UTILITY MANAGEMENT: Citizens Energy Group Board of Directors Approves Utility Transfer

The Citizens Energy Group Board of Directors Aug. 11 approved definitive agreements that will transfer the water and wastewater utilities of the City of Indianapolis to Citizens. The board also approved a regulatory filing requesting final approval for the transfer from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC).

IURC consideration of the utility transfer is expected to take several months. Citizens would not take control of the utilities until after IURC approval and the closing of the transaction. Following IURC approval, Citizens will make two cash payments to the city totaling $262.6 million ? $170.6 million at closing and $92 million on Oct. 1, 2011.

?The board?s approval of the definitive agreements is an historic milestone toward further realizing Citizens? vision to serve our customers and communities with unparalleled excellence and integrity,? said Martha Lamkin, chairman of the Citizens Board of Directors.? ?We look forward to IURC approval of the transfer so we can begin working to make our community?s water and wastewater utilities more efficient and effective. Citizens has a 123-year reputation for high customer satisfaction and operational excellence.? Citizens? board, management team and employees are committed to ensuring this legacy continues.?

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard said the board?s vote is another vital step toward completion of a transformative initiative for the community. ?Transferring our water and wastewater utilities to Citizens will put them in the hands of non-partisan, professional utility operators focused on maximizing safety, efficiency and customer service,? Ballard said. ?The transfer also will provide badly needed funds for our Rebuild Indy initiative to repair streets, bridges and sidewalks and remove thousands of unsalvageable abandoned homes across the city.?

While the IURC considers the transfer, Citizens will be working with the city and the system operators to plan a smooth transition for customers and employees. ?Although much work remains with securing IURC approval, we have already begun developing a detailed integration plan focusing on safety, reliability, outstanding customer service, and achieving more than $43 million in annual savings available by combining the utilities,? said Carey Lykins, president and CEO of Citizens Energy Group.

The Citizens board?s approval of the utility transfer follows bi-partisan approval by the Indianapolis City-County Council and widespread community support from organizations including the Indianapolis Star, the Indianapolis Business Journal, the Greater Indianapolis Progress Committee and the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance.

?We look forward to continuing the public dialogue of the past several months as we plan to bring these vital utilities into the Citizens family of companies,? Lykins said.

Citizens Energy Group is a Public Charitable Trust providing safe and reliable energy services to more than 266,000 customers in and around Marion County. The Public Charitable Trust means the utility is managed only for the benefit of customers and the community.

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