10-K 1 njr10ksep2015.htm 10-K SEPTEMBER 30, 2015 10-K


 

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 SEPTEMBER 30, 2015
OR
o 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 1‑8359
NEW JERSEY RESOURCES CORPORATION
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
New Jersey
 
22‑2376465
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification Number)
 
 
 
1415 Wyckoff Road, Wall, New Jersey 07719
 
732‑938‑1480
(Address of principal
executive offices)
 
(Registrant's telephone number,
including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12 (b) of the Act:
Common Stock ‑ $2.50 Par Value
 
New York Stock Exchange
(Title of each class)
 
(Name of each exchange on which registered)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12 (g) of the Act:
None

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Yes: x            No: o

Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Act.
Yes: o            No: x

Indicate by check mark whether the Registrant (1) has 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 Registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Yes: x            No: o

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, 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: x            No: o

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 Registrant's 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. x

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b‑2 of the Exchange Act.
Large accelerated filer: x
Accelerated filer: o
Non-accelerated filer: o
Smaller reporting company: o
 
 
(Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Yes: o            No: x

The aggregate market value of the Registrant's Common Stock held by nonaffiliates was $2,609,925,396 based on the closing price of $31.06 per share on March 31, 2015, as reported on the New York Stock Exchange.

The number of shares outstanding of $2.50 par value Common Stock as of November 20, 2015 was 85,796,206.

DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE

Portions of the Registrant's definitive Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareowners (Proxy Statement) to be held January 20, 2016, to be filed on or about December 10, 2015, are incorporated by reference into Part I and Part III of this report.
 


New Jersey Resources Corporation

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 
 
 
Page
PART I
 
 
ITEM 1.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ITEM 1A.
 
ITEM 1B.
 
ITEM 2.
 
ITEM 3.
 
ITEM 4.
 
ITEM 4A.
PART II
 
 
ITEM 5.
 
ITEM 6.
 
ITEM 7.
 
ITEM 7A.
 
ITEM 8.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
ITEM 9.
 
ITEM 9A.
 
ITEM 9B.
PART III*
 
 
ITEM 10.
 
ITEM 11.
 
ITEM 12.
 
ITEM 13.
 
ITEM 14.
PART IV
 
 
ITEM 15.
 
 
 
 
 
 
* Portions of Item 10 and Items 11-14 are Incorporated by Reference from the Proxy Statement.

i

New Jersey Resources Corporation



GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS                                                                                                                                                        
AFUDC
Allowance for Funds Used During Construction
AIP
Accelerated Infrastructure Program
ARO
Asset Retirement Obligations
ASC
Accounting Standards Codification
ASU
Accounting Standards Update
Bcf
Billion Cubic Feet
BGSS
Basic Gas Supply Service
BPU
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities
CIP
Conservation Incentive Program
CME
Chicago Mercantile Exchange
CR&R
Commercial Realty & Resources Corp.
CWIP
Construction Work In Progress
Degree-Day
The measure of the variation in the weather based on the extent to which the average daily temperature falls below 65 degrees Fahrenheit
DM
Dominion Midstream Partners, L.P., a master limited partnership
DM Common Units
Common units representing limited partnership interests in DM
Dodd-Frank Act
Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
DRP
NJR Direct Stock Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment Plan
dths
Dekatherms
EDA
New Jersey Economic Development Authority
EDA Bonds
Collectively, Series 2011A, Series 2011B and Series 2011C Bonds issued to NJNG by the EDA
EDECA
Electric Discount and Energy Competition Act
FASB
Financial Accounting Standards Board
FCM
Futures Commission Merchant
FERC
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Financial Margin
A non-GAAP financial measure, which represents revenues earned from the sale of natural gas less costs of natural gas sold including any transportation and storage costs, and excludes any accounting impact from the change in the fair value of certain derivative instruments
FMB
First Mortgage Bonds
FRM
Financial Risk Management
GAAP
Generally Accepted Accounting Principles of the United States
HCCTR
Health Care Cost Trend Rate
ICE
Intercontinental Exchange
Iroquois
Iroquois Gas Transmission L.P.
IRS
Internal Revenue Service
ISDA
The International Swaps and Derivatives Association
ITC
Investment Tax Credit
JPMC Facility
NJNG's $100 million, four-year credit facility with JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. expiring in August 2015 and terminated on September 26, 2014
LIBOR
London Inter-Bank Offered Rate
LNG
Liquefied Natural Gas
Loan Agreement
Loan Agreement between the EDA and NJNG
MetLife
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
MetLife Facility
NJR's unsecured, uncommitted $100 million private placement shelf note agreement with MetLife, Inc. expiring in September 2016
MGP
Manufactured Gas Plant
MLP
Master limited partnership
Moody's
Moody's Investors Service, Inc.
Mortgage Indenture
The Amended and Restated Indenture of Mortgage, Deed of Trust and Security Agreement between NJNG and U.S. Bank National Association dated as of September 1, 2014
MW
Megawatts
MWh
Megawatt Hour
NAESB
The North American Energy Standards Board
New NJR Credit Facility
NJR's $425 million unsecured committed credit facility expiring in September 2020
NFE
Net Financial Earnings
NGV
Natural Gas Vehicles
NJ RISE
New Jersey Reinvestment in System Enhancement

Page 1

New Jersey Resources Corporation



GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS (cont.)                                                                                                                                           
NJCEP
New Jersey's Clean Energy Program
NJDEP
New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection
NJNG
New Jersey Natural Gas Company
NJNG Credit Facility
The $250 million unsecured committed credit facility expiring in May 2019
NJR Credit Facility
NJR's $425 million unsecured committed credit facility, which was terminated on September 28, 2015
NJR Energy
NJR Energy Corporation
NJR or The Company
New Jersey Resources Corporation
NJR Service
NJR Service Corporation
NJRCEV
NJR Clean Energy Ventures Corporation
NJRES
NJR Energy Services Company
NJRHS
NJR Home Services Company
NJRPS
NJR Plumbing Services, Inc.
Non-GAAP
Not in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles of the United States
NPNS
Normal Purchase/Normal Sale
NYMEX
New York Mercantile Exchange
O&M
Operation and Maintenance
OCI
Other Comprehensive Income
Old Mortgage Indenture
Indenture of Mortgage and Deed of Trust between NJNG and The Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company, N.A., dated April 1, 1952, as amended
OPEB
Other Postemployment Benefit Plans
PBO
Projected Benefit Obligations
PennEast
PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC
PEP
Pension Equalization Plan
PIM
Pipeline Integrity Management
PPA
Power Purchase Agreement
Prudential
Prudential Investment Management, Inc.
Prudential Facility
NJR's unsecured, uncommitted private placement shelf note agreement with Prudential
PTC
Production Tax Credit
RA
Remediation Adjustment
Home Services and Other
Home Services and Other Operations
Retail Holdings
NJR Retail Holdings Corporation
S&P
Standard & Poor's Financial Services, LLC
SAFE
Safety Acceleration and Facility Enhancement
Sarbanes-Oxley
Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
SAVEGREEN
The SAVEGREEN Project®
Savings Plan
Employees' Retirement Savings Plan
SBC
Societal Benefits Charge
SEC
Securities and Exchange Commission
SREC
Solar Renewable Energy Certificate
SRL
Southern Reliability Link
Steckman Ridge
Collectively, Steckman Ridge GP, LLC and Steckman Ridge, LP
Superstorm Sandy
Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy
TEFA
Transitional Energy Facilities Assessment
Tetco
Texas Eastern Transmission
The Exchange Act
The Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
Trustee
U.S. Bank National Association
U.S.
The United States of America
Union
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1820
USF
Universal Service Fund
Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo Municipal Capital Strategies, LLC

Page 2

New Jersey Resources Corporation

TABLE OF CONTENTS

INFORMATION CONCERNING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS                                                                           

Certain statements contained in this report, including, without limitation, statements as to management expectations and beliefs presented in ITEM 1. BUSINESS, under the captions “BUSINESS SEGMENTS -Natural Gas Distribution -General; -Seasonality of Gas Revenues; -Gas Supply; -Regulation and Rates; -Competition;” “-Energy Services;” “-Clean Energy Ventures;” “-Midstream;” “OTHER BUSINESS OPERATIONS -Home Services and Other;” “ENVIRONMENT,” and ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS,” and in Part II including ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS, and ITEM 7A. QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DISCLOSURES ABOUT MARKET RISK are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements can also be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “anticipate,” “estimate,” “may,” “intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “will,” “plan,” “should,” or “continue” or comparable terminology and are made based upon management's current expectations and beliefs as of this date concerning future developments and their potential effect on the Company. There can be no assurance that future developments will be in accordance with management's expectations or that the effect of future developments on the Company will be those anticipated by management.

The Company cautions readers that the assumptions that form the basis for forward-looking statements regarding customer growth, customer usage, qualifications for ITCs, PTCs and SRECs, financial condition, results of operations, cash flows, capital requirements, future capital expenditures, market risk, effective tax rate and other matters for fiscal 2016 and thereafter include many factors that are beyond the Company's ability to control or estimate precisely, such as estimates of future market conditions, the behavior of other market participants and changes in the debt and equity capital markets. The factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from NJR's expectations include, but are not limited to, those discussed in ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS, as well as the following:

weather and economic conditions;
changes in the rate of NJNG's customer growth;
volatility of natural gas and other commodity prices;
changes in rating agency requirements and/or credit ratings;
the impact of volatility in the credit markets on our access to capital;
the ability to comply with debt covenants;
the impact to the asset values and resulting higher costs and funding obligations of NJR's pension and postemployment benefit plans as a result of potential downturns in the financial markets, lower discount rates, revised actuarial assumptions or impacts associated with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act;
risks associated with hedging activities and use of derivatives contracts;
commercial and wholesale credit risks, including the availability of creditworthy customers and counterparties, and liquidity in the wholesale energy trading market;
the ability to obtain governmental and regulatory approvals, land-use rights, electric grid connection (in the case of distributed power projects) and/or financing for the construction, development and operation of NJR's unregulated energy investments and NJNG's infrastructure projects in a timely manner;
risks associated with the management of the Company's joint ventures and partnerships and our investment in an MLP;
risks associated with NJR's investments in distributed power projects, including the availability of regulatory and tax incentives, the availability of viable projects, NJR's eligibility for ITCs and PTCs, the future market for SRECs and operational risks related to projects in service;
timing of qualifying for ITCs and PTCs due to delays or failures to complete planned solar and wind energy projects;
the level and rate at which NJNG's costs are incurred and the extent to which they are allowed to be recovered from customers through the regulatory process, including through the base rate case filing;
access to adequate supplies of natural gas and dependence on third-party storage and transportation facilities for natural gas supply;
operating risks incidental to handling, storing, transporting and providing customers with natural gas;
risks related to our employee workforce;
the regulatory and pricing policies of federal and state regulatory agencies;
the costs of compliance with present and future environmental laws, including potential climate change-related legislation;
risks related to changes in accounting standards;
the impact of a disallowance of recovery of environmental-related expenditures and other regulatory changes;
environmental-related and other litigation and other uncertainties;
risks related to cyber-attack or failure of information technology systems; and
the impact of natural disasters, terrorist activities, and other extreme events.

While the Company periodically reassesses material trends and uncertainties affecting the Company's results of operations and financial condition in connection with its preparation of management's discussion and analysis of results of operations and financial condition contained in its Quarterly and Annual Reports, the Company does not, by including this statement, assume any obligation to review or revise any particular forward-looking statement referenced herein in light of future events.

Page 3

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I


ITEM 1. BUSINESS                                                                                                                                                                         

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

New Jersey Resources Corporation is a New Jersey corporation formed in 1981 pursuant to a corporate reorganization. The Company is an energy services holding company whose principal business is the distribution of natural gas through a regulated utility, and which provides other retail and wholesale energy services to customers and invests in midstream assets. The Company is an exempt holding company under section 1263 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. NJR's subsidiaries and businesses include:

New Jersey Natural Gas Company, a local natural gas distribution company that provides regulated retail natural gas service to approximately 512,300 residential and commercial customers in central and northern New Jersey and participates in the off-system sales and capacity release markets. NJNG is regulated by the BPU and comprises the Company's Natural Gas Distribution segment.

NJR Energy Services Company maintains and transacts around a portfolio of physical assets consisting of natural gas storage and transportation contracts in the U.S. and Canada. NJRES also provides unregulated wholesale energy management services to other energy companies and natural gas producers. NJRES comprises the Company's Energy Services segment.

NJR Clean Energy Ventures Corporation comprises the Company's Clean Energy Ventures segment and includes the results of operations and assets related to the Company's unregulated capital investments in distributed power projects, including commercial and residential solar projects and onshore wind investments.

NJR Energy Investments Corporation, an unregulated affiliate that consolidates the Company's unregulated energy-related investments, which includes the following subsidiaries:

NJR Midstream Holdings Corporation invests in energy-related ventures through its subsidiaries, NJR Steckman Ridge Storage Company, which holds the Company's 50 percent combined interest in Steckman Ridge, a natural gas storage facility and NJR Pipeline Company, which holds the Company's 20 percent ownership interest in PennEast. Until September 29, 2015, NJR Midstream Holdings Corporation, through its subsidiary, NJNR Pipeline Company, also held the Company's 5.53 percent ownership interest in Iroquois Gas Transmission L.P. On September 29, 2015, NJNR Pipeline Company exchanged its ownership interest in Iroquois to Dominion Midstream Partners, L.P. for approximately 1.84 million DM Common Units. The investments in Steckman Ridge, PennEast and DM comprise the Company's Midstream segment.

NJR Investment Company, a company that held certain energy-related investments, through equity instruments of public companies. A request for dissolution was filed in August 2015 due to inactivity and all assets were moved to NJR in September 2015.

NJR Energy Corporation, a company that invests in energy-related ventures.

NJR Retail Holdings Corporation, an unregulated affiliate that consolidates the Company's unregulated retail operations. Retail Holdings consists of the following subsidiaries:

NJR Home Services Company, a company that provides heating, ventilation and cooling service, sales and installation of appliances to 117,000 service contract customers, as well as solar installation projects.

Commercial Realty & Resources Corp., a company that holds commercial real estate.

NJR Plumbing Services, Inc., a company that provides plumbing repair and installation services.

NJR Service Corporation, an unregulated company that provides shared administrative services, including corporate communications, finance and accounting, internal audit, legal, human resources and information technology for NJR and all subsidiaries.


Page 4

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                     

BUSINESS SEGMENTS

The Company operates within four reportable business segments: Natural Gas Distribution, Energy Services, Clean Energy Ventures and Midstream.

The Natural Gas Distribution segment consists of regulated natural gas and off-system sales and capacity and storage management operations. The Energy Services segment consists of unregulated wholesale energy operations. The Clean Energy Ventures segment consists of capital investments in distributed power projects. Lastly, the Midstream segment consists of investments in the midstream natural gas market, such as natural gas transportation and storage facilities.

Net income by business segment and other operations for the years ended September 30, are as follows:
Assets by business segment and other operations at September 30, are as follows ($ in Thousands):


Page 5

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                     

Management of the Company uses NFE, a non-GAAP financial measure, when evaluating the operating results of the Company. The Energy Services segment economically hedges its natural gas inventory with financial derivative instruments. NFE is a measure of the earnings based on eliminating timing differences surrounding the recognition of certain gains or losses, to effectively match the earnings effects of the economic hedges with the physical sale of gas and, therefore, eliminates the impact of volatility to GAAP earnings associated with the derivative instruments.

Non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative to GAAP, and should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for, the comparable GAAP measure. The following is a reconciliation of consolidated net income, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, to NFE:
(Thousands)
2015
2014
2013
Net income
$
180,960

$
141,970

$
114,809

Add:
 
 
 
Consolidated unrealized (gain) loss on derivative instruments
(38,681
)
28,534

(9,418
)
Effects of economic hedging related to natural gas inventory
(8,225
)
26,639

7,635

Tax adjustments
17,449

(20,286
)
655

NFE
$
151,503

$
176,857

$
113,681


NFE by business segment and other operations for the years ended September 30, are as follows:
Additional financial information related to these business segments are set forth in Note 14. Business Segment and Other Operations Data in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements and Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis.


Page 6

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                     

Natural Gas Distribution

General

NJNG provides natural gas service to approximately 512,300 customers. NJNG's service territory includes New Jersey's Monmouth and Ocean counties and parts of Burlington, Morris, Middlesex and Sussex counties. It encompasses 1,516 square miles, covering 105 municipalities with an estimated population of 1.5 million people. It is primarily suburban, highlighted by approximately 100 miles of New Jersey coastline. It is in close proximity to New York City, Philadelphia and the metropolitan areas of northern New Jersey and is accessible through a network of major roadways and mass transportation.

NJNG added 7,858 and 7,599 new customers and added natural gas heat and other services to another 636 and 627 existing customers in fiscal 2015 and 2014, respectively. NJNG expects its new customer annual growth rate to continue to be approximately 1.6 percent with projected additions in the range of approximately 16,000 to 18,000 new customers over the next two years. This anticipated customer growth represents approximately $4.4 million in new annual utility gross margin, a non-GAAP financial measure, as calculated under NJNG's CIP tariff.

When assessing the potential for future growth in its service area, NJNG uses information derived from county and municipal planning boards that describes housing developments in various stages of approval. Furthermore, NJNG surveys builders in its service area to gain insight into future development plans. NJNG has periodically engaged outside consultants to assist in its customer growth projections. In addition to customer growth through new construction, NJNG's business strategy includes aggressively pursuing conversions from other fuels, such as oil, electricity and propane. NJNG estimates that during fiscal 2016, approximately 49 percent of NJNG's projected customer growth will consist of conversions.

NJNG's business is subject to various risks, such as those associated with adverse economic conditions, which can negatively impact customer growth, operating and financing costs, fluctuations in commodity prices, which can impact customer usage, customer conservation efforts, certain regulatory actions and environmental remediation. It is often difficult to predict the impact of trends associated with these risks. NJNG employs strategies to manage the challenges it faces, including pursuing customer conversions from other fuel sources and monitoring new construction markets through contact with developers, utilizing incentive programs through BPU-approved mechanisms to reduce gas costs, pursuing rate and other regulatory strategies designed to stabilize and decouple gross margin, and working actively with consultants and the NJDEP to manage expectations related to its obligations associated with its former MGP sites.

Operating Revenues/Throughput

For the fiscal year ended September 30, operating revenues and throughput by customer class are as follows:
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
($ in thousands)
Operating Revenue
Bcf
 
Operating Revenue
Bcf
 
Operating Revenue
Bcf
Residential
$
466,464

45.9

 
$
469,831

43.1

 
$
467,269

38.3

Commercial and other
106,505

9.6

 
110,740

8.2

 
99,736

7.5

Firm transportation
77,974

16.0

 
86,131

17.7

 
73,745

15.2

Total residential and commercial
650,943

71.5

 
666,702

69.0

 
640,750

61.0

Interruptible
10,049

47.1

 
9,384

10.5

 
9,066

10.9

Total system
660,992

118.6

 
676,086

79.5

 
649,816

71.9

BGSS incentive programs (1)
120,978

47.8

 
143,329

27.4

 
138,171

36.0

Total
$
781,970

166.4

 
$
819,415

106.9

 
$
787,987

107.9

(1)
Does not include 174.6, 153.4 and 105.5 Bcf for the capacity release program and related amounts of $8.9 million, $5.4 million and $3.7 million, which are recorded as a reduction of gas purchases on the Consolidated Statements of Operations for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively.

In fiscal 2015, no single customer represented more than 10 percent of total NJNG operating revenues.


Page 7

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                     

Seasonality of Gas Revenues

Therm sales are significantly affected by weather conditions with customer demand being greatest during the winter months when natural gas is used for heating purposes. The relative measurement of the impact of weather is in degree-days. Degree-day data is used to estimate amounts of energy required to maintain comfortable indoor temperature levels based on each day's average temperature. A degree-day is the measure of the variation in the weather based on the extent to which the average daily temperature falls below 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Each degree of temperature below 65 degrees Fahrenheit is counted as one heating degree-day. Normal heating degree-days are based on a 20-year average, calculated based on three reference areas representative of NJNG's service territory.

The CIP, a mechanism authorized by the BPU, stabilizes NJNG's utility gross margin, regardless of variations in weather. In addition, the CIP decouples the link between utility gross margin and customer usage, allowing NJNG to promote energy conservation measures. Recovery of utility gross margin is subject to additional conditions, including an earnings test, a revenue test and an evaluation of BGSS-related savings achieved over a 12-month period. In March 2013, NJNG and South Jersey Gas Company filed a joint petition with the BPU requesting the continuation of the CIP with certain modifications. On May 21, 2014, the BPU approved the continuation of the CIP program with no expiration date; however, the program will be subject to review in a future tariff rate filing in 2017.

Concurrent with its annual BGSS filing, NJNG files for an annual review of its CIP, during which time it can request rate changes, as appropriate. For additional information regarding the CIP, including rate actions and impact to margin, see Note 3. Regulation in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements and Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis-Natural Gas Distribution Segment.

Gas Supply

Firm Natural Gas Supplies

In fiscal 2015, NJNG purchased natural gas from approximately 86 suppliers under contracts ranging from one day to one year and purchased over 10 percent of its natural gas from two suppliers. NJNG believes the loss of these suppliers would not have a material adverse impact on its results of operations, financial position or cash flows as an adequate number of alternative suppliers exist. NJNG believes that its supply strategy should adequately meet its expected firm load over the next several years.

Firm Transportation and Storage Capacity

NJNG maintains agreements for firm transportation and storage capacity with several interstate pipeline companies to take delivery of firm natural gas supplies, which ensures the ability to reliably service its customers. NJNG receives natural gas at 10 citygate stations located in Middlesex, Morris and Passaic counties in New Jersey.

The pipeline companies that provide firm transportation service to NJNG's citygate stations, the maximum daily deliverability of that capacity for the upcoming winter season and the contract expiration dates are as follows:
Pipeline
Maximum daily
 
deliverability (dths) (1)
Expiration
Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P.
270,738

 
Various dates between 2017 and 2023
Columbia Gas Transmission Corp.
50,000

 
Various dates between 2024 and 2030
Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co.
25,166

 
Various dates between 2018 and 2019
Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp.
22,531

 
Various dates between 2016 and 2017
Algonquin Gas Transmission
12,000

 
June 30, 2017
Total
380,435

 
 
(1)
Numbers are shown net of any capacity release contracted amounts.

Iroquois and Dominion Transmission Corporation provide NJNG firm contract transportation service and supply the pipelines included in the table above.


Page 8

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                     

In addition, NJNG has storage contracts that provide additional maximum daily deliverability to NJNG's citygate stations of 102,941 dths from storage fields in its Northeast market area. The storage suppliers, the maximum daily deliverability of that storage capacity and the contract expiration dates are as follows:
Pipeline
Maximum daily
 
deliverability (dths)
Expiration
Texas Eastern Transmission, L.P.
94,557

 
April 30, 2017
Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Corp.
8,384

 
March 31, 2017
Total
102,941

 
 

NJNG also has upstream storage contracts. The maximum daily deliverability and contract expiration dates as follows:
Company
Maximum daily
 
deliverability (dths)
Expiration
Dominion Transmission Corporation
128,714

 
Various dates between 2017 and 2020
Steckman Ridge, L.P.
38,000

 
March 31, 2020
Central New York Oil & Gas
25,337

 
March 31, 2018
Total
192,051

 
 

NJNG utilizes its transportation contracts to transport gas from the Dominion Transmission Corporation, Steckman Ridge and Central New York Oil & Gas storage fields to NJNG's citygates. NJNG has sufficient firm transportation, storage and supply capacity to fully meet its firm sales contract obligations.

Citygate Supplies from NJRES

NJNG has several citygate supply agreements with NJRES. NJNG has an agreement where it released 10,000 dths/day of Texas Eastern Transmission capacity, 20,000 dths/day of Dominion Transmission capacity, 10,728 dths/day of Tennessee Gas Pipeline capacity and 1.6 million dths of Central New York Oil & Gas storage capacity to NJRES for the period of January 1, 2010 to March 31, 2016. NJNG can call upon a supply of up to 20,000 dths/day delivered to NJNG's Texas Eastern citygate. NJRES manages the storage inventory and NJNG can call on that storage supply as needed at NJNG's Tennessee citygate or storage point.

NJNG also has agreements where it releases 80,000 dths/day of its Texas Eastern Transmission capacity to NJRES for the period of April 1, 2014 to March 31, 2016, and where it releases 80,000 dths/day of its Texas Eastern Transmission capacity to NJRES for the period of November 1, 2014 to October 31, 2016. Under these agreements, NJNG can call upon a supply of up to 160,000 dths/day delivered to its Texas Eastern citygate as needed. See Note 15. Related Party Transactions in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding these transactions.

Peaking Supply

To manage its winter peak day demand, NJNG maintains two LNG facilities with a combined deliverability of approximately 170,000 dths/day, which represents approximately 19 percent of its estimated peak day sendout. See Item 2. Properties-NJNG for additional information regarding the LNG storage facilities.

BGSS

Wholesale natural gas prices are, by their nature, volatile. NJNG mitigates the impact of volatile price changes on customers through the use of financial derivative instruments, which were part of its FRM program, its storage incentive program and its BGSS clause. The FRM program was terminated effective November 1, 2015. BGSS is a BPU-approved clause designed to allow for the recovery of natural gas commodity costs on an annual basis. The clause requires all New Jersey natural gas utilities to make an annual filing by each June 1 for review of BGSS rates and to request a potential rate change effective the following October 1. The BGSS is also designed to allow each natural gas utility to provisionally increase residential and small commercial customer BGSS rates on December 1 and February 1 for up to a 5 percent increase to the average residential heat customer's bill on a self-implementing basis, after proper notice and BPU action on the June filing. Such increases are subject to subsequent BPU review and final approval. Decreases in the BGSS rate and BGSS refunds can be implemented with five days' notice to the BPU.


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ITEM 1. BUSINESS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                     

In addition to making periodic rate adjustments to reflect changes in commodity prices, NJNG is also permitted to refund or credit back a portion of the commodity costs to customers when the natural gas commodity costs decrease in comparison to amounts projected or to amounts previously collected from customers. Rate changes, as well as other regulatory actions related to BGSS, are discussed further in Note 3. Regulation in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements.

Future Natural Gas Supplies

NJNG expects to meet the natural gas requirements for existing and projected firm customers into the foreseeable future. If NJNG's long-term natural gas requirements change, NJNG expects to renegotiate and restructure its contract portfolio to better match the changing needs of its customers and changing natural gas supply landscape.

Regulation and Rates

State

NJNG is subject to the jurisdiction of the BPU with respect to a wide range of matters such as base tariff rates and regulatory rider rates, the issuance of securities, the adequacy of service, the manner of keeping its accounts and records, the sufficiency of natural gas supply, pipeline safety, environmental issues, compliance with affiliate standards and the sale or encumbrance of its properties. On November 13, 2015, NJNG filed a base rate petition with the BPU to increase its base tariff rates in the amount of $147.6 million.

See Note 3. Regulation in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information regarding NJNG's rate proceedings.

Federal

The FERC regulates rates charged by interstate pipeline companies for the transportation and storage of natural gas. This affects NJNG's agreements with several interstate pipeline companies for the purchase of such services. Costs associated with these services are currently recoverable through the BGSS.

Competition

Although its franchises are nonexclusive, NJNG is not currently subject to competition from other natural gas distribution utilities with regard to the transportation of natural gas in its service territory. Due to significant distances between NJNG's current large industrial customers and the nearest interstate natural gas pipelines, as well as the availability of its transportation tariff, NJNG currently does not believe it has significant exposure to the risk that its distribution system will be bypassed. Competition does exist from suppliers of oil, coal, electricity and propane. At the present time, however, natural gas is used in over 95 percent of new construction due to its efficiency and reliability. Natural gas prices are a function of market supply and demand. Although NJNG believes natural gas will remain competitive with alternate fuels, no assurance can be given in this regard.

The BPU, within the framework of the EDECA, fully opened NJNG's residential markets to competition, including third-party suppliers, and restructured rates to segregate its BGSS and delivery (i.e., transportation) prices. The state's natural gas utilities must provide BGSS in the absence of any third-party supplier. On September 30, 2015, NJNG had 38,424 residential and 10,249 commercial and industrial customers utilizing the transportation service.

Energy Services

NJRES is an unregulated wholesale provider of physical natural gas, producer and asset management services to a diverse customer base across North America. NJRES provides physical natural gas services and has acquired contractual rights to natural gas storage and transportation assets it utilizes to implement its strategic and opportunistic market strategies. The rights to these assets were acquired in anticipation of delivering natural gas, performing asset management services for customers or in conjunction with identifying strategic opportunities that exist in or between the market areas that it serves. These opportunities are driven by price differentials between market locations and/or time periods. NJRES' activities are conducted in the market areas in which it has strong expertise and includes the U.S. and Canada. NJRES differentiates itself in the marketplace based on price, reliability and quality of service. Its competitors include wholesale marketing and trading companies, utilities, natural gas producers and financial institutions. NJRES' portfolio of end-use customers includes regulated natural gas distribution companies, industrial companies, electric generators, retail aggregators, wholesale marketers and natural gas producers.

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New Jersey Resources Corporation
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ITEM 1. BUSINESS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                     

While focusing on maintaining a low-risk operating and counterparty credit profile, NJRES' activities specifically consist of the following elements:

Providing natural gas portfolio management services to nonaffiliated and affiliated natural gas utilities, electric generation facilities and natural gas producers;

Managing strategies for new and existing natural gas storage and transportation assets to capture value from changes in price due to location or timing differences as a means to generate financial margin (as defined below);

Managing transactional logistics to minimize the cost of natural gas delivery to customers while maintaining security of supply. Transactions utilize the most optimal and advantageous natural gas supply transportation routing available within its contractual asset portfolio and various market areas; and

Managing economic hedging programs that are designed to mitigate the impact of changes in market prices on financial margin generated on its natural gas storage and transportation commitments.

Transportation and Storage Transactions

NJRES focuses on creating value from its physical assets, which are typically amassed through contractual rights to natural gas storage and transportation capacity. These assets become more valuable when favorable price changes impact value between or within market areas and across time periods. On a forward basis, NJRES may hedge these price differentials through the use of financial instruments. In addition, NJRES may seek to optimize these assets on a daily basis, as market conditions warrant, by evaluating natural gas supply and transportation availability within its portfolio. This enables NJRES to capture geographic pricing differences across these various regions as delivered natural gas prices may change favorably as a result of market conditions. NJRES initiates positions when intrinsic financial margin is present, and then enhances that financial margin as prices change across regions or time periods.

NJRES also engages in park-and-loan transactions with storage and pipeline operators, where NJRES will either borrow (receive a loan of) natural gas with an obligation to repay the storage or pipeline operator at a later date or “park” natural gas with an obligation to withdraw at a later date. In these cases, NJRES evaluates the economics of the transaction to determine if it can capture pricing differentials in the marketplace to generate financial margin. NJRES evaluates deal attributes such as fixed fees, calendar spread value from deal inception until volumes are scheduled to be returned and/or repaid, as well as the time value of money. If this evaluation demonstrates that financial margin exists, NJRES will enter into the transaction and hedge with natural gas futures contracts, thereby locking in financial margin.

Inventory

NJRES maintains inventory balances to satisfy its existing or anticipated sales of natural gas to its counterparties and/or to create additional value, as described above. During fiscal 2015 and 2014, NJRES managed and sold 626.9 and 609.3 Bcf of natural gas, respectively. In addition, as of September 30, 2015 and 2014, NJRES had 44.6 Bcf or $93.7 million of gas in storage and 56.5 Bcf or $191.3 million of gas in storage, respectively.

Weather/Seasonality

NJRES' activities can be seasonal in nature as a result of changes in demand for natural gas. Demand for natural gas is generally higher during the winter months; however, during periods of milder temperatures, demand can decrease. In addition, demand for natural gas can also be high during periods of extreme heat in the summer months, resulting from the need for additional natural gas supply for gas-fired electric generation facilities. Accordingly, NJRES can be subject to variations in earnings and working capital throughout the year as a result of changes in weather.

Volatility

NJRES' activities are also subject to changes in price volatility or supply/demand dynamics within its wholesale markets, including in the Northeastern, Appalachian and Mid-Continent regions, where shale gas production has increased supply dramatically. Changes in natural gas supply can affect capacity values and NJRES' financial margin, described below, that is generated from the optimization of transportation and storage assets. With its focus on risk management, NJRES continues to diversify its revenue stream by identifying new growth opportunities in producer and asset management services. NJRES has added new counterparties and strategic storage and transportation assets to its portfolio, which currently includes an average of approximately 40 Bcf of firm storage and 1.5 Bcf/day of firm transportation capacity, and it continues to expand its geographic footprint.

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New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                     

Financial Margin

NJRES enters into a variety of derivative instruments including, but not limited to, futures contracts, physical forward contracts, financial swaps and options to economically hedge the commodity price risk associated with its existing and anticipated commitments for the purchase and sale of natural gas. These derivative instruments are accounted for at fair value with changes in fair value recognized in earnings as they occur. NJRES views “financial margin” as a key financial metric. NJRES' financial margin, which is a non-GAAP financial measure, represents revenues earned from the sale of natural gas less costs of natural gas sold including any storage and transportation costs, and excludes any accounting impact from changes in the fair value of certain derivative instruments. For additional information regarding financial margin, see Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis - Energy Services Segment.

Risk Management

In conducting its business, NJRES mitigates risk by following formal risk management guidelines, including transaction limits, segregation of duties and formal contract and credit review approval processes. NJRES continuously monitors and seeks to reduce the risk associated with its counterparty credit exposures. Accordingly, NJRES' counterparties are primarily investment grade rated companies. The Risk Management Committee of NJR oversees compliance with these established guidelines.

Clean Energy Ventures

NJRCEV is an unregulated company that invests in, owns and operates distributed power projects, including commercial and residential solar installations located in New Jersey, and wind farms located in Montana, Iowa and Kansas.

As of September 30, 2015, NJRCEV has placed solar assets with a capacity of 117.7 MW into service, including a combination of residential and commercial net-metered and grid-connected solar systems. As part of its solar investment program, NJRCEV operates a residential lease program, The Sunlight Advantage®, which provides qualifying homeowners with the opportunity to have a solar system installed at their home with no installation or maintenance expenses. NJRCEV owns, operates and maintains the system over the life of the lease in exchange for monthly payments. In addition, certain qualified non-profit institutions are served under PPAs. The program is operated by NJRCEV using a group of qualified contracting partners in addition to strategic supplier relationships for material standardization and sourcing. The residential solar lease and PPA market is highly competitive with various companies operating in New Jersey. NJRCEV competes on price, quality and brand reputation, leveraging its partner network and customer referrals.

NJRCEV's commercial solar projects are sourced through various channels and include both net-metered and grid-connected systems. Net-metered projects involve the sale of energy to a host where grid-connected systems sell into the wholesale energy markets. Project construction is competitively sourced through third parties. New Jersey has the third largest solar market in the U.S. with a large number of firms competing in all facets of the market including development, financing and construction.

The solar systems are registered with the BPU's Office of Clean Energy and are qualified to produce SRECs. An SREC represents the renewable attribute associated with one MWh of solar energy generated. NJRCEV sells the SRECs to a variety of counterparties including electric load serving entities that serve electric customers in New Jersey and are required to comply with minimum state clean energy generation standards. Solar projects are also currently eligible for federal ITCs in the year that they are placed into service.

In addition to its solar investments, NJRCEV acquires the development rights to small to mid-size onshore wind farms that fit its investment profile. On October 11, 2013, NJRCEV acquired the development rights to the Two Dot onshore wind project in Montana, which was its first wind farm. NJRCEV invested approximately $20.3 million to construct the 9.7 MW project that was completed in June 2014. On February 14, 2014, NJRCEV acquired the development rights to the Carroll Area onshore wind project, a $42.1 million, 20 MW project in Carroll County, Iowa, which was completed in January 2015. On October 9, 2014, NJRCEV acquired the development rights to the $85 million, 48.3 MW Alexander onshore wind project in Rush County, Kansas, which is currently under construction and expected to be operational in the first quarter of fiscal 2016.

Both of the wind projects placed in service are eligible for a per-kilowatt-hour PTC for a 10-year period following commencement of operation and have long-term power purchase agreements in place, through which all energy and renewable attributes will be sold. NJRCEV expects the Alexander project to also qualify for PTCs.


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New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                     

During fiscal 2014 and most of fiscal 2015, NJRCEV held a minority equity interest in OwnEnergy, an onshore wind developer, which provided NJRCEV with the option to acquire wind farms that fit its investment profile. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, OwnEnergy was acquired by a power producer and NJRCEV realized a $3 million pre-tax gain in exchange for its ownership interest, which is included in other income, net on the Consolidated Statements of Operations.

NJRCEV is subject to various risks including those associated with adverse federal and state legislation and regulatory policies, construction delays that can impact the timing or eligibility of tax incentives, technological changes, and the future market of SRECs. See Item 1A. Risk Factors for additional information regarding these risks.

Midstream

Our Midstream segment includes investments in FERC-regulated interstate natural gas transportation and storage assets and is comprised of the following subsidiaries:

NJR Steckman Ridge Storage Company, which holds the Company's 50 percent equity investment in Steckman Ridge. Steckman Ridge is a Delaware limited partnership, jointly owned and controlled by subsidiaries of the Company and subsidiaries of Spectra Energy Corporation, that built, owns and operates a natural gas storage facility with up to 12 Bcf of working gas capacity in Bedford County, Pennsylvania. The facility has direct access to the Texas Eastern and Dominion Transmission pipelines and has access to the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets; and

NJR Pipeline Company, which consists of its 20 percent equity investment in PennEast, through which NJR and five other investors expect to construct a 118-mile FERC-regulated interstate natural gas pipeline system that will extend from northern Pennsylvania to western New Jersey, estimated to be completed and operational by November 2017.

NJR Midstream Holdings Corporation, through its subsidiary, NJNR Pipeline Company, also held the Company's 5.53 percent ownership interest in Iroquois Gas Transmission L.P. until September 29, 2015, when NJNR Pipeline Company exchanged its ownership interest in Iroquois to Dominion Midstream Partners, L.P. for approximately 1.84 million DM Common Units.

OTHER BUSINESS OPERATIONS

Home Services and Other

Home Services and Other operations consist primarily of the following unregulated affiliates:

NJRHS, which provides heating, ventilation and cooling service, sales and installation of appliances to approximately 117,000 service contract customers, as well as installation of solar equipment;

NJRPS, which provides plumbing repair and installation services;

CR&R, which holds commercial real estate. As of September 30, 2015, CR&R's real estate portfolio consisted of 35 acres of undeveloped land in Atlantic County with a net book value of $1.4 million and a 56,400-square-foot office building on five acres of land in Monmouth County with a net book value of $7.9 million. CR&R, has committed to sell approximately 19.1 acres of additional undeveloped land located in Atlantic County with a net book value of $756,000. Since it is probable that the sale will be completed within the next 12 months, as of September 30, 2015, the Company has classified the property as other current assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheets;

NJR Investment, which held certain energy-related investments, primarily through equity instruments of public companies. A request for dissolution was filed in August 2015 due to inactivity and all assets were moved to NJR in September 2015;

NJR Energy, which invests in energy-related ventures; and

NJR Service, which provides shared administrative and financial services to the Company and all its subsidiaries.

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New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                     

ENVIRONMENT

The Company and its subsidiaries are subject to legislation and regulation by federal, state and local authorities with respect to environmental matters. The Company believes that it is in compliance in all material respects with all applicable environmental laws and regulations.

NJNG is responsible for the environmental remediation of five MGP sites, which contain contaminated residues from former gas manufacturing operations that ceased at these sites by the mid-1950s and, in some cases, had been discontinued many years earlier. NJNG periodically, and at least annually, performs an environmental review of the MGP sites, including a review of potential estimated liabilities related to the investigation and remedial action on these sites. Based on this review, NJNG estimated that the total future expenditures to remediate and monitor the five MGP sites for which it is responsible will range from approximately $150.9 million to $242.1 million.

NJNG's estimate of these liabilities is based upon known facts, existing technology and enacted laws and regulations in place when the review was completed. Where available information is sufficient to reasonably estimate the amount of the liability, it is NJNG's policy to accrue the full amount of such estimate. Where the information is sufficient only to establish a range of possible liability, NJNG accrues the most likely in the range. If no point within the range is more likely than the other, it is NJNG's policy to accrue the lower end of the range. As of September 30, 2015, NJNG recorded an MGP remediation liability and a corresponding regulatory asset of $180.4 million on the Consolidated Balance Sheets, which represents its most likely possible liability; however, actual costs may differ from these estimates. NJNG is currently recovering from customers approximately $8.5 million annually and will continue to seek recovery of these costs through its remediation rider.

In September 2014, NJNG submitted its SBC filing requesting approval of its MGP expenditures incurred through June 30, 2014, and to recover $8.5 million annually related to the RA. The petition was approved by the BPU on May 19, 2015, with rates effective June 1, 2015.

EMPLOYEE RELATIONS

As of September 30, 2015, the Company and its subsidiaries employed 991 employees compared with 968 employees as of September 30, 2014. Of the total number of employees, NJNG had 424 and 410 and NJRHS had 104 and 113 Union or “Represented employees as of September 30, 2015 and 2014, respectively. NJNG and NJRHS have collective bargaining agreements with the Union, which is affiliated with the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, that expire in December 2018 and April 2019, respectively. The labor agreements cover wage increases and other benefits, including the defined benefit pension (which was closed to all employees hired on or after January 1, 2012, with the exception of certain rehires who are eligible to resume active participation), the postemployment benefit plan (which was closed to all employees hired on or after January 1, 2012) and the enhanced 401(k) retirement savings plan. The Company considers its relationship with employees, including those covered by collective bargaining agreements, to be in good standing.

AVAILABLE INFORMATION AND CORPORATE GOVERNANCE DOCUMENTS

The following reports and any amendments to those reports are available free of charge on our website at http://njr360.client.shareholder.com/sec.cfm as soon as reasonably possible after filing or furnishing them with the SEC:

Annual reports on Form 10-K;
Quarterly reports on Form 10-Q; and
Current reports on Form 8-K.

In addition, on our website at http://njr360.client.shareholder.com/governance.cfm, the following documents are also available free of charge:

Corporate Governance Guidelines;
Wholesale Trading Code of Conduct;
NJR Code of Conduct; and

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New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1. BUSINESS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                     

Charters of the following Board of Directors Committees: Audit, Leadership Development and Compensation and Nominating/Corporate Governance.

In Part III of this Form 10-K, we incorporate certain information by reference from our Proxy Statement for our 2016 annual meeting of shareholders. We expect to file that Proxy Statement with the SEC on or about December 10, 2015, and we will make it available on our website as soon as reasonably possible following that filing date. Please refer to the Proxy Statement when it is available.

A printed copy of each is available free of charge to any shareholder who requests it by contacting the Corporate Secretary at New Jersey Resources Corporation, 1415 Wyckoff Road, Wall, New Jersey 07719.

ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS                                                                                                                                                             

When considering any investment in NJR's securities, investors should consider the following risk factors, as well as the information contained under the caption “Forward-Looking Statements,” in analyzing the Company's present and future business performance. While this list is not exhaustive, NJR's management also places no priority or likelihood based on their descriptions or order of presentation. Unless indicated otherwise or the content requires otherwise, references below to “we,” “us,” and “our” should be read to refer to NJR and its subsidiaries.

Inability of NJR and/or NJNG to access the financial markets and conditions in the credit markets could affect management's ability to execute their respective business plans.

We rely on access to both short-term and long-term credit markets as significant sources of liquidity for capital requirements not satisfied by our cash flow from operations. Any deterioration in our financial condition could hamper our ability to access the credit markets or otherwise obtain debt financing. Because certain state regulatory approvals may be necessary in order for NJNG to incur debt, NJNG may not be able to access credit markets on a timely basis.

External events could also increase the cost of borrowing or adversely affect the ability to access the financial markets. Such external events could include the following:

economic weakness and or political instability in the U.S. or in the regions where we operate;

political conditions, such as a shutdown of the U.S. federal government;

financial difficulties of unrelated energy companies;

capital market conditions generally;

market prices for natural gas;

the overall health of the natural gas utility industry; and

fluctuations in interest rates, particularly with respect to NJNG's variable rate debt instruments.

Our ability to secure short-term financing is subject to conditions in the credit markets. A prolonged constriction of credit availability could affect management's ability to execute our business plan. An inability to access capital may limit the ability to pursue improvements or acquisitions that we may otherwise rely on for both current operations and future growth.

NJRES and NJNG execute derivative transactions with financial institutions as a part of their economic hedging strategy and could incur losses associated with the inability of a financial counterparty to meet or perform under its obligations as a result of adverse conditions in the credit markets or their ability to access capital or post collateral.

NJR is a holding company and depends on its operating subsidiaries to meet its financial obligations.

NJR is a holding company with no significant assets other than possible cash investments and the stock of its operating subsidiaries. We rely exclusively on dividends from our subsidiaries, on intercompany loans from our unregulated subsidiaries, and on the repayments of principal and interest from intercompany loans and reimbursement of expenses from our subsidiaries

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New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS (Continued)                                                                                                                                        

for our cash flows. Our ability to pay dividends on our common stock and to pay principal and interest on our outstanding debt depends on the payment of dividends to us by our subsidiaries or the repayment of loans to us by our subsidiaries. The extent to which our subsidiaries do not pay dividends or repay funds to us may adversely affect our ability to pay dividends to holders of our common stock and principal and interest to holders of our debt.

Credit rating downgrades could increase financing costs, limit access to the financial markets and negatively affect NJR and its subsidiaries.

Rating agencies Moody's and S&P currently rate NJNG's debt as investment grade. If such ratings are downgraded below investment grade, borrowing costs could increase, as will the costs of maintaining certain contractual relationships and obtaining future financing. Even if ratings are downgraded without falling below investment grade, NJR and NJNG could face increased borrowing costs under their current credit facilities. Our ability to borrow and costs of borrowing have a direct impact on our subsidiaries' ability to execute their operating strategies, particularly in the case of NJNG, which relies heavily upon capital expenditures financed by its credit facility.

If we suffer a reduction in our credit and borrowing capacity or in our ability to issue parental guarantees, the business prospects of NJRES, NJRCEV and Midstream, which rely on our creditworthiness, would be adversely affected. NJRES could possibly be required to comply with various margin or other credit enhancement obligations under its trading and marketing contracts, and it may be unable to continue to trade or be able to do so only on less favorable terms with certain counterparties. NJRCEV could be required to seek alternative financing for its projects, and may be unable to obtain such financing, or able to do so only on less favorable terms. In addition, NJNR Pipeline may not be able to finance its capital obligations to PennEast.

Additionally, lower credit ratings could adversely affect relationships with NJNG's state regulators, who may be unwilling to allow NJNG to pass along increased costs to its natural gas customers.

Failure by NJR and/or NJNG to comply with debt covenants may impact our financial condition.

Our long-term debt obligations contain financial covenants related to debt-to-capital ratios and, in the case of NJNG, an interest coverage ratio. These debt obligations also contain provisions that put limitations on our ability to finance future operations or capital needs or to expand or pursue certain business activities. For example, certain of these agreements contain provisions that, among other things, put limitations on our ability to make loans or investments, make material changes to the nature of our businesses, merge, consolidate or engage in asset sales, grant liens or make negative pledges. Furthermore, the debt obligations contain covenants and other provisions requiring us to provide timely delivery of accurate financial statements prepared in accordance with GAAP. The failure to comply with any of these covenants could result in an event of default, which, if not cured or waived, could result in the acceleration of outstanding debt obligations and/or the inability to borrow under existing revolving credit facilities. We have relied, and continue to rely, upon short-term bank borrowings or commercial paper supported by our revolving credit facilities to finance the execution of a portion of our operating strategies. NJNG is dependent on these capital sources to purchase its natural gas supply and maintain its properties. The acceleration of our outstanding debt obligations and our inability to borrow under the existing revolving credit facilities would cause a material adverse change in NJR's and NJNG's financial condition.

The cost of providing pension and postemployment health care benefits to eligible former employees is subject to changes in pension fund values, interest rates and changing demographics and may have a material adverse effect on our financial results.

We have two defined benefit pension plans and two OPEB plans for the benefit of eligible full-time employees and qualified retirees, which were closed to all employees hired on or after January 1, 2012. The cost of providing these benefits to eligible current and former employees is subject to changes in the market value of the pension and OPEB fund assets, changing discount rates and changing actuarial assumptions based upon demographics, including longer life expectancy of beneficiaries, an expected increase in the number of eligible former employees over the next five years, impacts from healthcare legislation and increases in health care costs.

Significant declines in equity markets and/or reductions in bond yields can have a material adverse effect on the funded status of our pension and OPEB plans. In these circumstances, we may be required to recognize increased pension and OPEB expenses and/or be required to make additional cash contributions into the plans.

The funded status of these plans, and the related cost reflected in our financial statements, are affected by various factors that are subject to an inherent degree of uncertainty. Under the Pension Protection Act of 2006, losses of asset values may necessitate increased funding of the plans in the future to meet minimum federal government requirements. A significant decrease

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New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS (Continued)                                                                                                                                        

in the asset values of these plans can result in funding obligations earlier than we had originally planned, which would have a negative impact on cash flows from operations, decrease our borrowing capacity and increase our interest expense.

Our economic hedging activities that are designed to protect against commodity and financial market risks, including the use of derivative contracts in the normal course of NJRES' business, may cause fluctuations in reported financial results and financial losses that negatively impact results of operations and our stock price.

We use derivatives, including futures, forwards, options, swaps and foreign exchange contracts to manage commodity, financial market and foreign currency risks. The timing of the recognition of gains or losses associated with our economic hedges in accordance with GAAP does not always coincide with the gains or losses on the items being hedged. The difference in accounting can result in volatility in reported results, even though the expected profit margin is essentially unchanged from the dates the transactions were consummated.

In addition, NJRES could recognize financial losses on these contracts as a result of volatility in the market values of the underlying commodities or if a counterparty fails to perform under a contract. In the absence of actively quoted market prices and pricing information from external sources, the valuation of these financial instruments can involve management's judgment or use of estimates. As a result, changes in the underlying assumptions or use of alternative valuation methods could adversely affect the value of the reported fair value of these contracts.

A change in our effective tax rate as a result of a failure to qualify for ITCs and PTCs or being delayed in qualifying for ITCs due to delays or failures to complete planned solar energy projects and wind projects within the safe harbor period may have a material impact on our earnings.

GAAP requires NJR to apply an effective tax rate to interim periods that is consistent with our estimated annual effective tax rate. As a result, quarterly, NJR projects the annual effective tax rate and then adjusts the tax expense recorded in that quarter to reflect the projected annual effective tax rate. The amount of the quarterly adjustment is based on information and assumptions, which are subject to change and which may have a material impact on quarterly and annual NFE. Factors we consider in estimating the probability of projects being completed during the fiscal year include, but are not limited to, Board of Directors approval, execution of various contracts, including power purchase agreements, construction logistics, permitting and interconnection completion. If NJR fails to qualify for ITCs or is delayed in qualifying for some ITCs during the fiscal year due to delays or failures to complete planned solar energy projects as scheduled, our quarterly and annual net income and NFE may be materially impacted.

For a wind facility to be considered a qualified facility for purposes of the PTCs, the construction of the facility must have begun prior to January 1, 2015 and placed in service before January 1, 2017. A taxpayer may establish that construction has begun by starting “physical work of a significant nature.” Only physical work of a significant nature on tangible personal property used as an integral part of the activity performed by the facility is considered for purposes of determining when construction begins. Alternatively, a taxpayer may establish that construction has begun by paying or incurring five percent of eligible project costs (the “5 percent safe harbor”).

NJNG's operations are subject to certain operating risks incidental to handling, storing, transporting and providing customers with natural gas.

NJNG's operations are subject to all operating hazards and risks incidental to handling, storing, transporting and providing customers with natural gas. These risks include explosions, pollution, release of toxic substances, fires, storms and other adverse weather conditions and hazards, each of which could result in damage to or destruction of facilities or damage to persons and property. NJNG could suffer substantial losses should any of these events occur. Moreover, as a result, NJNG has been, and likely will be, a defendant in legal proceedings and litigation arising in the ordinary course of business. Although NJNG maintains insurance coverage, insurance may not be sufficient to cover all material expenses related to these risks.

Major changes in the supply and price of natural gas may affect financial results.

While NJNG expects to meet the demand for natural gas from its customers for the foreseeable future, factors impacting suppliers and other third parties, including increased competition, further deregulation, transportation costs, possible climate change legislation, transportation availability and drilling for new natural gas resources, may impact the supply and price of natural gas. NJNG actively hedges against the fluctuation in the price of natural gas by entering into forward and financial contracts with third parties. Should these third parties fail to perform and regulators not allow the pass-through of expended funds to customers, it may result in a loss that could have a material impact on our financial position, cash flows and statement of operations.


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New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS (Continued)                                                                                                                                        

NJNG and NJRES rely on storage, transportation assets and suppliers that they do not own or control to deliver natural gas.

NJNG and NJRES depend on natural gas pipelines and other storage and transportation facilities owned and operated by third parties to deliver natural gas to wholesale markets and to provide retail energy services to customers. Their ability to provide natural gas for their present and projected sales will depend upon their suppliers' ability to obtain and deliver additional supplies of natural gas, as well as NJNG's ability to acquire supplies directly from new sources. Factors beyond the control of NJNG, its suppliers and the independent suppliers who have obligations to provide natural gas to certain NJNG customers, may affect NJNG's ability to deliver such supplies. These factors include other parties' control over the drilling of new wells and the facilities to transport natural gas to NJNG's citygate stations, competition for the acquisition of natural gas, priority allocations, impact of severe weather disruptions to natural gas supplies, the regulatory and pricing policies of federal and state regulatory agencies, as well as the availability of Canadian reserves for export to the United States. Energy deregulation legislation may increase competition among natural gas utilities and impact the quantities of natural gas requirements needed for sales service. NJRES also relies on a firm supply source to meet its energy management obligations to its customers. If supply, transportation or storage is disrupted, including for reasons of force majeure, the ability of NJNG and NJRES to sell and deliver their products and services may be hindered. As a result, they may be responsible for damages incurred by their customers, such as the additional cost of acquiring alternative supply at then-current market rates. Particularly for NJRES, these conditions could have a material impact on its cash flows and statement of operations.

Adverse economic conditions, including inflation, increased natural gas costs, foreclosures and business failures, could adversely impact NJNG's customer collections and increase our level of indebtedness.

Inflation may cause increases in certain operating and capital costs. We continually review the adequacy of NJNG's base tariff rates in relation to the increasing cost of providing service and the inherent regulatory lag in adjusting those rates. The ability to control operating expenses is an important factor that will influence future results.

Rapid increases in the price of purchased gas may cause NJNG to experience a significant increase in short-term debt because it must pay suppliers for gas when it is purchased, which can be significantly in advance of when these costs may be recovered through the collection of monthly customer bills for gas delivered. Increases in purchased gas costs also slow collection efforts as customers are more likely to delay the payment of their gas bills, leading to higher-than-normal accounts receivable.

Changes in weather conditions may affect earnings and cash flows.

Weather conditions and other natural phenomena can have an adverse impact on our earnings and cash flows. Severe weather conditions can impact suppliers and the pipelines that deliver gas to NJNG's distribution system. Extended mild weather, during either the winter period or summer period, can have a significant impact on demand for and the cost of natural gas. While we believe the CIP mitigates the impact of weather variations on NJNG's gross margin, severe weather conditions may have an impact on the ability of suppliers and pipelines to deliver the natural gas to NJNG, which can negatively affect our earnings. The CIP does not mitigate the impact of severe weather conditions on our cash flows.

Future results at NJRES are subject to volatility in the natural gas market due to weather. Variations in weather may affect earnings and working capital needs throughout the year. During periods of milder temperatures, demand and volatility in the natural gas market may decrease, which can negatively impact NJRES' earnings and cash flows.

Changes in customer growth may affect earnings and cash flows.

NJNG's ability to increase its utility firm gross margin is dependent upon the new construction housing market, as well as the conversion of customers to natural gas from other fuel sources. During periods of extended economic downturns, prolonged weakness in housing markets or slowdowns in the conversion market, there could be an adverse impact on NJNG's utility firm gross margin, earnings and cash flows. Furthermore, while our estimate regarding customer growth is based in part upon information from third parties, the estimate has not been verified by any independent source and is subject to the aforementioned risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to materially deviate from the estimate.

NJRES' earnings and cash flows are dependent upon optimization of its physical assets using financial transactions.

NJRES' earnings and cash flows are based, in part, on its ability to optimize its portfolio of contractual-based natural gas storage and pipeline assets. The optimization strategy involves utilizing its physical assets to take advantage of differences in natural gas prices between geographic locations and/or time periods. Any change among various pricing points could affect these

Page 18

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS (Continued)                                                                                                                                        

differentials. In addition, significant increases in the supply of natural gas in NJRES' market areas, for example that can occur as a result of increased production along the Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian basin, can reduce NJRES' ability to find opportunities going forward. Changes in pricing dynamics and supply could have an adverse impact on NJRES' optimization activities, earnings and cash flows. NJRES incurs fixed demand fees to acquire its contractual rights to storage and transportation assets. Should commodity prices at various locations or time periods change in such a way that NJRES is not able to recoup these costs from its customers, the cash flows and earnings at NJRES, and ultimately NJR, could be adversely impacted.

NJRES is exposed to market risk and may incur losses in wholesale services.

The storage and transportation portfolios at NJRES consist of contracts to transport and store natural gas. The value of NJRES' portfolio could be negatively impacted if the value of these contracts change in a direction or manner that NJRES does not anticipate. In addition, upon expiration of these storage and transportation contracts, to the extent that they are renewed or replaced at less favorable terms, our results of operations and cash flows could be negatively impacted.

Investing through partnerships, joint ventures or in an MLP decreases our ability to manage risk.

We have utilized joint ventures through partnerships for certain midstream investments, including Steckman Ridge and PennEast, and we own a minority interest in DM, a MLP, through our investment in DM Common Units. Although we currently have no specific plans to do so, we may acquire interests in other joint ventures or partnerships in the future. In these joint ventures or partnerships, we may not have the right or power to direct the management and policies of the joint ventures or partnerships, and other participants or investors may take action contrary to our instructions or requests and against our policies and objectives. In addition, the other participants may become bankrupt or have economic or other business interests or goals that are inconsistent with those of NJR and our subsidiaries. Our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows could be harmed if a joint venture participant acts contrary to our interests.

Additionally, our investment in DM has risks that are unique to investments in MLPs. Holders of MLP common units have limited control and voting rights on matters affecting the MLP, and investments in MLPs may have limited liquidity. Additionally, if DM is treated as a corporation for federal income tax purposes as a result of a change in current law or a change in DM's business, such treatment would result in a reduction in the after-tax return to us and may cause a reduction in the value of our investment in DM Common Units.

We may be unable to obtain governmental approvals, property rights and/or financing for the construction, development and operation of our proposed energy investments and projects in a timely manner or at all.

Construction, development and operation of energy investments, such as natural gas storage facilities, NJNG infrastructure improvements such as SRL and NJ RISE, pipeline transportation systems such as PennEast, solar energy projects and onshore wind projects, are subject to federal and state regulatory oversight and require certain property rights, such as easements and rights-of-way from public and private property owners, as well as regulatory approvals, including environmental and other permits and licenses for such facilities and systems. We or our joint venture partnerships may be unable to obtain, in a cost-efficient or timely manner, all such needed property rights, permits and licenses to successfully construct and develop our energy facilities and systems. Successful financing of our energy investments requires participation by willing financial institutions and lenders, as well as acquisition of capital at favorable interest rates. If we do not obtain the necessary regulatory approvals, property rights and financing, our equity investments could be impaired. Such impairment could have a materially adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

Our investments in distributed power projects are subject to substantial risks.

Commercial and residential solar energy projects and onshore wind projects, such as those in which we invest are dependent upon current regulatory and tax incentives and there is uncertainty about the extent to which such incentives will be available in the future. The potential return on investment of these solar projects is based substantially on our eligibility for ITCs and the future market for SRECs that are traded in a competitive marketplace in the State of New Jersey. As a result, these projects face the risk that the current regulatory regimes and tax laws may expire or be adversely modified during the life of the projects. Furthermore, a sustained decrease in the value of SRECs would negatively impact the return on investment of solar projects. Legislative changes or declines in the price of SRECs could also lead to an impairment of solar project assets.

In addition, there are risks associated with our ability to develop and manage such projects profitably, including logistical risks and potential delays related to construction, permitting, regulatory approvals (including any approvals by the BPU required pursuant to recently enacted solar energy legislation in the State of New Jersey) and electric grid interconnection, as well as the

Page 19

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS (Continued)                                                                                                                                        

operational risk that the projects in service will not perform according to expectations due to equipment failure, suboptimal weather conditions or other factors beyond our control. All of the aforementioned risks could reduce the availability of viable solar energy projects for development. Furthermore, at the development or acquisition stage, our ability to predict actual performance results may be hindered and the projects may not perform as predicted.

Risks related to the regulation of NJNG could affect the rates it is able to charge, its costs and its profitability.

NJNG is subject to regulation by federal, state and local authorities. These authorities regulate many aspects of NJNG's distribution operations, including construction and maintenance of facilities, operations, safety, tariff rates that NJNG can charge customers, rates of return, the authorized cost of capital, recovery of pipeline replacement, environmental remediation costs and relationships with its affiliates. NJNG's ability to obtain rate increases, including base rate increases, extend its BGSS incentive and CIP programs and maintain its currently authorized rates of return may be impacted by events, including regulatory or legislative actions and the currently pending base rate case filed on November 13, 2015. There can be no assurance that NJNG will be able to obtain rate increases and continue its BGSS incentive, CIP and SAVEGREEN programs or continue the opportunity to earn its currently authorized rates of return.

Significant regulatory assets recorded by NJNG could be disallowed for recovery from customers in the future.

NJNG records regulatory assets on its financial statements to reflect the ratemaking and regulatory decision-making authority of the BPU as allowed by current GAAP. The creation of a regulatory asset allows for the deferral of costs which, absent a mechanism to recover such costs from customers in rates approved by the BPU, would be charged to expense on its income statement in the period incurred. Primary regulatory assets that are subject to BPU approval include the recovery of BGSS and USF costs, remediation costs associated with its MGP sites, CIP, NJCEP, economic stimulus plans, deferred storm costs, certain deferred income tax and pension and other postemployment benefit plans. If there were to be a change in regulatory positions surrounding the collection of these deferred costs there could be a material impact on NJNG's financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

We may be adversely impacted by natural disasters, pandemic illness, terrorist activities and other extreme events to which we may not be able to promptly respond.

Local or national natural disasters, pandemic illness, terrorist activities and other extreme events are a threat to our assets and operations. Companies in our industry that are located in our service territory may face a heightened risk due to exposure to acts of terrorism that could target or impact our natural gas distribution, transmission and storage facilities and disrupt our operations and ability to meet customer requirements. In addition, the threat of terrorist activities could lead to increased economic instability and volatility in the price of natural gas that could affect our operations. Natural disasters or actual or threatened terrorist activities may also disrupt capital markets and our ability to raise capital, or impact our suppliers or our customers directly. A local disaster or pandemic illness could result in part of our workforce being unable to operate or maintain our infrastructure or perform other tasks necessary to conduct our business. In addition, these risks could result in loss of human life, significant damage to property, environmental damage, impairment of our operations and substantial loss to the Company. Our regulators may not allow us to recover from our customers part or all of the increased cost related to the foregoing events, which could negatively affect our earnings.

We maintain emergency planning and training programs to readily respond to events that could cause business interruption. However, a slow or inadequate response to events may have an adverse impact on operations and earnings. We may unable to obtain sufficient insurance to cover all risks associated with local and national disasters, pandemic illness, terrorist activities and other events, which could increase the risk that an event adversely affects our operations or financial results.

Cyber-attack or failure of information technology systems could adversely affect our business operation, financial condition and results of operations.

We continue to place greater reliance on technological tools that support our business operations and corporate functions, including tools that help us manage our natural gas distribution operations and infrastructure. The failure of, or security breaches related to, these technologies could materially adversely affect our business operations, our financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

We rely on information technology to manage our natural gas distribution and other corporate operations, maintain customer, employee, Company and vendor data, prepare our financial statements and perform other critical business processes. This technology may fail due to cyber-attack, physical disruption, design and implementation defects or human error. Disruption or

Page 20

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS (Continued)                                                                                                                                        

failure of business operations and information technology systems could harm our facilities or otherwise adversely impact our ability to safely deliver natural gas to our customers, serve our customers effectively or manage our assets. Additionally, an attack on or failure of information technology systems could result in the unauthorized release of customer, employee or other confidential or sensitive data. Any of the foregoing events could adversely affect our business reputation, diminish customer confidence, disrupt operations, subject us to financial liability or increased regulation, increase our costs and expose us to material legal claims and liability.

There is no guarantee that redundancies we built into our networks and technology, or the procedures we implemented to protect against cyber-attack and other unauthorized access to secured data, are adequate to safeguard against all failures of technology or security breaches.

Failure to attract and retain an appropriately qualified employee workforce could adversely affect operations.

Our ability to implement our business strategy and serve our customers is dependent upon our continuing ability to attract and retain talented professionals and a technically skilled workforce, and being able to transfer the knowledge and expertise of our workforce to new employees as our aging employees retire. Failure to hire and adequately train replacement employees, including the transfer of significant internal historical knowledge and expertise to the new employees, or the future availability and cost of contract labor could adversely affect the ability to manage and operate our business. Furthermore, the majority of our natural gas distribution segment workforce is represented by the Union and is covered by a collective bargaining agreement that will expire in December 2018. Disputes with the Union over terms and conditions of the agreement could result in instability in our labor relationship and work stoppages that could impact the timely delivery of gas and other services from our utility, which could strain relationships with customers and state regulators and cause a loss of revenues that could adversely affect our results of operations. Our collective bargaining agreement may also increase the cost of employing our natural gas distribution segment workforce, affect our ability to continue offering market-based salaries and employee benefits, limit our flexibility in dealing with our workforce, and limit our ability to change work rules and practices and implement other efficiency-related improvements to successfully compete in today's challenging marketplace.

We are subject to governmental regulation. Compliance with current and future regulatory requirements and procurement of necessary approvals, permits and certificates may result in substantial costs to us.

We are subject to substantial regulation from federal, state and local regulatory authorities. We are required to comply with numerous laws and regulations and to obtain numerous authorizations, permits, approvals and certificates from governmental agencies. These agencies regulate various aspects of our business, including customer rates, services, construction and natural gas pipeline operations.

The FERC has regulatory authority over some of our operations, including sales of natural gas in the wholesale market and the purchase and sale of interstate pipeline and storage capacity. Any Congressional legislation or agency regulation that would alter these or other similar statutory and regulatory structures in a way to significantly raise costs that could not be recovered in rates from customers, that would reduce the availability of supply or capacity or that would reduce our competitiveness could negatively impact our earnings. In addition, changes in and compliance with laws such as the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty and Job Creation Act of 2011 could increase federal regulatory oversight and administrative costs that may not be recovered in rates from customers, which could have an adverse impact on our earnings.

We cannot predict the impact of any future revisions or changes in interpretations of existing regulations or the adoption of new laws and applicable regulations. Changes in regulations or the imposition of additional regulations could influence our operating environment and may result in substantial costs to us.

Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws may delay or prevent a transaction that stockholders would view as favorable.

Our certificate of incorporation and bylaws, as well as New Jersey law, contain provisions that could delay, defer or prevent an unsolicited change in control of NJR, which may negatively affect the market price of our common stock or the ability of stockholders to participate in a transaction in which they might otherwise receive a premium for their shares over the then current market price. These provisions may also prevent changes in management. In addition, our Board of Directors is authorized to issue preferred stock without stockholder approval on such terms as our Board of Directors may determine. Our common stockholders will be subject to, and may be negatively affected by, the rights of any preferred stock that may be issued in the future. In addition, we are subject to the New Jersey Shareholders' Protection Act, which could delay or prevent a change of control of NJR.


Page 21

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I
 
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS (Continued)                                                                                                                                        

We are involved in legal or administrative proceedings before various courts and governmental bodies that could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

We are involved in legal or administrative proceedings before various courts and governmental bodies with respect to general claims, rates, taxes, environmental issues, gas cost prudence reviews and other matters. Adverse decisions regarding these matters, to the extent they require us to make payments in excess of amounts provided for in our financial statements or covered by insurance, could adversely affect our results of operations, cash flows and financial condition.

Our costs of compliance with present and future environmental laws are significant and could adversely affect our cash flows and profitability.

Our operations are subject to extensive federal, state and local environmental statutes, rules and regulations relating to air quality, water quality, waste management, natural resources and site remediation. Compliance with these laws and regulations may require us to expend significant financial resources to, among other things, conduct site remediation and perform environmental monitoring. If we fail to comply with applicable environmental laws and regulations, even if we are unable to do so due to factors beyond our control, we may be subject to civil liabilities or criminal penalties and may be required to incur significant expenditures to come into compliance. Additionally, any alleged violations of environmental laws and regulations may require us to expend significant resources in our defense against alleged violations.

Furthermore, the U.S. Congress has for some time been considering various forms of climate change legislation. There is a possibility that, when and if enacted, the final form of such legislation could impact our costs and put upward pressure on wholesale natural gas prices. Higher cost levels could impact the competitive position of natural gas and negatively affect our growth opportunities, cash flows and earnings.

ITEM 1B. UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS                                                                                                                        

None


ITEM 2. PROPERTIES                                                                                                                                                                  

Natural Gas Distribution Segment (All properties are located in New Jersey)

NJNG owns approximately 7,080 miles of distribution main, 7,275 miles of service main, 226 miles of transmission main and approximately 534,000 meters. Mains are primarily located under public roads. Where mains are located under private property, NJNG has obtained easements from the owners of record.

Additionally, NJNG owns and operates two LNG storage plants in Stafford Township, Ocean County; and Howell Township, Monmouth County. The two LNG plants have an aggregate estimated maximum capacity of approximately 170,000 dths per day and 1 Bcf of total capacity. These facilities are used for peaking natural gas supply and emergencies.

NJNG owns four service centers located in Rockaway Township, Morris County; Atlantic Highlands and Wall Township, Monmouth County; and Lakewood, Ocean County. These service centers house storerooms, garages, gas distribution and administrative offices. NJNG leases its headquarters and customer service facilities in Wall Township, Monmouth County, a customer service office in Asbury Park, Monmouth County and a service center in Manahawkin, Ocean County. These customer service offices support customer contact, marketing, economic development and other functions.

Substantially all of NJNG's properties, not expressly excepted or duly released, are subject to the lien of the Mortgage Indenture, dated as of September 1, 2014, as security for NJNG's mortgage bonds, which totaled $582.8 million as of September 30, 2015. In addition, under the terms of the Indenture, NJNG could have issued up to $830.7 million of additional first mortgage bonds as of September 30, 2015.

Energy Services Segment

As of September 30, 2015, NJRES leases office space in Wall Township, New Jersey, as well as Houston, Texas and Charlotte, North Carolina for its business activities.

Page 22

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I

ITEM 2. PROPERTIES (Continued)                                                                                                                                            

Clean Energy Ventures Segment

NJRCEV has various solar contracts, including lease agreements and easements, allowing the installation, operation and maintenance of solar equipment and access to the various properties, including commercial and residential rooftops. In addition to the lease agreements and easements, NJRCEV owns 79.5 acres of land in Vineland, New Jersey for its Vineland solar project. NJRCEV owns solar panels with a total of 117.7 MW of capacity.

NJRCEV is also party to various land lease agreements and easements, which allow for the installation, operation and maintenance of wind turbines, associated electric collection facilities, substations, operation and maintenance buildings and access to the various properties. The Two Dot wind project in Two Dot, Montana is a 9.7 MW onshore wind project, which was completed in June 2014. The Carroll Area wind project located in Carroll County, Iowa is a 20 MW project, which was completed in January 2015. The Alexander wind project located in Rush County, Kansas is a 48.3 MW project currently under construction and expected to be completed in the first quarter of fiscal 2016. In addition to the lease agreement and easements, NJRCEV owns 1.8 acres and 7.14 acres of land for its Carroll and Alexander wind projects, respectively. NJRCEV also owns a building on .16 acres in Rush County, Kansas that is used for operation and maintenance purposes related to the Alexander wind project.

NJRCEV leases office space in Wall Township, New Jersey.

Midstream Segment

As of September 30, 2015, Steckman Ridge owned and/or leased storage rights on approximately 6,300 acres of land in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, with a FERC-regulated natural gas storage facility with up to 12 Bcf of working gas capacity. Equipment on the property includes a compressor station, gathering pipelines and pipeline interconnections.

All Other Business Operations

As of September 30, 2015, CR&R's real estate portfolio consisted of 35 acres of undeveloped land in Atlantic County with a net book value of $1.4 million and a 56,400-square-foot office building on five acres of land in Monmouth County with a net book value of $7.9 million. CR&R also owns 19.1 acres of undeveloped land located in Atlantic County with a net book value of $756,000, which the Company has committed to sell and was reclassified as held for sale as of September 30, 2015.

NJRHS leases service centers in Dover, Morris County and Wall, Monmouth County, New Jersey.

Capital Expenditure Program

See Item 7. Management Discussion and Analysis for a discussion of anticipated fiscal 2016 and 2017 capital expenditures as applicable to NJR's business segments and business operations.

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS                                                                                                                                                

Manufactured Gas Plant Remediation

NJNG is responsible for the remedial cleanup of five MGP sites, dating back to gas operations in the late 1800s and early 1900s, which contain contaminated residues from former gas manufacturing operations. NJNG is currently involved in administrative proceedings with the NJDEP, and participating in various studies and investigations by outside consultants to determine the nature and extent of any such contaminated residues and to develop appropriate programs of remedial action, where warranted, under Administrative Consent Orders or Memoranda of Agreement with the NJDEP.

NJNG may recover its remediation expenditures, including carrying costs, over rolling seven-year periods pursuant to a RA approved by the BPU. In July 2014, the BPU approved a July 2013 filing that requested approval of NJNG's MGP expenditures incurred through June 2013, as well as a recovery of $18.7 million annually, with rates effective December 1, 2013. In September 2014, NJNG requested approval of its MGP expenditures incurred through June 2014 with recovery of $8.5 million annually related to the SBC RA factor. The petition was approved by the BPU on May 19, 2015, with rates effective June 1, 2015. As of September 30, 2015, $18.9 million of previously incurred remediation costs, net of recoveries from customers and insurance proceeds, are included in regulatory assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.


Page 23

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part I

ITEM 3. LEGAL PROCEEDINGS (Continued)                                                                                                                          

NJNG periodically, and at least annually, performs an environmental review of the MGP sites, including a review of potential liability for investigation and remedial action. NJNG estimated at the time of the most recent review that total future expenditures to remediate and monitor the five MGP sites for which it is responsible, including potential liabilities for Natural Resource Damages that might be brought by the NJDEP for alleged injury to groundwater or other natural resources concerning these sites, will range from approximately $150.9 million to $242.1 million. NJNG's estimate of these liabilities is based upon known facts, existing technology and enacted laws and regulations in place when the review was completed. Where it is probable that costs will be incurred, and the information is sufficient to establish a range of possible liability, NJNG accrues the most likely amount in the range. If no point within the range is more likely than the other, it is NJNG's policy to accrue the lower end of the range. Accordingly, as of September 30, 2015, NJNG recorded an MGP remediation liability and a corresponding regulatory asset of $180.4 million on the Consolidated Balance Sheets, based on the most likely amount. The actual costs to be incurred by NJNG are dependent upon several factors, including final determination of remedial action, changing technologies and governmental regulations, the ultimate ability of other responsible parties to pay and any insurance recoveries.

NJNG will continue to seek recovery of MGP-related costs through the RA. If any future regulatory position indicates that the recovery of such costs is not probable, the related cost would be charged to income in the period of such determination.

General

The Company is party to various other claims, legal actions and complaints arising in the ordinary course of business. In the Company's opinion, other than as disclosed in this Item 3, the ultimate disposition of these matters will not have a material effect on its financial condition, results of operations or cash flows.

ITEM 4. MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES                                                                                                                                     

Not applicable

ITEM 4A. EXECUTIVE OFFICERS OF THE COMPANY                                                                                                       

The Company's Executive Officers and their age, position and business experience during the past five years are set forth below.
Name
Age
Officer
since
Office held during last five years
Laurence M. Downes
58
1986
Chairman of the Board (September 1996 - present)
President and Chief Executive Officer (July 1995 - present)
Kathleen T. Ellis
62
2004
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, NJNG (February 2008 - present)
Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs (December 2004 - present)
Glenn C. Lockwood
54
1990
Executive Vice President (January 2011 - present)
Chief Financial Officer (September 1995 - present)
Senior Vice President (January 1996 - December 2010)
Mariellen Dugan
49
2005
Senior Vice President and General Counsel (February 2008 - present)
Stephen Westhoven
47
2004
Senior Vice President, NJRES (May 2010 - present)
Vice President of Energy Trading, NJRES (January 2004 - May 2010)
Stanley M. Kosierowski
63
2008
President, NJRCEV and NJRHS (May 2010 - present)
Vice President, Strategy and Operations (July 2009 - May 2010)
Vice President, NJRCEV (September 2008 - April 2010)
Amanda Mullan
49
2015
Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer (April 2015 - present)
Senior Vice President of HR, N. America, Willis Group Holdings (April 2012 - April 2015)
Senior Vice President of HR, Dun & Bradstreet (July 2009 - April 2012)

Page 24

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part II


ITEM 5. MARKET FOR THE REGISTRANT'S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND
ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES                                                                                                                    

NJR's Common Stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol NJR. As of September 30, 2015, NJR had 43,911 holders of record of its common stock.

NJR's common stock high and low sales prices and dividends paid per share were as follows:
 
2015
2014
Dividends Paid
 
High
Low
High
Low
2015
2014
Fiscal Quarter
 
 
 
 
 
 
First
$32.15
$24.65
$23.48
$21.27
$0.225
$0.210
Second
$33.73
$28.73
$25.24
$21.88
$0.225
$0.210
Third
$32.05
$26.77
$28.84
$23.85
$0.225
$0.210
Fourth
$30.07
$26.89
$28.90
$24.32
$0.225
$0.210

On January 20, 2015, NJR’s Board of Directors approved a 2-for-1 stock split of the Company’s common stock for the Company’s common stock holders of record on February 6, 2015. The additional shares were issued on March 3, 2015. All share-related information for prior periods has been adjusted throughout this report on a retroactive basis to reflect the effects of the stock split. As well, common stock and premium on common stock amounts have been adjusted as of the earliest period presented on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

In 1996, the Board of Directors authorized the Company to implement a share repurchase program, which has been expanded seven times since the inception of the program. The Share Repurchase Plan allows the Company to purchase its outstanding shares on the open market or in negotiated transactions, based on market and other conditions. The Company is not required to purchase any specific number of shares and may discontinue or suspend the program at any time. The Share Repurchase Plan will expire when we have repurchased all shares authorized for repurchase thereunder, unless it is earlier terminated by action of our Board of Directors or additional shares are authorized for repurchase.

The following table sets forth NJR's repurchase activity for the quarter ended September 30, 2015:
Period
Total Number of Shares
(or Units) Purchased
Average Price Paid per Share (or Unit)
Total Number of Shares (or Units) Purchased as Part of Publicly Announced Plans or Programs
Maximum Number (or Approximate Dollar Value) of Shares (or Units) That May Yet Be Purchased Under the Plans or Programs
07/01/15 - 07/31/15
$


 
2,662,653
08/01/15 - 08/31/15
$


 
2,662,653
09/01/15 - 09/30/15
$


 
2,662,653
Total
$


 
2,662,653


Page 25

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part II

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA                                                                                                                                   

CONSOLIDATED FINANCIAL STATISTICS
(Thousands, except per share data)
 
 
 
 
 
Fiscal Years Ended September 30,
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA
 
 
 
 
 
Operating revenues
$
2,733,987

$
3,738,145

$
3,198,068

$
2,248,923

$
3,009,209

Gas purchases
$
2,085,645

$
3,139,525

$
2,712,223

$
1,841,408

$
2,550,571

Net income
$
180,960

$
141,970

$
114,809

$
92,879

$
101,299

Total assets
$
3,339,038

$
3,158,804

$
3,004,783

$
2,770,005

$
2,649,444

Common stock equity
$
1,106,956

$
966,166

$
887,384

$
813,865

$
776,257

Long-term debt (1)
$
843,595

$
598,209

$
512,886

$
525,169

$
426,797

 
 
 
 
 
 
COMMON STOCK DATA
 
 
 
 
 
Earnings per share-basic
$2.12
$1.69
$1.38
$1.12
$1.23
Earnings per share-diluted
$2.10
$1.67
$1.37
$1.12
$1.22
Dividends declared per share
$0.915
$0.855
$0.810
$0.770
$0.720
 
 
 
 
 
 
NON-GAAP RECONCILIATION
 
 
 
 
 
Net income
$
180,960

$
141,970

$
114,809

$
92,879

$
101,299

Add:
 
 
 
 
 
Consolidated unrealized (gain) loss on derivative instruments
(38,681
)
28,534

(9,418
)
35,790

36,875

Effects of economic hedging related to natural gas inventory
(8,225
)
26,639

7,635

(4,891
)
(28,604
)
Tax adjustments
17,449

(20,286
)
655

(11,361
)
(3,037
)
Net financial earnings (2)
$
151,503

$
176,857

$
113,681

$
112,417

$
106,533

 
 
 
 
 
 
Net financial earnings per share-basic (2)
$1.78
$2.10
$1.36
$1.35
$1.29
Net financial earnings per share-diluted (2)
$1.76
$2.08
$1.36
$1.35
$1.28
(1)
Includes long-term capital leases of $35.7 million, $40.4 million, $43 million, $46.1 million and $47 million, respectively.
(2)
NFE is a financial measure not calculated in accordance with GAAP. NFE eliminates the timing differences surrounding the recognition of certain gains or losses, to effectively match the earnings effects of economic hedges associated with the physical sale or purchase of gas and, therefore, eliminates the impact of volatility to GAAP earnings associated with the related derivative instruments. For further discussion of this financial measure, see the Energy Services segment in Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

Page 26

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part II

ITEM 6. SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA (Continued)                                                                                                              

NJNG OPERATING STATISTICS
Fiscal Years Ended September 30,
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
Operating revenues ($ in thousands)
 
 
 
 
 
Residential
$
466,464

$
469,831

$
467,269

$
363,780

$
579,038

Commercial, industrial and other
106,505

110,740

99,736

85,870

113,429

Firm transportation
77,974

86,131

73,745

60,599

57,126

Total residential and commercial
650,943

666,702

640,750

510,249

749,593

Interruptible
10,049

9,384

9,066

9,124

9,643

Total system
660,992

676,086

649,816

519,373

759,236

BGSS incentive programs
120,978

143,329

138,171

108,340

212,488

Total operating revenues
$
781,970

$
819,415

$
787,987

$
627,713

$
971,724

Throughput (Bcf)
 
 
 
 
 
Residential
45.9

43.1

38.3

32.9

42.3

Commercial, industrial and other
9.6

8.2

7.5

6.5

8.3

Firm transportation
16.0

17.7

15.2

11.2

12.2

Total residential and commercial
71.5

69.0

61.0

50.6

62.8

Interruptible
47.1

10.5

10.9

10.3

8.3

Total system
118.6

79.5

71.9

60.9

71.1

BGSS incentive programs
222.4

180.8

141.5

99.6

107

Total throughput
341.0

260.3

213.4

160.5

178.1

Customers at year-end
 
 
 
 
 
Residential
437,979

422,742

408,399

423,871

428,694

Commercial, industrial and other
25,541

24,684

24,302

24,985

25,666

Firm transportation
48,673

56,777

64,651

51,213

40,522

Total residential and commercial
512,193

504,203

497,352

500,069

494,882

Interruptible
35

37

41

42

42

BGSS incentive programs
24

34

38

32

40

Total customers at year-end
512,252

504,274

497,431

500,143

494,964

Interest coverage ratio (1)
9.57

10.24

10.82

10.85

10.73

Average therm use per customer
 
 
 
 
 
Residential
1,049

1,020

937

775

986

Commercial, industrial and other
9,799

4,466

3,773

3,675

4,350

Degree days
5,015

5,080

4,664

3,698

4,686

Weather as a percent of normal (2)
108.3
%
109.6
%
99.9
%
77.9
%
99.3
%
Number of employees
649

626

611

611

590

(1)
NJNG's income from operations divided by interest expense.
(2)
Normal heating degree days are based on a twenty-year average, calculated based upon three reference areas representative of NJNG's service territory.



Page 27

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part II

ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS                                                                                                                                                                                   

Forward-looking and Cautionary Statements

From time to time, we may make statements that may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the “safe-harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on the Company's then-current expectations and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those addressed in the forward-looking statements. Information concerning forward-looking statements is set forth on page 3 of this annual report and is incorporated herein. A detailed discussion of risk and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements is included in Item 1A. Risk Factors and are incorporated herein. We undertake no obligation to update or revise publicly any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Critical Accounting Policies

We prepare our financial statements in accordance with GAAP. Application of these accounting principles requires the use of estimates and assumptions that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses, and related disclosures of contingencies during the reporting period. We regularly evaluate our estimates, including those related to the calculation of the fair value of derivative instruments, regulatory assets, income taxes, pension and postemployment benefits other than pensions, asset retirement obligations and contingencies related to environmental matters and litigation. We base our estimates on historical experience and on various other assumptions that are believed to be reasonable under the circumstances, the results of which form the basis for making judgments about the carrying value of assets and liabilities that are not readily apparent from other sources. In the normal course of business, estimated amounts are subsequently adjusted to actual results that may differ from estimates.

Regulatory Accounting

NJNG maintains its accounts in accordance with the FERC Uniform System of Accounts as prescribed by the BPU and recognizes the impact of regulatory decisions on its financial statements. As a result of the ratemaking process, NJNG is required to apply the accounting principles in ASC 980, Regulated Operations, which differ in certain respects from those applied by unregulated businesses. Specifically, NJNG records assets when it is probable that certain operating costs will be recoverable from customers in future periods and records liabilities associated with probable future obligations to customers.

NJNG's BGSS requires it to project its annual natural gas costs and provides the ability, subject to BPU approval, to recover or refund the difference, if any, of such actual costs compared with the projected costs included in prices through a BGSS charge to customers. Any underrecovery or overrecovery is recorded as a regulatory asset or liability on the Consolidated Balance Sheets and reflected in the BGSS charge to customers in subsequent years.

As recovery of regulatory assets is subject to BPU approval, if there are any changes in future regulatory positions that indicate recovery of all or a portion of a regulatory asset is not probable, the related cost would be charged to income in the period of such determination. On November 13, 2015, NJNG filed a base rate petition with the BPU to increase its base tariff rates in the amount of $147.6 million.

Derivative Instruments

We record our derivative instruments held as assets and liabilities at fair value on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. In addition, since we choose not to designate any of our physical and financial commodity derivatives as accounting hedges, changes in the fair value of NJRES' commodity derivatives are recognized in earnings, as they occur, as a component of operating revenues or gas purchases on the Consolidated Statements of Operations. Changes in the fair value of foreign exchange contracts that NJRES utilizes as cash flow hedges are recorded to OCI, a component of stockholders' equity, and reclassified to gas purchases on the Consolidated Statements of Operations when they settle.

The fair value of derivative instruments is determined by reference to quoted market prices of listed exchange-traded contracts, published price quotations, pipeline tariff information and/or a combination of those items. NJRES' portfolio is valued using the most current and reasonable market information. If the price underlying a physical commodity transaction does not represent a visible and liquid market, NJRES may utilize additional published pipeline tariff information and/or other services to determine an equivalent market price. As of September 30, 2015, fair value of its derivative assets and liabilities reported on the Consolidated Balance Sheets that is based on such pricing is immaterial.

Page 28

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part II
 
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


Should there be a significant change in the underlying market prices or pricing assumptions, NJRES may experience a significant impact on its financial position, results of operations and cash flows. Refer to Item 7A. Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risks for sensitivity analysis related to the impact to derivative fair values resulting from changes in commodity prices. The valuation methods NJR uses to determine fair values remained consistent for fiscal 2015, 2014 and 2013. NJR applies a discount to its derivative assets to factor in an adjustment associated with the credit risk of its physical natural gas counterparties and to its derivative liabilities to factor in an adjustment associated with its own credit risk. NJR determines this amount by using historical default probabilities corresponding to the appropriate S&P issuer ratings. Since the majority of NJR's counterparties are rated investment grade, this results in an immaterial credit risk adjustment.

Gains and losses associated with derivatives utilized by NJNG to manage the price risk inherent in its natural gas purchasing activities are recoverable through its BGSS, subject to BPU approval. Accordingly, the offset to the change in fair value of these derivatives is recorded as either a regulatory asset or liability on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

NJRCEV hedges certain of its expected production of SRECs through the sale of forward and futures contracts. Accounting guidance permits companies to apply an exception for certain contracts intended for NPNS for which physical delivery is probable. NJRCEV intends to physically deliver all SRECs it sells and therefore applies NPNS accounting treatment to the contracts and recognizes SREC revenue as operating revenue on the Consolidated Statements of Operations upon delivery of the underlying SREC.

We have not designated any derivatives as fair value hedges as of September 30, 2015 and 2014.

Income Taxes and Credits

The determination of our provision for income taxes requires significant judgment, the use of estimates and the interpretation and application of complex tax laws. Significant judgment is required in assessing the timing and amounts of deductible and taxable items. We use the asset and liability method to determine and record deferred tax assets, representing future tax benefits, and deferred tax liabilities, representing future taxes payable, resulting from the differences between the financial reporting amount and the corresponding tax basis of the assets and liabilities using the enacted rates expected to be in effect at the time the differences are settled. An offsetting valuation allowance is recorded when it is more likely than not some or all of the deferred income tax assets won't be realized. NJR had net deferred tax liabilities of $436.5 million and $382 million and a valuation allowance of $176,000 and $212,000 related to certain deferred state tax assets as of September 30, 2015 and 2014, respectively. Any significant changes to the estimates and judgments with respect to the interpretations, timing or deductibility could result in a material change on earnings and cash flows.

For state income tax and other taxes, estimates and judgments are required with respect to the apportionment among the various jurisdictions. In addition, we operate within multiple tax jurisdictions and are subject to audits in these jurisdictions. These audits can involve complex issues, which may require an extended period of time to resolve. We maintain a liability for the estimate of potential income tax exposure and, in our opinion, adequate provisions for income taxes have been made for all years reported. Any significant changes to the estimates and judgments with respect to the apportionment factor could result in a material change on earnings and cash flows.

Accounting guidance requires that we establish reserves for uncertain tax positions when it is more likely than not that the positions will not be sustained when challenged by taxing authorities. We have no reason to believe that we have any future obligations associated with unrecognized tax benefits, therefore, as of September 30, 2015 and 2014, we have not recorded any liabilities related to uncertain tax positions. Any significant changes to the estimates and judgments with respect to the interpretations, timing or deductibility could result in a material change on earnings and cash flows.

To the extent that NJNG invests in property that qualifies for ITCs, the ITC is deferred and amortized to income over the life of the equipment in accordance with regulatory treatment. For our unregulated subsidiaries, we recognize ITCs as a reduction to income tax expense when the property is placed in service. Changes in the federal statutes related to the ITC could have a negative impact on earnings and cash flows.

To the extent that the Company invests in property that qualifies for PTCs, the PTC is recognized as a reduction to current federal income tax expense as the PTCs are generated through the production activities of the assets. Changes to the federal statutes related to PTCs could have a negative impact on earnings and cash flows.

Page 29

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part II
 
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


Environmental Costs

At the end of each fiscal year, NJNG, with the assistance of an independent consulting firm, updates the environmental review of its MGP sites, including its potential liability for investigation and remedial action. From this review, NJNG estimates expenditures necessary to remediate and monitor these MGP sites. As of September 30, 2015, NJNG estimated these expenditures will range from approximately $150.9 million to $242.1 million. NJNG's estimate of these liabilities is developed from then currently available facts, existing technology and current laws and regulations.

In accordance with accounting standards for contingencies, NJNG's policy is to record a liability when it is probable that the cost will be incurred and can be reasonably estimated. NJNG will determine a range of liabilities and will record the most likely amount. If no point within the range is more likely than any other, NJNG will accrue the lower end of the range. Since we believe that recovery of these expenditures, as well as related litigation costs, is possible through the regulatory process, we have recorded a regulatory asset corresponding to the related accrued liability. Accordingly, NJNG recorded an MGP remediation liability and a corresponding regulatory asset of $180.4 million on the Consolidated Balance Sheets, which is based on the most likely amount.

The actual costs to be incurred by NJNG are dependent upon several factors, including final determination of remedial action, changing technologies and governmental regulations, the ultimate ability of other responsible parties to pay, as well as the potential impact of any litigation and any insurance recoveries. As of September 30, 2015 and 2014, $18.9 million and $30.9 million of previously incurred remediation costs, net of recoveries from customers and insurance proceeds received, are included in regulatory assets on the Consolidated Balance Sheets, respectively.

If there are changes in the regulatory position surrounding these costs, or should actual expenditures vary significantly from estimates in that these costs are disallowed for recovery by the BPU, such costs would be charged to income in the period of such determination.

Postemployment Employee Benefits

NJR's costs of providing postemployment employee benefits are dependent upon numerous factors, including actual plan experience and assumptions of future experience. Postemployment employee benefit costs are impacted by actual employee demographics including age, compensation levels and employment periods, the level of contributions made to the plans, changes in long-term interest rates and the return on plan assets. Changes made to the provisions of the plans or healthcare legislation may also impact current and future postemployment employee benefit costs. Postemployment employee benefit costs may also be significantly affected by changes in key actuarial assumptions, including anticipated rates of return on plan assets, mortality tables, health care cost trends and discount rates used in determining the PBO. In determining the PBO and cost amounts, assumptions can change from period to period and could result in material changes to net postemployment employee benefit periodic costs and the related liability recognized by NJR.

NJR's postemployment employee benefit plan assets consist primarily of U.S. equity securities, international equity securities and fixed-income investments, with a targeted allocation of 40 percent, 20 percent and 40 percent, respectively. Fluctuations in actual market returns, as well as changes in interest rates, may result in increased or decreased postemployment employee benefit costs in future periods. Postemployment employee benefit expenses are included in O&M expense on the Consolidated Statements of Operations.

The following is a summary of a sensitivity analysis for each actuarial assumption:

Pension Plans
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Actuarial Assumptions
Increase/
(Decrease)
Estimated
Increase/(Decrease) on PBO
(Thousands)
Estimated
Increase/(Decrease) to Expense
(Thousands)
Discount rate
1.00

%
 
$
(34,644
)
 
 
$
(3,438
)
 
Discount rate
(1.00
)
%
 
$
43,944

 
 
$
4,103

 
Rate of return on plan assets
1.00

%
 
n/a
 
 
$
(1,954
)
 
Rate of return on plan assets
(1.00
)
%
 
n/a
 
 
$
1,954

 


Page 30

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part II
 
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


Other Postemployment Benefits
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Actuarial Assumptions
Increase/
(Decrease)
Estimated
Increase/(Decrease) on PBO
(Thousands)
Estimated
Increase/(Decrease) to Expense
(Thousands)
Discount rate
1.00

%
 
$
(21,616
)
 
 
$
(1,997
)
 
Discount rate
(1.00
)
%
 
$
28,230

 
 
$
2,458

 
Rate of return on plan assets
1.00

%
 
n/a
 
 
$
(554
)
 
Rate of return on plan assets
(1.00
)
%
 
n/a
 
 
$
557

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Actuarial Assumptions
Increase/
(Decrease)
Estimated
Increase/(Decrease) on PBO
(Thousands)
Estimated
Increase/(Decrease) to Expense
(Thousands)
Health care cost trend rate
1.00

%
 
$
26,025

 
 
$
3,683

 
Health care cost trend rate
(1.00
)
%
 
$
(20,427
)
 
 
$
(2,933
)
 

Asset Retirement Obligations

The Company recognizes AROs related to the costs associated with cutting and capping NJNG's main and service gas distribution pipelines, which is required by New Jersey law when taking such gas distribution pipeline out of service. The Company also recognizes AROs associated with NJRCEV's solar and wind assets when there are decommissioning provisions in lease agreements that require removal of the asset.

AROs are initially recognized when the legal obligation to retire an asset has been incurred and a reasonable estimate of fair value can be made. The discounted fair value is recognized as an ARO liability with a corresponding amount capitalized as part of the carrying cost of the underlying asset. The obligation is subsequently accreted to the future value of the expected retirement cost and the corresponding asset retirement cost is depreciated over the life of the related asset. Accretion expense associated with NJRCEV's ARO is recognized as a component of operations and maintenance expense on NJR's Consolidated Statements of Operations. Accretion amounts associated with NJNG's ARO are not reflected as an expense, but rather are deferred as a regulatory asset and netted against NJNG's regulatory liabilities, for presentation purposes, on the Consolidated Balance Sheets.

Estimating future removal costs requires management to make significant judgments because most of the removal obligations span long time frames and removal may be conditioned upon future events. Asset removal technologies are also constantly changing, which makes it difficult to estimate removal costs. Accordingly, inherent in the estimate of the Company's AROs are various assumptions including the ultimate settlement date, expected cash outflows, inflation rates, credit-adjusted risk-free rates and consideration of potential outcomes where settlement of the ARO can be conditioned upon events. In the latter case the Company develops possible retirement scenarios and assigns probabilities based on management’s reasonable judgment and knowledge of industry practice. Accordingly, the ARO is subject to change. Revisions to the Company's estimates during fiscal 2015 resulted in a decrease to NJNG's ARO of approximately $14.8 million, due primarily to changes in expected settlement dates, as well as to the related inflation and discount rates used to measure the obligation over varying time periods.

Recently Issued Accounting Standards

Refer to Note 2. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements for discussion of recently issued accounting standards.

Management's Overview

Consolidated

NJR is an energy services holding company providing retail natural gas service in New Jersey and wholesale natural gas and related energy services to customers in the U.S. and Canada, through its subsidiaries NJNG and NJRES. In addition, NJR invests in distributed power projects, midstream assets and provides various repair, sales and installations services. A more detailed description of NJR's organizational structure can be found in Item 1. Business.


Page 31

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part II
 
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


Business Segments

NJR has four primary business segments as presented in the chart below:


In addition to the four business segments, NJR has non-utility operations that either provide corporate support services or do not meet management's criteria to be treated as a separate business segment. These operations, which comprise Home Services and Other, include: appliance repair services, sales and installations at NJRHS, energy-related ventures at NJR Energy and commercial real estate holdings at CR&R.

A summary of the company's consolidated results in net income and assets by business segment and operations for the fiscal years ended September 30, is as follows:
($ in thousands)
2015
2014
2013
 
Net Income
Assets
Net Income
Assets
Net Income
Assets
Natural Gas Distribution
$
76,287

$
2,331,060

$
74,204

$
2,143,684

$
73,846

$
2,094,940

Energy Services
72,044

269,718

44,394

457,080

20,725

468,096

Clean Energy Ventures
20,101

526,475

12,654

380,707

10,060

253,663

Midstream
9,780

182,184

7,498

153,891

7,199

153,536

Home Services and Other
3,420

94,206

2,798

82,413

3,292

85,293

Intercompany (1)
(672
)
(64,605
)
422

(58,971
)
(313
)
(50,745
)
Total
$
180,960

$
3,339,038

$
141,970

$
3,158,804

$
114,809

$
3,004,783

(1)
Consists of transactions between subsidiaries that are eliminated and reclassified in consolidation.

The primary drivers of the changes noted above, which are described in more detail in the individual segment discussions, are as follows:

The increase in net income during fiscal 2015, compared with fiscal 2014, was primarily driven by:

increases at NJRES due primarily to higher gross margin due to an increase in volumes purchased and sold, an increase related to changes in the value of financial hedges, as well as a decrease in O&M expense, partially offset by a decrease in average gas prices and an increase in income taxes;

Page 32

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part II
 
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


increases at NJRCEV due to increases in operating revenue due primarily to higher SREC market prices and sales volumes and increases in sales of energy and capacity, as well as an increase in ITCs due to an increase in solar capital expenditures placed into service and PTCs due to increased wind production, partially offset by increased costs related to depreciation and O&M;

increases at NJNG due primarily to increased utility firm gross margin resulting primarily from customer growth and an increase in other income, partially offset by increases in depreciation and O&M expenses; and

increases at our Midstream segment in equity in earnings due primarily to increases in storage service revenue and demand for hub services at Steckman Ridge.

The increase in net income during fiscal 2014, compared with fiscal 2013, was primarily driven by:

increases at NJRES due primarily to higher gross margin driven by increased demand caused by the extreme cold weather;

increases at NJRCEV due to the receipt of a credit support payment related to a change in ownership at the site of one of NJRCEV's commercial solar projects along with ITCs associated with solar projects.

The increase in assets during fiscal 2015 compared with fiscal 2014, was due primarily to additional solar and wind expenditures at Clean Energy Ventures and utility plant expenditures at our Natural Gas Distribution segment, offset by decreases in gas in storage and accounts receivable at Energy Services due primarily to lower commodity prices. The increase in assets during fiscal 2014 and 2013, included additional utility plant expenditures at our Natural Gas Distribution segment and solar and wind expenditures at Clean Energy Ventures.

Management of the Company uses NFE, a non-GAAP financial measure, when evaluating the operating results of the Company. NJRES economically hedges its natural gas inventory with financial derivative instruments. NFE is a measure of the earnings based on eliminating timing differences surrounding the recognition of certain gains or losses, to effectively match the earnings effects of the economic hedges with the physical sale of gas and, therefore, eliminates the impact of volatility to GAAP earnings associated with the derivative instruments.

Non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative to, GAAP and should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for, the comparable GAAP measure. The following is a reconciliation of consolidated net income, the most directly comparable GAAP measure, to NFE:
(Thousands)
2015
2014
2013
Net income
$
180,960

$
141,970

$
114,809

Add:
 
 
 
Consolidated unrealized (gain) loss on derivative instruments
(38,681
)
28,534

(9,418
)
Effects of economic hedging related to natural gas inventory
(8,225
)
26,639

7,635

Tax adjustments
17,449

(20,286
)
655

NFE
$
151,503

$
176,857

$
113,681

 
 
 
 
Basic earnings per share
$
2.12

$
1.69

$
1.38

Basic NFE per share
$
1.78

$
2.10

$
1.36


NFE by business segment and other operations for the fiscal years ended September 30, discussed in more detail within the operating results sections of each segment, is summarized as follows:
(Thousands)
2015
 
2014
 
2013
Natural Gas Distribution
$
76,287

51
%
 
$
74,204

42
%
 
$
73,846

65
%
Energy Services
42,122

28

 
79,735

45

 
19,311

17

Clean Energy Ventures
20,101

13

 
12,654

7

 
10,060

9

Midstream
9,780

6

 
7,498

4

 
7,199

6

Home Services and Other
3,420

2

 
2,798

2

 
3,292

3

Eliminations (1)
(207
)

 
(32
)

 
(27
)

Total
$
151,503

100
%
 
$
176,857

100
%
 
$
113,681

100
%
(1)
Consists of transactions between subsidiaries that are eliminated in consolidation.

Page 33

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part II
 
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


The decrease in NFE during fiscal 2015, compared with fiscal 2014, was driven primarily by a decrease at NJRES due primarily to a decrease in financial margin. Fiscal 2014 experienced extreme cold weather patterns across the U.S., especially in the Midwest, which created market volatility that did not recur to the same degree in fiscal 2015. The decrease was partially offset by increases at NJRCEV, NJNG and our Midstream segment as previously discussed.

The increase in NFE during fiscal 2014, compared with fiscal 2013, was primarily driven by increases at NJRES due primarily to the extreme cold weather.

Natural Gas Distribution Segment

Overview

Our Natural Gas Distribution segment is comprised of NJNG, a natural gas utility that provides regulated retail natural gas service in central and northern New Jersey to approximately 512,300 residential and commercial customers in its service territory and also participates in the off-system sales and capacity release markets. The business is subject to various risks, such as those associated with adverse economic conditions, which can negatively impact customer growth, operating and financing costs, fluctuations in commodity prices and customer conservation efforts, which can impact customer usage, certain regulatory actions, environmental remediation and severe weather conditions. It is often difficult to predict the impact of events or trends associated with these risks.

NJNG's business is seasonal by nature, as weather conditions directly influence the volume of natural gas delivered. Specifically, customer demand substantially increases during the winter months when natural gas is used for heating purposes. As a result, NJNG receives most of its gas distribution revenues during the first and second fiscal quarters and is subject to variations in earnings and working capital during the year.

As a regulated company, NJNG is required to recognize the impact of regulatory decisions on its financial statements. See Note 3. Regulation in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements for a more detailed discussion on regulatory actions, including filings related to programs and associated expenditures, as well as rate requests related to recovery of costs.

NJNG's operations are managed with the goal of providing safe and reliable service, growing its customer base, diversifying its gross margin, promoting clean energy programs and mitigating the risks discussed above, through several key initiatives including:

earning a reasonable rate of return on the investments in its natural gas distribution and transmission businesses, as well as timely recovery of all prudently incurred costs in order to provide safe and reliable service throughout NJNG's territory:

-    NJNG filed a base rate case petition with the BPU on November 13, 2015 requesting an increase in base tariff rates in the amount of $147.6 million;

continuing to invest in the safety and integrity of its infrastructure;

managing its customer growth rate, which NJNG expects will be approximately 1.6 percent annually over the next two years;

maintaining a collaborative relationship with the BPU on regulatory initiatives, including:

-    planning and authorization of infrastructure investments;

-    pursuing rate and regulatory strategies to stabilize and decouple margin, including CIP;

-    utilizing BGSS incentive programs through BPU-approved mechanisms to reduce gas costs and generate margin;
and

-    administering and promoting NJNG's BPU-approved SAVEGREEN Project;


Page 34

New Jersey Resources Corporation
Part II
 
ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


managing the volatility of wholesale natural gas prices through a hedging program designed to keep customers' BGSS rates as stable as possible; and

working to manage its financial obligations related to remediation activities associated with its former MGP sites.

Infrastructure projects

NJNG has significant annual capital expenditures associated with the management of its natural gas distribution and transmission system, including new utility plant associated with customer growth and its associated PIM and infrastructure programs.

Below is a summary of NJNG's capital expenditures, including estimates for expected investments over the next two fiscal years:
Estimated capital expenditures are reviewed on a regular basis and may vary based on the ongoing effects of regulatory oversight, environmental regulations, unforeseen events and the ability to access capital.

AIP and SAFE

NJNG has implemented BPU-approved infrastructure projects that are designed to enhance the reliability of NJNG's gas distribution system, including AIP and SAFE. As of September 30, 2015, NJNG has received regulatory approval to recover approximately $15.3 million annually through its base tariff rates related to AIP.

NJNG has also implemented its SAFE program whereby NJNG has approval to invest up to $130 million, exclusive of AFUDC, to replace portions of its gas distribution infrastructure, consisting of unprotected steel and cast iron, over a four-year period. The SAFE program was authorized by the BPU to earn an overall weighted average cost of capital of 6.9 percent, with a return on equity of 9.75 percent. NJNG has included its SAFE infrastructure investments for recovery in its base rate case petition filed on November 13, 2015.


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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


NGV Advantage

On June 18, 2012, the BPU approved a pilot program for NJNG to invest up to $10 million to build NGV refueling stations. As of September 30, 2015, NJNG has opened two NGV stations to the public and development of an additional NGV station continues in Middletown Township. In addition, the BPU approved a deferred accounting methodology related to the NGV investment costs consistent with NJNG's SAFE Program. The NGV program was authorized by the BPU to earn an overall weighted average cost of capital of 7.1 percent, including a return on equity of 10.3 percent. A portion of the proceeds from the utilization of the compressed natural gas equipment, along with any available federal and state incentives, will be credited back to ratepayers to help offset the cost of this investment. NJNG has included its NGV investments for recovery in its base rate case petition filed with the BPU on November 13, 2015. Refer to Note 3. Regulation in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements, for a discussion of SAFE deferred accounting methodology.

NJ RISE

On July 23, 2014, the BPU approved a Stipulation of Settlement related to the recovery of NJNG's NJ RISE capital infrastructure program, which consists of six capital investment projects estimated to cost $102.5 million, excluding AFUDC, for gas distribution storm hardening and mitigation projects, along with associated depreciation expense. These system enhancements are intended to minimize service impacts during extreme weather events to customers that live in the most storm prone areas of NJNG's service territory. The submission was made in response to a March 2013 BPU order, initiating a proceeding to investigate prudent, cost efficient and effective opportunities to protect New Jersey's utility infrastructure from future major storm events. In the filing, NJNG proposed the recovery of its capital costs associated with NJ RISE through an annual adjustment to its base rate. On May 29, 2015, NJNG filed a petition with the BPU requesting approval to recover costs through July 31, 2015. On October 15, 2015, the BPU approved a base rate increase resulting in a .07 percent increase to the average residential heat customer's bill, effective November 1, 2015. Investments through July 31, 2015, will earn a weighted average cost of capital of 6.74 percent, including a return on equity of 9.75 percent. Estimated capital expenditures through December 31, 2016, have been included for recovery in NJNG’s base rate case petition filed with the BPU on November 13, 2015.

Liquefaction/LNG

NJNG is in the construction phase of its Liquefaction project, which when completed will allow NJNG to convert natural gas into LNG to fill NJNG's existing LNG storage tanks. NJNG's base rate case petition filed with the BPU on November 13, 2015, includes capital cost recovery. NJNG estimates that the total costs for this project along with other plant upgrades will be $35.7 million.

Southern Reliability Link

The SRL is an approximate 30-mile, 30-inch transmission main designed to support improved system integrity and reliability in the southern portion of NJNG's service territory, estimated to cost between $175 million and $180 million. On April 2, 2015, NJNG filed two petitions with the BPU to construct, operate and finalize the route for its Southern Reliability Link project. On June 5, 2015, NJNG filed two petitions with the BPU to amend the previously proposed route. The capital investment cost associated with the SRL has been included for recovery in NJNG’s base rate case petition, filed with the BPU on November 13, 2015.

Customer growth

In conducting NJNG's business, management focuses on factors it believes may have significant influence on its future financial results. NJNG's policy is to work with all stakeholders, including customers, regulators and policymakers, to achieve favorable results. These factors include the rate of NJNG's customer growth in its service territory, which can be influenced by political and regulatory policies, the delivered cost of natural gas compared with competing fuels, interest rates and general economic and business conditions.

During fiscal 2015, NJNG added 7,858 new customers, which represents a new customer growth rate of approximately 1.6 percent. During that same time period, NJNG converted 636 existing customers to natural gas heat and other services. This customer growth represents an estimated increase of approximately $4.5 million annually to utility gross margin assuming normal weather and usage. In addition, NJNG currently expects to add approximately 16,000 to 18,000 new customers during the two-year period of fiscal 2016 and 2017. Based on information from municipalities and developers, as well as external industry analysts and

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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


management's experience, NJNG estimates that approximately 51 percent of the growth will come from new construction markets and another 49 percent from customer conversions to natural gas from other fuel sources. This new customer and conversion growth would increase utility gross margin under NJNG's base rates by approximately $4.4 million annually, as calculated under NJNG's CIP tariff. See the Natural Gas Distribution Operating Results section that follows for a definition and further discussion of utility gross margin.

SAVEGREEN

SAVEGREEN conducts home energy audits and provides various grants, incentives and financing alternatives, that are designed to encourage the installation of high efficiency heating and cooling equipment and other energy efficiency upgrades. Depending on the specific incentive or approval, NJNG recovers costs associated with the programs over a two to 10-year period through a tariff rider mechanism. On March 18, 2015, the BPU approved the June 2014 compliance filing associated with SAVEGREEN to maintain the existing rate. On July 22, 2015, the BPU approved NJNG's petition filed in December 2014, allowing the extension of SAVEGREEN through July 31, 2017, with an additional $75.2 million in investments and a weighted average cost of capital of 6.69 percent.

Since inception, the BPU has approved total SAVEGREEN investments of approximately $219.3 million, of which, $117.5 million in grants, rebates and loans has been provided to customers, with a total annual recovery of approximately $20 million. On July 31, 2015, NJNG submitted its 2015 SAVEGREEN rate recovery filing to maintain its existing SAVEGREEN recovery rate. The recovery includes a weighted average cost of capital that ranges from 6.69 percent, with a return on equity of 9.75 percent, to 7.76 percent, with a return on equity of 10.3 percent.

Conservation Incentive Program

The CIP facilitates normalizing NJNG's utility gross margin for variances not only due to weather but also for other factors affecting customer usage, such as conservation and energy efficiency. Recovery of utility gross margin for the non-weather variance through the CIP is limited to the amount of certain gas supply cost savings achieved and is subject to an annual earnings test. An annual review of the CIP must be filed by June 1, coincident with NJNG's annual BGSS filing, during which NJNG can request rate changes to the CIP. In May 2014, the BPU approved the continuation of the CIP program with no expiration date; however, it is subject to review in the 2017 tariff rate filing. On April 15, 2015, the BPU approved on a final basis a reduction to NJNG's CIP rates effective October 1, 2014, which resulted in a 4.3 percent reduction to the average residential heat customer's bill. On June 1, 2015, NJNG filed a petition with the BPU to increase its CIP rates resulting in a 0.08 percent increase to the average residential heat customer's bill to be effective October 1, 2015. The BPU provisionally approved this rate on September 11, 2015.

NJNG's total utility firm gross margin includes the following adjustments related to the CIP mechanism:
(Thousands)
2015
2014
2013
Weather (1)
$
(9,268
)
$
(10,396
)
$
4,463

Usage
3,132

6,580

11,284

Total
$
(6,136
)
$
(3,816
)
$
15,747

(1)
Compared with the CIP 20-year average, weather was 8.3 percent and 9.6 percent colder-than-normal during fiscal 2015 and fiscal 2014, respectively and .1 percent warmer-than-normal during 2013.

As of September 30, 2015 and 2014, NJNG has $5.2 million and $5.8 million, respectively, in regulatory liabilities on the Consolidated Balance Sheets related to CIP to be returned to customers in future periods.

Commodity prices

Our Natural Gas Distribution segment is affected by the price of natural gas, which can have a significant impact on our cash flows, short-term financing costs, the price of natural gas charged to our customers through the BGSS clause, our ability to collect accounts receivable, which impacts our bad debt expense, and our ability to maintain a competitive advantage over other fuel sources.


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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


Natural gas commodity prices may experience high volatility as shown in the graph below, which illustrates the daily natural gas prices(1) in the Northeast market region, also known as Tetco M-3:
(1) Data source from Platts, a division of McGraw Hill Financial.

The maximum daily price was $21.09, $81.30 and $11.59 and the minimum daily price was $0.77, $1.61 and $3.11 for the fiscal years ended September 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively. A more detailed discussion of the impacts of the price of natural gas on operating revenues, gas purchases and cash flows can be found in the Results of Operations and Cash Flow sections of Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

BGSS

Recovery of natural gas costs

NJNG's cost of natural gas is passed through to our customers, without markup, by applying NJNG's authorized BGSS tariff rate to actual therms delivered. There is no utility gross margin associated with BGSS costs; therefore, changes in such costs do not impact NJNG's earnings. NJNG monitors its actual gas costs in comparison to its tariff rates to manage its cash flows associated with its allowed recovery of natural gas costs, which is facilitated through BPU-approved deferred accounting and the BGSS pricing mechanism. Accordingly, NJNG occasionally adjusts its periodic BGSS tariff rates or can issue credits or refunds, as appropriate, for its residential and small commercial customers when the commodity cost varies from the existing BGSS tariff rate. BGSS tariff rates for its large commercial customers are adjusted monthly based on NYMEX prices.

NJNG reduced its BGSS tariff rate in fiscal 2014, resulting in a 6 percent decrease to the average residential heat customer's bill effective December 1, 2013. In June 2014, NJNG filed its fiscal 2015 BGSS/CIP filing with no change to the current BGSS tariff rate. On October 1, 2014, NJNG implemented a decrease to its BGSS rate for residential sales and general service small sales customers resulting in a 5 percent decrease to the average residential heat customer's bill, which was approved by the BPU in April 2015. On June 1, 2015, NJNG filed a petition with the BPU to continue its existing BGSS rate for residential and small commercial customers, which was provisionally approved by the BPU on September 11, 2015. NJNG’s petition included a notification to provide estimated bill credits to NJNG's residential and small commercial customers during the months of November 2015 through February 2016, as a result of the decline in the wholesale price of natural gas. On October 27, 2015, NJNG notified the BPU that the estimated annual bill credits will be approximately $76 million and will result in an approximate 17 percent decrease to the average residential heat customer's bill. Refer to Note 3. Regulation in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements, for a discussion of BGSS rate actions.

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New Jersey Resources Corporation
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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


BGSS Incentive Programs

NJNG is eligible to receive financial incentives for reducing BGSS costs through a series of utility gross margin-sharing programs that include off-system sales, capacity release and storage incentive programs, and through October 31, 2015, the FRM program. These programs are designed to encourage better utilization and hedging of its natural gas supply, transportation and storage assets. Depending on the program, NJNG shares 80 or 85 percent of utility gross margin generated by these programs with firm customers. Should performance of the existing incentives or market conditions warrant, NJNG is permitted to propose a process to re-evaluate and discuss alternative incentive programs annually. On March 27, 2015, NJNG filed a letter petition with the BPU requesting the continuation of its existing BGSS Incentive Programs. On October 15, 2015, the BPU issued an order approving the continuation of the BGSS Incentive Programs with modification to the storage incentive program and termination of the FRM Program, effective November 1, 2015.

Utility gross margin from incentive programs was $17.7 million, $16 million and $8.8 million during the fiscal years ended September 30, 2015, 2014 and 2013, respectively. A more detailed discussion of the impacts to utility gross margin can be found in the Natural Gas Distribution Operating Results section that follows.

Hedging

In order to provide relative price stability to its natural gas supply portfolio, NJNG employs a hedging strategy with the goal of having at least 75 percent of the Company's projected winter gas purchase volumes hedged by each November 1 and at least 25 percent of the gas purchase requirements hedged for the following April through March period. This is accomplished with the use of various financial instruments including futures, swaps and options used in conjunction with commodity and/or weather-related hedging activity.

Due to the capital-intensive nature of NJNG's operations and the seasonal nature of its working capital requirements, significant changes in interest rates can impact NJNG's results. In an April 2014 BPU Order, NJNG received regulatory approval to enter into interest rate risk management transactions related to long-term debt securities. On June 1, 2015, NJNG entered into a treasury lock transaction to fix a benchmark treasury rate of 3.26 percent associated with the forecasted $125 million debt issuance expected in May 2018. This forecasted debt issuance coincides with the maturity of NJNG's existing $125 million, 5.6 percent notes on May 15, 2018. The change in fair value of NJNG's treasury lock agreement is recorded as a component of regulatory assets or liabilities on the Consolidated Balance Sheets since the Company believes that the market value upon settlement will be recovered in future rates. Upon settlement, any gain or loss will be amortized in earnings over the life of the future debt issuance.

A more detailed discussion of NJNG's debt can be found in the Liquidity and Capital Resources and Cash Flow sections of Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.

Environmental Remediation

NJNG is responsible for the environmental remediation of five MGP sites, which contain contaminated residues from former gas manufacturing operations that ceased operating at these sites by the mid-1950s and, in some cases, had been discontinued many years earlier. Actual MGP remediation costs may vary from management's estimates due to the developing nature of remediation requirements, regulatory decisions by the NJDEP and related litigation. NJNG reviews these costs at the end of each fiscal year and adjusts its liability and corresponding regulatory asset as necessary to reflect its expected future remediation obligation. Accordingly, NJNG recognized a regulatory asset and an obligation of $180.4 million as of September 30, 2015, a increase of $3.4 million, compared with the prior fiscal year. NJNG is currently authorized to recover remediation costs of approximately $8.5 million annually, which is based on expenditures incurred through June 30, 2014.

Interest Rate Risk

Due to the capital-intensive nature of NJNG's operations and the seasonal nature of its working capital requirements, significant changes in interest rates can impact NJNG's results. A more detailed discussion can be found in the Liquidity and Capital Resources and Cash Flow sections of Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.


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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


Other regulatory filings and a more detailed discussion of the filings in this section can be found in Note 3. Regulation in the accompanying Consolidated Financial Statements.

Operating Results

Utility Gross Margin

The EDECA, which was enacted in 1999, provides the framework for New Jersey's retail energy markets, which are open to competition from other electric and natural gas suppliers. NJNG's residential and commercial markets are currently open to competition, and its rates are segregated between BGSS (i.e., natural gas commodity) and delivery (i.e., transportation) components. NJNG does not earn utility gross margin on the commodity portion of its natural gas sales. NJNG earns utility gross margin through the delivery of natural gas to its customers and, therefore, is not negatively affected by customers who use its transportation service and purchase natural gas from another supplier. Under an existing order from the BPU, BGSS can be provided by suppliers other than the state's natural gas utilities, however, all customers who purchase natural gas from another supplier continue to use NJNG for transportation service.

NJNG's utility gross margin is a non-GAAP financial measure defined as natural gas revenues less natural gas purchases, sales tax, and regulatory rider expenses, and may not be comparable to the definition of gross margin used by others in the natural gas distribution business and other industries. Management believes that utility gross margin provides a more meaningful basis than revenue for evaluating utility operations since natural gas costs, sales tax and regulatory rider expenses are included in operating revenue and passed through to customers and, therefore, have no effect on utility gross margin. Non-GAAP financial measures are not in accordance with, or an alternative to, GAAP and should be considered in addition to, and not as a substitute for, the comparable GAAP measure.

NJNG's operating results for the fiscal years ended September 30, are as follows:
(Thousands)
2015
2014
2013
Utility gross margin
 
 
 
Operating revenues
$
781,970

$
819,415

$
787,987

Less:
 
 
 
Gas purchases (1)
355,779

402,552

414,594

Energy and other taxes (2)
42,929

47,440

48,037

Regulatory rider expense (3)
75,779

72,164

48,417

Total utility gross margin
307,483

297,259

276,939

Operation and maintenance
129,774

124,717

113,174

Depreciation and amortization
43,085

40,540

37,999

Other taxes not reflected in utility gross margin
4,577

4,573

4,373

Operating income
130,047

127,429

121,393

Other income, net
4,318

2,832

2,847

Interest expense, net of capitalized interest
18,534

16,683

14,995

Income tax provision
39,544

39,374

35,399

Net income
$
76,287

$
74,204

$
73,846

(1)
Includes the purchased cost of the natural gas, fees paid to pipelines and storage facilities, adjustments as a result of BGSS incentive programs and hedging transactions. These expenses are passed through to customers and offset by corresponding revenues.
(2)
Consists primarily of sales taxes and TEFA, both of which are passed through to customers and offset by corresponding revenues. TEFA was phased out by January 2014.
(3)
Consists of expenses associated with state-mandated programs, the RA and energy efficiency programs and are calculated on a per-therm basis. These expenses are passed through to customers and offset by corresponding revenues.


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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF
OPERATIONS (Continued)                                                                                                                                                             


Operating revenues decreased 4.6 percent during fiscal 2015 and increased 4 percent during fiscal 2014. Gas purchases decreased 11.6 percent during fiscal 2015 and decreased 2.9 percent during fiscal 2014. A description of the factors contributing to the increases (decreases) in operating revenues and gas purchases during fiscal 2015 and 2014, are as follows:
 
2015 v. 2014
 
2014 v. 2013
(Millions)
Operating
revenue
Gas
purchases
 
Operating
revenue
Gas
purchases
Average BGSS rates (1)
$
(50.5
)
$
(47.2
)
 
$
(47.4
)
$
(44.4
)
Firm sales
36.2

24.5

 
65.5

33.1

Off-system sales
(20.3
)
(20.0
)
 
7.7

7.0

CIP adjustments
(2.3
)

 
(19.6
)

SAVEGREEN rates


 
14.2


AIP


 
6.5


Other
(0.5
)
(4.1
)
 
4.5

(7.7
)
Total (decrease) increase
$
(37.4
)
$
(46.8
)
 
$
31.4

$
(12.0
)
(1)
Operating revenue includes changes in sales tax of $3.3 million and $3 million during fiscal 2015 and 2014, respectively.

Other includes changes in rider rates, including those related to NJCEP and other programs and Superstorm Sandy.

Fiscal 2015 compared with fiscal 2014

The decreases in operating revenues and gas purchases during fiscal 2015 were due primarily to:

lower BGSS rates due to the BPU approved October 2014 decrease of 5 percent, to the average residential heat customer's bill;

lower off-system sales due primarily to a 51.9 percent decrease in the average price of gas sold, partially offset by a 76.8 percent increase in volumes;

a decrease in CIP adjustments of $2.3 million related primarily to usage; partially offset by

increased firm sales due to the transfer of customers from transportation as well as customer growth.

Fiscal 2014 compared with fiscal 2013

The increase in operating revenue during fiscal 2014 was due primarily to:

increased firm sales due to an increase in usage related primarily to weather being 8.9 percent colder, based on degree days, during fiscal 2014 than fiscal 2013;

higher off-system sales, due primarily to a 36.8 percent increase in the average price of gas sold, offset by a 23.2 percent reduction in volumes; partially offset by

a decrease in CIP adjustments of $14.9 million related to the colder weather and $4.7 million related to usage; and

lower BGSS rates during fiscal 2014, which was also the cause of the decrease in gas purchases during fiscal 2014.
 
The following provides more information on the components of Utility Gross Margin and associated throughput (Bcf) of natural gas delivered to customers:
 
2015
 
2014
 
2013
($ in thousands)
Margin
Bcf
 
Margin
Bcf
 
Margin
Bcf
Utility gross margin/throughput
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Residential
$
182,407

45.9

 
$
173,879

43.1

 
$
167,530

38.3

Commercial, industrial and other
47,162

9.6

 
43,357

8.2

 
42,282

7.5

Firm transportation
55,614

16.0

 
60,811

17.7

 
55,169

15.2

Total utility firm gross margin/throughput
285,183

71.5

 
278,047

69.0

 
264,981

61.0

BGSS incentive programs
17,707

222.4

 
15,957

180.8

 
8,777

141.5

Interruptible/off-tariff agreements
4,593

47.1

(1) 
3,255

10.5

 
3,181

10.9

Total utility gross margin/throughput
$
307,483

341.0

 
$
297,259

260.3

 
$
276,939

213.4

(1)
As of December 2014, margin includes a BPU approved off-tariff agreement with TAQA Gen-X, LLC.

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New Jersey Resources Corporation
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ITEM 7. MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF