

107.2

NSTAR Electric

 

 

160.7

 

 

N/A      

 

 

N/A      

PSNH

 

 

55.7

 

 

68.1

 

 

49.1

WMECO

 

 

214.7

 

 

236.8

 

 

95.2

NPT

 

 

35.4

 

 

25.9

 

 

9.4

Total Transmission Segment

 

$

649.0

 

$

459.4

 

$

260.9


(1)

Transmission capital expenditures include NSTAR Electric from the date of merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012.  


NEEWS:  GSRP, a project that involves the construction of 115 kV and 345 kV overhead lines by CL&P and WMECO from Ludlow, Massachusetts to Bloomfield, Connecticut, is the first, largest and most complicated project within the NEEWS family of projects.  The $718 million project is expected to be fully placed in service in late 2013.  As of December 31, 2012, the project was approximately 93 percent complete and we have placed $298 million in service.  


The Interstate Reliability Project, which includes CL&P’s construction of an approximately 40-mile, 345 kV overhead line from Lebanon, Connecticut to the Connecticut-Rhode Island border in Thompson, Connecticut where it will connect to transmission enhancements being constructed by National Grid, is our second major NEEWS project.  All siting applications have been filed by CL&P and National Grid.  On January 2, 2013, the Connecticut Siting Council issued a final decision and order approving the Connecticut portion of the project.  Decisions in Rhode Island and Massachusetts are expected between the end of 2013 and early 2014.  The $218 million project is expected to be placed in service in late 2015.  


Included as part of NEEWS are associated reliability related projects, approximately $70 million of which have been placed in service and approximately $30 million of which are in various phases of construction and will continue to go into service through 2013.  


Through December 31, 2012, CL&P and WMECO had capitalized $212 million and $518.1 million, respectively, in costs associated with NEEWS, of which $79.4 million and $183.4 million, respectively, were capitalized in 2012.    


Greater Hartford Central Connecticut Project (GHCC):  In August 2012, ISO-NE presented its preliminary needs analysis for the GHCC to the ISO-NE Planning Advisory Committee.  The results showed severe thermal overloads and voltage violations in each of the four study areas now and in the near future.  A combination of 345 kV and 115 kV transmission solutions are being considered to address these reliability concerns and a set of preferred solutions are expected to be identified by ISO-NE in 2013.  Approximately $300 million has been included in our five-year capital program for future projects being identified to enhance these reliability concerns, which have recently been confirmed by ISO-NE.


Cape Cod Reliability Projects:  Transmission projects serving Cape Cod in the Southeastern Massachusetts (SEMA) reliability region consist of an expansion and upgrade of NSTAR Electric's existing transmission infrastructure including construction of a new 345 kV transmission line that will cross the Cape Cod Canal (The Lower SEMA Transmission Project) as well as a new 115kV transmission line and other 115kV upgrades in the center of Cape Cod.  All regulatory and licensing and permitting is complete for the Lower SEMA Transmission Project.  Construction commenced in September 2012 and is expected to be completed by mid-2013.  The total estimated construction cost for the Cape Cod projects is approximately $150 million.


Northern Pass:  Northern Pass is NPT's planned HVDC transmission line from the Québec-New Hampshire border to Franklin, New Hampshire and an associated alternating current radial transmission line between Franklin and Deerfield, New Hampshire.  Northern Pass will interconnect at the Québec-New Hampshire border with a planned HQ HVDC transmission line.  Effective April 10, 2012, as a result of the merger, NUTV owned 100 percent of NPT.  NPT has identified a new route in the northern-most part of the project’s route where PSNH did not own any rights of way.  We expect to file the new route with the DOE in the first quarter of 2013, and we believe that NPT will be completed in early 2017.  


We estimate the costs of the Northern Pass transmission project will be approximately $1.2 billion (including capitalized AFUDC).  


Greater Boston Reliability and Boston Network Improvements:  As a result of continued analysis of the transmission needs to enhance system reliability and improve capacity in eastern Massachusetts, NSTAR Electric expects to implement a series of new transmission initiatives over the next five years.  We have included $479 million in our five-year capital program related to these initiatives.




41






Distribution Business:  A summary of distribution capital expenditures by company for 2012, 2011 and 2010 is as follows:


 

 

For the Year Ended December 31,

(Millions of Dollars)

 

2012 (1)

 

2011

 

2010

CL&P:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Basic Business

 

$

69.2

 

$

166.6

 

$

126.2

  Aging Infrastructure

 

 

177.8

 

 

112.3

 

 

104.0

  Load Growth

 

 

65.8

 

 

59.6

 

 

75.2

Total CL&P

 

 

312.8

 

 

338.5

 

 

305.4

NSTAR Electric:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Basic Business  

 

 

47.3

 

 

N/A

 

 

N/A

  Aging Infrastructure

 

 

111.5

 

 

N/A

 

 

N/A

  Load Growth

 

 

17.4

 

 

N/A

 

 

N/A

Total NSTAR Electric

 

 

176.2

 

 

N/A

 

 

N/A

PSNH:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Basic Business

 

 

25.3

 

 

47.7

 

 

41.2

  Aging Infrastructure

 

 

50.2

 

 

25.3

 

 

19.5

  Load Growth

 

 

20.2

 

 

25.8

 

 

23.1

Total PSNH

 

 

95.7

 

 

98.8

 

 

83.8

WMECO:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Basic Business

 

 

12.7

 

 

24.2

 

 

17.5

  Aging Infrastructure

 

 

18.5

 

 

11.5

 

 

10.5

  Load Growth

 

 

6.5

 

 

6.1

 

 

5.1

Total WMECO

 

 

37.7

 

 

41.8

 

 

33.1

Total - Electric Distribution (excluding Generation)

 

 

622.4

 

 

479.1

 

 

422.3

Total - Natural Gas

 

 

162.9

 

 

102.8

 

 

94.6

Other Distribution

 

 

0.1

 

 

1.0

 

 

2.0

Total Electric and Natural Gas

 

 

785.4

 

 

582.9

 

 

518.9

PSNH Generation:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Clean Air Project

 

 

22.0

 

 

101.1

 

 

149.7

  Other

 

 

7.9

 

 

23.7

 

 

27.4

Total PSNH Generation

 

 

29.9

 

 

124.8

 

 

177.1

WMECO Generation

 

 

0.7

 

 

11.7

 

 

10.1

Total Distribution Segment

 

$

816.0

 

$

719.4

 

$

706.1


(1)

Distribution capital expenditures include NSTAR Electric and NSTAR Gas from the date of merger, April 10, 2012, through December 31, 2012.  


For the electric distribution business, basic business includes the relocation of plant, the purchase of meters, tools, vehicles, information technology, transformer replacements, and equipment facilities.  Aging infrastructure relates to reliability and the replacement of overhead lines, plant substations, underground cable replacement, and equipment failures.  Load growth includes requests for new business and capacity additions on distribution lines and substation overloads.  


Clean Air Project:  In June 2012, PSNH placed into service the last major elements of the Clean Air Project at Merrimack Station, a $421 million project that is utilizing wet scrubber technology to significantly reduce mercury and sulfur emissions from the station’s two coal units.  The scrubber has been operating since the end of September 2011 and has reduced mercury and sulfur emissions by more than 95 percent.


CL&P System Resiliency Plan:  On January 16, 2013, PURA approved the $300 million plan CL&P filed to improve the resiliency of its electric distribution system.  Consistent with the terms of the Connecticut settlement agreement, the plan includes vegetation management (both enhanced tree trimming and trimming on a shorter cycle), structural hardening (strengthening field structures through upgrades to the current structure design and material standards as well as upgrades to the poles and conductors), and electrical hardening (upgrading electrical distribution conductors and protective devices on overhead circuits).  CL&P expects to complete the plan in five years in two separate phases.  Phase 1 of the plan, which will be primarily focused on vegetation management, is estimated to cost $32 million in 2013 and $53 million in 2014.  Phase 2 of the plan is estimated to cost the remaining $215 million over the period from 2015 through 2017.




42






Projected Capital Expenditures:  A summary of the projected capital expenditures for the Regulated companies' electric transmission business for 2013 through 2017 and for their distribution business for 2013 through 2015, including our corporate service companies' capital expenditures on behalf of the Regulated companies, is as follows:


 

Year

(Millions of Dollars)

2013

 

2014

 

2015

 

2016

 

2017

 

2013-2017
Total

CL&P Transmission

$

193

 

$

243

 

$

157

 

$

135

 

$

89

 

$

817

NSTAR Electric Transmission

 

211

 

 

198

 

 

278

 

 

222

 

 

248

 

 

1,157

PSNH Transmission

 

92

 

 

147

 

 

102

 

 

63

 

 

15

 

 

419

WMECO Transmission

 

95

 

 

102

 

 

77

 

 

11

 

 

2

 

 

287

NPT

 

45

 

 

84

 

 

235

 

 

394

 

 

447

 

 

1,205

  Total Transmission

$

636

 

$

774

 

$

849

 

$

825

 

$

801

 

$

3,885

Electric Distribution

 

670

 

 

648

 

 

635

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Generation

 

30

 

 

30

 

 

34

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural Gas

 

170

 

 

160

 

 

161

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  Total Distribution

$

870

 

$

838

 

$

830

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corporate Service Companies

$

84

 

$

62

 

$

55

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total