GULF POWER COMPANY
MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF
FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
THIRD QUARTER 2017 vs. THIRD QUARTER 2016
YEAR-TO-DATE 2017 vs. YEAR-TO-DATE 2016
Gulf Power operates as a vertically integrated utility providing electric service to retail customers within its traditional service territory located in northwest Florida and to wholesale customers in the Southeast.
Many factors affect the opportunities, challenges, and risks of Gulf Power's business of providing electric service. These factors include the ability to maintain a constructive regulatory environment, to maintain and grow energy sales, and to effectively manage and secure timely recovery of costs. These costs include those related to projected long-term demand growth, stringent environmental standards, reliability, restoration following major storms, fuel, and capital expenditures. Gulf Power has various regulatory mechanisms that operate to address cost recovery. Effectively operating pursuant to these regulatory mechanisms and appropriately balancing required costs and capital expenditures with customer prices will continue to challenge Gulf Power for the foreseeable future.
On April 4, 2017, the Florida PSC approved a settlement agreement (2017 Rate Case Settlement Agreement) among Gulf Power and three intervenors with respect to Gulf Power's request to increase retail base rates. Among the terms of the 2017 Rate Case Settlement Agreement, Gulf Power increased rates effective with the first billing cycle in July 2017 to provide an annual overall net customer impact of approximately $54.3 million. The net customer impact consisted of a $62.0 million increase in annual base revenues less an annual equivalent credit of approximately $7.7 million for 2017 for certain wholesale revenues to be provided through December 2019 through the purchased power capacity cost recovery clause. In addition, Gulf Power continued its authorized retail ROE midpoint (10.25%) and range (9.25% to 11.25%), is deemed to have an equity ratio of 52.5% for all retail regulatory purposes, and implemented new dismantlement accruals effective July 1, 2017. Gulf Power will also begin amortizing the regulatory asset associated with the investment balances remaining after the retirement of Plant Smith Units 1 and 2 (357 MWs) over 15 years effective January 1, 2018 and will implement new depreciation rates effective January 1, 2018. The 2017 Rate Case Settlement Agreement also resulted in a $32.5 million write-down of Gulf Power's ownership of Plant Scherer Unit 3 (205 MWs), which was recorded in the first quarter 2017. The remaining issues related to the inclusion of Gulf Power's investment in Plant Scherer Unit 3 in retail rates have been resolved as a result of the 2017 Rate Case Settlement Agreement, including recoverability of certain costs associated with the ongoing ownership and operation of the unit through the environmental cost recovery clause rate approved by the Florida PSC in November 2016.
Gulf Power continues to focus on several key performance indicators including, but not limited to, customer satisfaction, plant availability, system reliability, and net income after dividends on preference stock.
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Third Quarter 2017 vs. Third Quarter 2016
Year-to-Date 2017 vs. Year-to-Date 2016
(change in millions)
(change in millions)
Gulf Power's net income after dividends on preference stock for the third quarter 2017 was $63 million compared to $45 million for the corresponding period in 2016. The increase was primarily due to an increase in retail base revenues and a decrease in depreciation.
Gulf Power's net income after dividends on preference stock for year-to-date 2017 was $117 million compared to $108 million for the corresponding period in 2016. The increase was primarily due to a decrease in depreciation and