SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549
|☑||ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED SEPTEMBER 30, 2023
|☐||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 1-11071
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
|(State or Other Jurisdiction of|
Incorporation or Organization)
| ||(I.R.S. Employer Identification No.)|
500 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406
(Address of Principal Executive Offices) (Zip Code)
(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of Each Class:||Trading Symbol(s):||Name of each exchange on which registered:|
|Common Stock, without par value||UGI||New York Stock Exchange|
|Corporate Units||UGIC||New York Stock Exchange|
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 ☑ No ☐
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 ☐ No ☑
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 ☑ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files). Yes ☑ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer,” “smaller reporting company,” and “emerging growth company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.
|Large accelerated filer||☑||Accelerated filer||☐||Non-accelerated filer||☐|
|Smaller reporting company||☐||Emerging growth company||☐|
If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management’s assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. ☑
If securities are registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act, indicate by check mark whether the financial statements of the registrant included in the filing reflect the correction of an error to previously issued financial statements. ☐
Indicate by check mark whether any of those error corrections are restatements that required a recovery analysis of incentive-based compensation received by any of the registrant’s executive officers during the relevant recovery period pursuant to §240.10D-1(b). ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Act). Yes ☐ No ☑
The aggregate market value of UGI Corporation Common Stock held by non-affiliates of the registrant on March 31, 2023 was $7,252,195,251.
At November 10, 2023, there were 210,899,583 shares of UGI Corporation Common Stock issued and outstanding.
Portions of the Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting of Shareholders to be held on January 26, 2024 are incorporated by reference into Part III of this Form 10-K.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
Terms and abbreviations used in this Form 10-K are defined below:
UGI Corporation and Related Entities
AmeriGas Finance Corp. - A wholly owned subsidiary of AmeriGas Partners
AmeriGas OLP - AmeriGas Propane, L.P., the principal operating subsidiary of AmeriGas Partners
AmeriGas Partners - AmeriGas Partners, L.P., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of UGI; also referred to, together with its consolidated subsidiaries, as the “Partnership”
AmeriGas Propane - Reportable segment comprising AmeriGas Propane, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including AmeriGas Partners and AmeriGas OLP
AmeriGas Propane, Inc. - A wholly owned second-tier subsidiary of UGI and the general partner of AmeriGas Partners; also referred to as the “General Partner”
AvantiGas - AvantiGas Limited, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of UGI International, LLC
Company - UGI and its consolidated subsidiaries collectively
DVEP - DVEP Investeringen B.V., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of UGI International, LLC
Electric Utility - UGI Utilities’ regulated electric distribution utility
Energy Services - UGI Energy Services, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enterprises
Enterprises - UGI Enterprises, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of UGI
ESFC - Energy Services Funding Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Services
Flaga - Flaga GmbH, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of UGI International, LLC
Gas Utility - UGI’s regulated natural gas businesses, inclusive of PA Gas Utility and WV Gas Utility
General Partner - AmeriGas Propane, Inc., the general partner of AmeriGas Partners
GHI - GHI Energy, LLC, a Houston-based renewable natural gas company and indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Services
MBL Bioenergy - MBL Bioenergy, LLC
Midstream & Marketing - Reportable segment comprising Energy Services and UGID
Mountaineer - Mountaineer Gas Company, a natural gas distribution company in West Virginia and a wholly owned subsidiary of Mountaintop Energy Holdings, LLC
Mountaintop Energy Holdings, LLC - Parent company of Mountaineer and wholly owned subsidiary of UGI, acquired on September 1, 2021
PA Gas Utility - UGI Utilities’ regulated natural gas distribution business, primarily located in Pennsylvania
Partnership - AmeriGas Partners and its consolidated subsidiaries, including AmeriGas OLP; also referred to as “AmeriGas Partners”
Pennant - Pennant Midstream, LLC, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Services
PennEast - PennEast Pipeline Company, LLC
Pine Run - Pine Run Gathering, LLC
Stonehenge - Stonehenge Appalachia, LLC, a midstream natural gas gathering business
UGI - UGI Corporation or, collectively, UGI Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries
UGI Appalachia - UGI Appalachia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Services
UGI France - UGI France SAS (a Société par actions simplifiée), an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of UGI International, LLC
UGI International - Reportable segment principally comprising UGI’s foreign operations
UGI International, LLC - UGI International, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Enterprises
UGI Moraine East - UGI Moraine East Gathering LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary comprising the assets acquired in the Stonehenge Acquisition
UGI Pine Run, LLC - A wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Services that holds a 49% membership interest in Pine Run
Utilities - Reportable segment comprising UGI Utilities and Mountaintop Energy Holdings, LLC
UGI Utilities - UGI Utilities, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of UGI comprising PA Gas Utility and Electric Utility
UGID - UGI Development Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Services
UniverGas - UniverGas Italia S.r.l, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of UGI International, LLC
WV Gas Utility - Mountaineer’s regulated natural gas distribution business, located in West Virginia
Other Terms and Abbreviations
2013 OICP - UGI Corporation 2013 Omnibus Incentive Compensation Plan
5.625% Senior Notes - An underwritten public offering of $675 million aggregate principal amount of notes due May 2024, issued by AmeriGas Partners. Pursuant to the tender offer, dated May 22, 2023, AmeriGas Partners, in June 2023, redeemed all outstanding 5.625% Senior Notes due May 2024 and in so doing was released from the obligations with respect to the indenture for the 5.625% Senior Notes
9.375% Senior Notes - An underwritten private offering of $500 million aggregate principal amount of notes due May 2028, co-issued by AmeriGas Partners and AmeriGas Finance Corp.
2021 IAP - UGI Corporation 2021 Incentive Award Plan
2022 AmeriGas OLP Credit Agreement - Entered into by AmeriGas OLP providing for borrowings of up to $600 million, with the option to increase to a maximum principal amount of $900 million assuming certain conditions are met, including a letter of credit subfacility of up to $100 million, scheduled to expire in September 2026. On November 15, 2023, the Company amended the 2022 AmeriGas OLP Credit agreement reducing the revolver to $400 million
2024 Purchase Contract - A forward stock purchase contract issued by the Company as a part of the issuance of Equity Units which obligates holders to purchase a number of shares of UGI Common Stock from the Company on June 1, 2024
ABO - Accumulated Benefit Obligation
ACE - AmeriGas Cylinder Exchange
AFUDC - Allowance for Funds Used During Construction
AmeriGas OLP Credit Agreement - The second amended and restated credit agreement entered into by AmeriGas OLP providing for borrowings of up to $600 million, including a letter of credit subfacility of up to $150 million, was paid in full and terminated concurrently with the execution of the 2022 AmeriGas OLP Credit Agreement
AOCI - Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (Loss)
ASC - Accounting Standards Codification
ASC 606 - ASC 606, “Revenue from Contracts with Customers”
ASC 820 - ASC 820, “Fair Value Measurement”
ASC 980 - ASC 980, “Regulated Operations”
ASU - Accounting Standards Update
Bcf - Billions of cubic feet
Board of Directors - The board of directors of UGI
Btu - British thermal unit
CERCLA - Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act
CFTC - Commodity Futures Trading Commission
COA - Consent Order and Agreement
CODM - Chief Operating Decision Maker as defined in ASC 280, “Segment Reporting”
Common Stock - Shares of UGI common stock
Common Units - Limited partnership ownership interests in AmeriGas Partners
Convertible Preferred Stock - Preferred stock of UGI titled 0.125% series A cumulative perpetual convertible preferred stock without par value and having a liquidation preference of $1,000 per share
Core market - Comprises (1) firm residential, commercial and industrial customers to whom Utilities has a statutory obligation to provide service who purchase their natural gas or electricity from Utilities; and (2) residential, commercial and industrial customers to whom Utilities has a statutory obligation to provide service who purchase their natural gas or electricity from others
DOT - U.S. Department of Transportation
DSIC - Distribution System Improvement Charge
Energy Services Amended Term Loan Credit Agreement - The first amendment to the Energy Services Term Loan Credit Agreement, entered into on February 23, 2023, comprising an $800 million variable-rate term loan with a final maturity of February 2030
Energy Services Term Loan Credit Agreement - A seven-year $700 million variable rate senior secured term loan agreement entered into on August 13, 2019 by Energy Services and amended on February 23, 2023
EPACT 2005 - Energy Policy Act of 2005
ERISA - Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
ERO - Electric Reliability Organization
EU - European Union
Equity Unit Agreements - Collection of agreements governing the rights, privileges and obligations of the holders of the Equity Units and UGI as issuer of the Equity Units, which were filed with the SEC on Form 8-K on May 25, 2021
Equity Unit - A corporate unit consisting of a 2024 Purchase Contract and 1/10th or 10% undivided interest in one share of Convertible Preferred Stock
Exchange Act - Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
FDIC - Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
FERC - Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
FIFO - First-in, first-out inventory valuation method
Fiscal 2020 - The fiscal year ended September 30, 2020
Fiscal 2021 - The fiscal year ended September 30, 2021
Fiscal 2022 - The fiscal year ended September 30, 2022
Fiscal 2023 - The fiscal year ended September 30, 2023
Fiscal 2024 - The fiscal year ending September 30, 2024
Fiscal 2025 - The fiscal year ending September 30, 2025
Fiscal 2026 - The fiscal year ending September 30, 2026
Fiscal 2027 - The fiscal year ending September 30, 2027
Fiscal 2028 - The fiscal year ending September 30, 2028
GAAP - U.S. generally accepted accounting principles
GDPR - General Data Protection Regulation
GHG - Greenhouse gas
GILTI - Global Intangible Low Taxed Income
Gwh - Millions of kilowatt hours
Hunlock - Hunlock Creek Energy Center located near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a 174-megawatt natural gas-fueled electricity generating station
ICE - Intercontinental Exchange
IRC - Internal Revenue Code
IREP - Infrastructure Replacement and Expansion Plan
IRPA - Interest rate protection agreement
IRS - Internal Revenue Service
IT - Information technology
LIBOR - London Inter-bank Offered Rate
LNG - Liquefied natural gas
LPG - Liquefied petroleum gas
LTIIP - Long-term infrastructure improvement plans
MD&A - Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations
MDPSC - Maryland Public Service Commission
MGP - Manufactured gas plant
Mountaineer Acquisition - Acquisition of Mountaintop Energy Holdings LLC, which closed on September 1, 2021
Mountaineer 2023 Credit Agreement - Third amendment to the third amended and restated credit agreement entered into by Mountaineer, as borrower, providing for borrowings up to $150 million, with the option to increase to a maximum principal amount of $250 million assuming certain conditions are met, including a letter or credit subfacility of up to $20 million, scheduled to expire in November 2024, with an option to extend the maturity date
NAV - Net asset value
NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOL - Net operating loss
NPNS - Normal purchase and normal sale
NTSB - National Transportation Safety Board
NYDEC - New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
NYMEX - New York Mercantile Exchange
OSHA - Occupational Safety and Health Act
PADEP - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
PAPUC - Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission
Partnership Agreement - Fourth amended and restated agreement of Limited Partnership of AmeriGas Partners, L.P. dated as of July 27, 2009, as amended
PBO - Projected benefit obligation
Pennant Acquisition - Energy Services’ Fiscal 2022 acquisition of the remaining 53% equity interest in Pennant
PennEnergy - PennEnergy Resources, LLC
PGA - Purchased gas adjustment
PGC - Purchased gas costs
PJM - PJM Interconnection, LLC
PRP - Potentially responsible party
PUHCA 2005 - Public Utility Holding Company Act of 2005
Receivables Facility - A receivables purchase facility of Energy Services with an issuer of receivables-backed commercial paper
Retail core-market - Comprises firm residential, commercial and industrial customers to whom Utilities has a statutory obligation to provide service that purchase their natural gas from Utilities
RNG - Renewable natural gas
ROU - Right-of-use
ROD - Record of Decision
SEC - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Series B preferred stock - Preferred stock of UGI titled 0.125% series B cumulative perpetual preferred stock with terms substantially identical to the Convertible Preferred Stock, except that it will not be convertible
Stonehenge - Stonehenge Energy Resources III, LLC, a portfolio company of Energy Spectrum Partners VIII, L.P.
Stonehenge Acquisition - Acquisition of Stonehenge Appalachia, LLC, which closed January 27, 2022
Stock Unit - Unit awards that entitle the grantee to shares of UGI Common Stock or cash subject to service conditions
TCJA - Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
Term SOFR - Secured Overnight Financing Rate
TSR - Total Shareholder Return
U.K. - United Kingdom
U.S. - United States of America
UGI comparator group - The Russell Midcap Utility Index, excluding telecommunications companies, and beginning in Fiscal 2021, a custom UGI performance peer group
UGI Corporation Credit Facility Agreement - An amended and restated unsecured senior credit facilities agreement entered into by UGI Corporation on May 4, 2021 (the “2021 UGI Corporation Senior Credit Facility”), comprising (1) a $250 million term loan facility maturing in August 2024, (2) a $300 million term loan facility maturing in May 2025, (3) a $300 million delayed draw term loan facility maturing in May 2025, and (4) a $300 million revolving credit facility maturing in August 2024 (including a $10 million sublimit for letters of credit). On May 12, 2023, the Company entered into the second amendment to the UGI Corporation Credit Agreement to replace the reference rate from LIBOR with Term SOFR. On September 20, 2023, the Company entered into the third amendment that, among other things, extended the maturity date of (1) the $250 million term loan facility and (2) the $300 million revolving credit facility to May 2025.
UGI Energy Services Credit Agreement - A five-year senior secured revolving credit agreement entered into by Energy Services on March 6, 2020, providing for borrowings up to $260 million, including a letter of credit subfacility of up to $50 million, scheduled to expire in March 2025. On May 12, 2023, Energy Services entered into the second amendment to the UGI Energy Services Credit Agreement to replace the reference rate from LIBOR with Term SOFR.
UGI International 2023 Credit Facilities Agreement - A five-year unsecured senior facilities agreement entered into in March 2023 comprising a €300 million variable-rate term loan facility and a €500 million multicurrency revolving credit facility scheduled to expire in March 2028.
UGI International 3.25% Senior Notes - An underwritten private placement of €350 million principal amount of senior unsecured notes originally due November 1, 2025, issued by UGI International, LLC. The UGI International 3.25% Senior Notes were repaid in December 2021.
UGI International Credit Facilities Agreement - A five-year unsecured senior facilities agreement entered into in October 2018, by UGI International, LLC comprising a €300 million term loan facility and a €300 million revolving credit facility, scheduled to expire in October 2023, repaid in full and terminated concurrently with the execution of the UGI International 2023 Credit Facilities Agreement.
UGI Performance Units - Unit awards that entitle the grantee to shares of UGI Common Stock or cash subject to service and market performance conditions
UGI Utilities 2023 Credit Agreement - An unsecured revolving credit agreement entered into by UGI Utilities on November 9, 2023, providing for borrowings up to $375 million, including a letter of credit subfacility of up to $50 million and a $38 million sublimit for swingline loans, set to mature November 2024, including an automatic extension to November 9, 2028 upon receipt of authorization from the PAPUC
UGI Utilities Credit Agreement - A five-year unsecured revolving credit agreement entered into by UGI Utilities on June 27, 2019, providing for borrowings up to $350 million, including a letter of credit subfacility of up to $100 million, scheduled to expire in June 2024. On December 13, 2022, UGI Utilities entered into an amendment to UGI Utilities Credit Agreement, providing for borrowings up to $425 million and to replace the reference rate from LIBOR with Term SOFR, repaid in full and terminated concurrently with the execution of the UGI Utilities 2023 Credit Agreement
USD - U.S. dollar
U.S. Pension Plans - Consists of (1) a defined benefit pension plan for employees hired prior to January 1, 2009 of UGI, UGI Utilities and certain of UGI’s other domestic wholly owned subsidiaries; and (2) a defined benefit pension plan for employees of Mountaineer hired prior to January 1, 2023.
VEBA - Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Association
WVPSC - Public Service Commission of West Virginia
Information contained in this Annual Report on Form 10-K contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Such statements use forward-looking words such as “believe,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “continue,” “estimate,” “expect,” “may,” or other similar words and terms of similar meaning, although not all forward-looking statements contain such words. These statements discuss plans, strategies, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will or may occur in the future. All forward-looking statements made in this Report rely upon the safe harbor protections provided under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
A forward-looking statement may include a statement of the assumptions or bases underlying the forward-looking statement. We believe that we have chosen these assumptions or bases in good faith and that they are reasonable. However, we caution you against relying on any forward-looking statement as these statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to vary from assumed facts or bases, and the differences between actual results and assumed facts or bases can be material, depending on the circumstances. When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind our Risk Factors included in Item 1A herein and the following important factors that could affect our future results and could cause those results to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements: (1) weather conditions, including increasingly uncertain weather patterns due to climate change, resulting in reduced demand, the seasonal nature of our business, and disruptions in our operations and supply chain; (2) cost volatility and availability of energy products, including propane and other LPG, electricity, and natural gas, as well as the availability of LPG cylinders, and the capacity to transport product to our customers; (3) changes in domestic and foreign laws and regulations, including safety, health, tax, transportation, consumer protection, data privacy, accounting, and environmental matters, such as regulatory responses to climate change; (4) inability to timely recover costs through utility rate proceedings; (5) the impact of pending and future legal or regulatory proceedings, inquiries or investigations; (6) competitive pressures from the same and alternative energy sources; (7) failure to acquire new customers or retain current customers thereby reducing or limiting any increase in revenues; (8) liability for environmental claims; (9) increased customer conservation measures due to high energy prices and improvements in energy efficiency and technology resulting in reduced demand; (10) adverse labor relations and our ability to address existing or potential workforce shortages; (11) customer, counterparty, supplier, or vendor defaults; (12) liability for uninsured claims and for claims in excess of insurance coverage, including those for personal injury and property damage arising from explosions, acts of war, terrorism, natural disasters, pandemics, and other catastrophic events that may result from operating hazards and risks incidental to generating and distributing electricity and transporting, storing and distributing natural gas and LPG in all forms; (13) transmission or distribution system service interruptions; (14) political, regulatory and economic conditions in the United States, Europe and other foreign countries, including uncertainties related to the war between Russia and Ukraine, the conflict in the Middle East, the European energy crisis, and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations, particularly the euro; (15) credit and capital market conditions, including reduced access to capital markets and interest rate fluctuations; (16) changes in commodity market prices resulting in significantly higher cash collateral requirements; (17) impacts of our indebtedness and the restrictive covenants in our debt agreements; (18) reduced distributions from subsidiaries impacting the ability to pay dividends or service debt; (19) changes in Marcellus and Utica Shale gas production; (20) the success of our strategic initiatives and investments that are intended to advance our business strategy; (21) our ability to successfully integrate acquired businesses and achieve anticipated synergies; (22) the interruption, disruption, failure, malfunction, or breach of our information technology systems, and those of our third-party vendors or service providers, including due to cyber attack; (23) the inability to complete pending or future energy infrastructure projects; (24) our ability to attract, develop, retain and engage key employees; (25) uncertainties related to global pandemics; (26) the impact of a material impairment of our assets; (27) the impact of proposed or future tax legislation; (28) the impact of declines in the stock market or bond market, and a low interest rate environment, on our pension liability; (29) our ability to protect our intellectual property; (30) our ability to overcome supply chain issues that may result in delays or shortages in, as well as increased costs of, equipment, materials or other resources that are critical to our business operations; and (31) our ability to control operating costs and realize cost savings.
These factors are not necessarily all of the important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any of our forward-looking statements. Other unknown or unpredictable factors could also have material adverse effects on future results. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which such statement is made. We undertake no obligation (and expressly disclaim any obligation) to update publicly any forward-looking statement whether as a result of new information or future events except as required by the federal securities laws.
ITEMS 1. AND 2. BUSINESS AND PROPERTIES
UGI Corporation is a holding company that, through subsidiaries and affiliates, distributes, stores, transports and markets energy products and related services. In the U.S., we own and operate (1) a retail propane marketing and distribution business, (2) natural gas and electric distribution utilities, and (3) energy marketing (including RNG), midstream infrastructure, storage, natural gas gathering and processing, natural gas production, electricity generation and energy services businesses. In Europe,
we market and distribute propane and other LPG, and market other energy products and services. Our subsidiaries and affiliates operate principally in the following four business segments:
•Midstream & Marketing
The AmeriGas Propane segment consists of the propane distribution business of AmeriGas Partners, an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of UGI. The Partnership conducts its domestic propane distribution business through its principal operating subsidiary, AmeriGas OLP, and is the nation’s largest retail propane distributor based on the volume of propane gallons distributed annually. The general partner of AmeriGas Partners is our wholly owned subsidiary, AmeriGas Propane, Inc.
The UGI International segment consists of LPG distribution businesses conducted by our subsidiaries and affiliates in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Based on reported market volumes for 2022, which is the most recent information available, UGI International believes that it is the largest distributor of LPG in France, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg and one of the largest distributors of LPG in Norway, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland. During Fiscal 2023, we made significant progress on our strategic decision to exit the energy marketing business at UGI International. In Fiscal 2023, we divested of our energy marketing business in the United Kingdom and Belgium. On October 1, 2023, we divested substantially all of our energy marketing business in France. We also continue to make significant progress on the wind-down of our energy marketing business in the Netherlands. See Note 5 for additional information regarding the UGI International energy marketing businesses.
The Midstream & Marketing segment consists of energy-related businesses conducted by our indirect, wholly owned subsidiary, Energy Services. These businesses (i) conduct energy marketing, including RNG, in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and California, (ii) own and operate natural gas liquefaction, storage and vaporization facilities and propane-air mixing assets, (iii) manage natural gas pipeline and storage contracts, (iv) develop, own and operate pipelines, gathering infrastructure and gas storage facilities in the Marcellus and Utica Shale regions of Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and the panhandle of West Virginia, (v) own electricity generation facilities, and (vi) develop, own and operate RNG production facilities. Energy Services and its subsidiaries’ storage, LNG and portions of its midstream transmission operations are subject to regulation by the FERC.
The Utilities segment consists of the regulated natural gas (PA Gas Utility) and electric (Electric Utility) distribution businesses of our wholly owned subsidiary, UGI Utilities, and the regulated natural gas distribution business of our indirect, wholly owned subsidiary, Mountaineer. PA Gas Utility serves customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania and in portions of one Maryland county, and Mountaineer serves customers in West Virginia. Electric Utility serves customers in portions of Luzerne and Wyoming counties in northeastern Pennsylvania. PA Gas Utility is subject to regulation by the PAPUC and FERC and, with respect to its customers in Maryland, the MDPSC. Mountaineer is subject to regulation by the WVPSC and FERC. Electric Utility is subject to regulation by the PAPUC and FERC.
Our business strategy is to grow the Company by focusing on our core competencies of distributing, storing, transporting and marketing energy products and services. We utilize our core competencies from our existing diversified businesses and our international experience, extensive asset base and access to customers to accelerate both organic growth and growth through acquisitions in our existing businesses, as well as in related and complementary businesses.
In August 2023, the Company announced the commencement of a strategic review with a focus on our LPG businesses to unlock and maximize shareholder value. See Item 7. Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations for additional information. We continue to focus on advancing our strategy of: (1) providing reliable earnings growth; (2) rebalancing our portfolio, with an emphasis on natural gas and renewable energy solutions; and (3) investing in renewable energy solutions. The following discussion highlights some of our key accomplishments in these areas during Fiscal 2023.
Reliable Earnings Growth
We are committed to consistently growing our earnings and plan to continue this growth through robust investments in our regulated utilities businesses, generating significant fee-based income in our Midstream and Marketing operations, optimizing our cost structure and effectively managing our global LPG businesses, which generate significant free cash flow. We strive to
be the preferred provider in all markets we serve and remain focused on making continuous improvements and focusing on growth across our businesses.
At our Utilities segment, we continue to deliver attractive earnings growth through capital investments and customer additions, while taking actions to reduce earnings volatility. In Fiscal 2023, PA Gas Utility connected more than 1,460 new commercial and industrial customers and added more than 11,100 residential heating customers. Beginning on November 1, 2022, PA Gas Utility was authorized to implement a weather normalization adjustment rider as a five-year pilot program which we expect to result in reduced earnings volatility and stabilize our customers’ distribution charges. In September 2023, our Electric Utility received PAPUC approval for an $8.5 million annual base distribution rate increase beginning in October 2023. On October 6, 2023, Mountaineer filed a joint stipulation and agreement for settlement of the base rate case proceeding that Mountaineer had initiated in March of 2023 with the WVPSC. The settlement is subject to approval by the WVPSC and is expected to result in a net revenue increase of approximately $13.9 million and an overall increase in total revenues of 4.16% for Mountaineer. See Note 9 to Consolidated Financial Statements for additional information.
Our Midstream and Marketing business continues to provide stable earnings, which is underpinned by fee-based contracts from customers. This fee-based income is derived from fixed-fee peaking, storage and gathering, and fixed rate, variable volume gathering and marketing transactions. In Fiscal 2023, over 85% of Midstream and Marketing’s total margin was fee-based. In addition, Midstream and Marketing continued expanding in the renewable energy space, which we believe will contribute to our future earnings growth. For more information on these transactions, see “Investment in Renewable Energy” below.
During Fiscal 2023, we made technology and other investments to promote the safety of our employees and the communities we serve. For example, we continued (i) installing cameras in our delivery and service vehicles to facilitate in-cab coaching capabilities, among other functionality, and (ii) installing fall protection towers on rail terminals that are designed to prevent employees from falling during the process of offloading propane into bulk storage.
During Fiscal 2023, we made significant progress on our strategic decision to exit the energy marketing business at UGI International. We divested of our energy marketing businesses in the United Kingdom and Belgium during Fiscal 2023 and divested substantially all of our energy marketing business in France on October 1, 2023. In addition, we continue to make progress on the wind-down of our energy marketing business in the Netherlands.
Rebalancing Our Portfolio
We are committed to rebalancing our portfolio through both organic growth and investment in natural gas and renewable energy solutions.
In Fiscal 2023, we executed our rebalancing strategy by prioritizing our capital investment in the natural gas businesses. At the Utilities, we continued to execute our infrastructure replacement and system betterment program, with record capital expenditures in Fiscal 2023 and additional expenditures expected in the coming years. Our PA Gas Utility remains on schedule to achieve its goal of replacing the cast iron portions of its gas mains by March 2027 and the bare steel portion of its gas mains by September 2041. We believe that the replacement of aging infrastructure results in increased contributions to rate base growth and also reduces emissions while improving operational efficiency and distribution system integrity.
Investment in Renewable Energy
We are pursuing investments in several renewable energy areas, including RNG, bio-LPG and renewable dimethyl ether. Our natural gas businesses are exploring RNG opportunities involving both distribution and RNG feedstock infrastructure, and our LPG businesses are developing bio-LPG sources to augment our existing bio-LPG source in Sweden. We believe that UGI is well-positioned to develop investment opportunities in these emerging markets due to our competencies in project development, project execution, gas transportation and storage, and energy marketing.
We expect to utilize our existing natural gas and LPG distribution infrastructure to deliver RNG and bio-LPG to the customers we serve. In most cases, these renewable solutions can be delivered to our customers with no additional local infrastructure, incremental investments by our customers, or community disruption related to infrastructure buildout.
In Fiscal 2023, we completed the following transactions:
•In November 2022, Energy Services announced a project that will modify an existing anaerobic biogas facility to generate RNG. The project is expected to be completed in the second half of 2024 and, once completed, is expected to produce approximately 35 million cubic feet of RNG annually.
•In January 2023, Energy Services announced that it entered into an agreement to invest $150 million in two RNG projects currently under development in South Dakota. One project is expected to generate approximately 300 million cubic feet of RNG annually once completed in calendar year 2024 and the other project is expected to generate approximately 225 million cubic feet of RNG annually once completed in calendar year 2024.
•In February 2023, Energy Services entered into a joint venture to develop an RNG project at the Commonwealth Environmental Systems landfill in Pennsylvania. Once complete, the project is expected to have the capacity to produce approximately 5,000 MMBtu per day of pipeline-quality RNG.
These projects provide a range of benefits, including reducing our carbon footprint while also addressing increased customer demand for low carbon energy sources.
We believe that corporate sustainability is critical to our overall business success and we are committed to growing the Company in an environmentally responsible way. UGI’s environmental strategy is focused on three main areas: reducing our emissions; reducing our customers’ emissions affordably, reliably, and responsibly; and investing in renewable solutions. To support our strategy, we have made the following environmental commitments discussed below while also committing to continue to grow our earnings per share and dividends.
•Scope 1 Emissions Reduction Commitment – Reduce Scope 1 GHG emissions by 55% by 2025 (using Fiscal 2020 as a baseline). Our Scope 1 emissions reduction target does not include emissions from the Mountaineer Acquisition, which closed in September 2021. The target also excluded the Stonehenge Acquisition and only accounts for our ownership interest in Pennant at the time we set the target. The emissions from the Pine Run acquisition were included in the baseline 2020 number as this investment contributed to our goal. The 2020 base number also takes a five year emissions average from the Hunlock generation facility to account for year-over-year differences in run time.
•Methane Emissions Reduction Commitment – 92% reduction by 2030, and 95% reduction by 2040.
•Pipeline Replacement and Betterment Commitment – Replace all cast iron pipelines by 2027 and all bare steel by 2041. Our pipeline replacement and betterment activities better enable us to achieve our emissions reductions goals.
We report our progress on the environmental goals and commitments annually in our Sustainability Reports, including our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, air quality impact, and water management efforts. Our Scope 3 emissions stem primarily from the extraction (upstream) and combustion (downstream) of the molecules we distribute, and from our supply chain. Our Sustainability Reports may be accessed on our website under “ESG - Resources - Sustainability Reports.” Information published in our Sustainability Reports is not incorporated by reference in this Report.
In formulating our environmental strategy, our management and Board of Directors consider certain risks and uncertainties that may materially impact our financial condition and results of operations. For more information on these risks and uncertainties, see “Risk Factors - The potential effects of climate change may affect our business, operations, supply chain and customers, which could adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations.”
UGI was incorporated in Pennsylvania in 1991. The Company is not subject to regulation by the PAPUC but, following completion of the Mountaineer Acquisition, is a regulated “holding company” under PUHCA 2005. PUHCA 2005 and the implementing regulations of FERC give FERC access to certain holding company books and records and impose certain accounting, record-keeping, and reporting requirements on holding companies. PUHCA 2005 also provides state utility regulatory commissions with access to holding company books and records in certain circumstances.
Our executive offices are located at 500 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406, and our telephone number is (610) 337-1000. In this Report, the terms “Company” and “UGI,” as well as the terms “our,” “we,” “us,” and “its” are sometimes used as abbreviated references to UGI Corporation or, collectively, UGI Corporation and its consolidated subsidiaries. For further information on the meaning of certain terms used in this Report, see “Glossary of Terms and Abbreviations.”
The Company’s corporate website can be found at www.ugicorp.com. Information on our website, including the information published in our Sustainability Reports, is not incorporated by reference in this Report. The Company makes available free of charge at this website (under the “Investors - Financial Reports - SEC Filings and Proxies” caption) copies of its reports filed or furnished pursuant to Section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Exchange Act, including its Annual Reports on Form 10-K, its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q, and its Current Reports on Form 8-K. The Company’s Principles of Corporate Governance, Code of Business Conduct and Ethics, and Supplier Code of Business Conduct and Ethics are available on the Company’s website under the caption “Company - Leadership and Governance - Governance Documents.” The charters of the Audit, Corporate Governance, Compensation and Management Development, and Safety, Environmental and Regulatory Compliance Committees of the Board of Directors are available on the Company’s website under the caption “Company - Leadership and Governance - Committees & Charters.” All of these documents are also available free of charge by writing to Director,
Investor Relations, UGI Corporation, P.O. Box 858, Valley Forge, PA 19482.
Products, Services and Marketing
Our domestic propane distribution business is conducted through AmeriGas Propane. AmeriGas Propane serves nearly 1.2 million customers in all 50 states from approximately 1,380 propane distribution locations. Typically, propane distribution locations are in suburban and rural areas where natural gas is not readily available. Our local offices generally consist of operations facilities and propane storage. As part of its overall transportation and distribution infrastructure, AmeriGas Propane operates as an interstate carrier in all states throughout the continental U.S.
AmeriGas Propane sells propane primarily to residential, commercial/industrial, motor fuel, agricultural and wholesale customers. AmeriGas Propane distributed approximately 940 million gallons of propane in Fiscal 2023. Approximately 88% of AmeriGas Propane’s Fiscal 2023 sales (based on gallons sold) was to retail accounts and approximately 12% was to wholesale accounts. Sales to residential customers in Fiscal 2023 represented approximately 30% of retail gallons sold; commercial/industrial customers 41%; motor fuel customers 21%; and agricultural customers 3%. Transport gallons, which are large-scale deliveries to retail customers other than residential, accounted for approximately 5% of Fiscal 2023 retail gallons. With the exception of one customer representing 5.1% of AmeriGas Propane’s consolidated revenues, no other single customer represents more than 5% of AmeriGas Propane’s consolidated revenues.
The ACE program continued to be an important element of AmeriGas Propane’s business in Fiscal 2023. At September 30, 2023, ACE cylinders were available at over 48,000 retail locations throughout the U.S. Sales of our ACE cylinders to retailers are included in commercial/industrial sales. The ACE program enables consumers to purchase or exchange propane cylinders at various retail locations such as home centers, gas stations, mass merchandisers and grocery and convenience stores. In addition, our Cynch propane home delivery service was available in 24 cities as of September 30, 2023. We also supply retailers with large propane tanks to enable them to replenish customers’ propane cylinders directly at the retailers’ locations.
Residential and commercial customers use propane primarily for home heating, water heating and cooking purposes. Commercial users include hotels, restaurants, churches, warehouses and retail stores. Industrial customers use propane to fire furnaces, as a cutting gas and in other process applications. Other industrial customers are large-scale heating accounts and local gas utility customers that use propane as a supplemental fuel to meet peak load deliverability requirements. As a motor fuel, propane is burned in internal combustion engines that power school buses and other over-the-road vehicles, forklifts and stationary engines. Agricultural uses include tobacco curing, chicken brooding, crop drying and orchard heating. In its wholesale operations, AmeriGas Propane principally sells propane to large industrial end-users and other propane distributors.
Retail deliveries of propane are usually made to customers by means of bobtail and rack trucks. Propane is pumped from the bobtail truck, which generally holds 2,400 to 3,000 gallons of propane, into a stationary storage tank on the customer’s premises. AmeriGas Propane owns most of these storage tanks and leases them to its customers. The capacity of these tanks ranges from approximately 120 gallons to approximately 1,200 gallons. AmeriGas Propane also delivers propane in portable cylinders, including ACE and motor fuel cylinders. Some of these deliveries are made to the customer’s location where cylinders are either picked up or replenished in place.
During Fiscal 2023, we made technology and other investments to promote the safety of our employees and the communities we serve. For example, we continued (i) installing cameras in our delivery and service vehicles to facilitate in-cab coaching capabilities, among other functionality, and (ii) installing fall protection towers on rail terminals that are designed to prevent employees from falling during the process of offloading propane into bulk storage.
Propane Supply and Storage
The U.S. propane market has approximately 190 domestic and international sources of supply, including the spot market. Supplies of propane from AmeriGas Propane’s sources historically have been readily available. In recent years, certain geographies experienced varying levels of reduced propane availability as a result of transportation issues within the supply chain. In response to these supply and transportation challenges, AmeriGas Propane utilized a combination of increased regional storage as well as rail and transport supply from different origins to offset localized supply/demand imbalances.
In addition to these factors, the availability and pricing of propane supply has historically been dependent upon, among other things, the severity of winter weather, the price and availability of competing fuels such as natural gas and crude oil, and the
amount and availability of exported supply and, to a much lesser extent, imported supply. For more information on risks relating to our supply chain, see “Risk Factors - Risks Relating to Our Supply Chain and Our Ability to Obtain Adequate Quantities of LPG.”
During Fiscal 2023, approximately 97% of AmeriGas Propane’s propane supply was purchased under supply agreements with terms of one to three years. Although no assurance can be given that supplies of propane will be readily available in the future, management currently expects to be able to secure adequate supplies during Fiscal 2024. If supply from major sources were interrupted, however, the cost of procuring replacement supplies and transporting those supplies from alternative locations might be materially higher and, at least on a short-term basis, margins could be adversely affected. In Fiscal 2023, AmeriGas Propane derived approximately 14% of its propane supply from Enterprise Products Operating LLC and approximately 11% of its propane supply from Targa Liquids Marketing and Trade LLC. No other single supplier provided more than 10% of AmeriGas Propane’s total propane supply in Fiscal 2023. In certain geographic areas, however, a single supplier provides more than 50% of AmeriGas Propane’s requirements. Disruptions in supply in these areas could also have an adverse impact on AmeriGas Propane’s margins.
AmeriGas Propane’s supply contracts typically provide for pricing based upon (i) index formulas using the current prices established at a major storage point such as Mont Belvieu, Texas, or Conway, Kansas, or (ii) posted prices at the time of delivery. In addition, some agreements provide maximum and minimum seasonal purchase volume guidelines. The percentage of contract purchases, and the amount of supply contracted for at fixed prices, will vary from year to year. AmeriGas Propane uses a number of interstate pipelines, as well as railroad tank cars, delivery trucks and barges, to transport propane from suppliers to storage and distribution facilities. AmeriGas Propane stores propane at various storage facilities and terminals located in strategic areas across the U.S.
Because AmeriGas Propane’s profitability is sensitive to changes in wholesale propane costs, AmeriGas Propane generally seeks to pass on increases in the cost of propane to customers. There is no assurance, however, that AmeriGas Propane will always be able to pass on product cost increases fully, or keep pace with such increases, particularly when product costs rise rapidly. Product cost increases can be triggered by periods of severe cold weather, supply interruptions, increases in the prices of base commodities, such as crude oil and natural gas, or other unforeseen events. AmeriGas Propane has supply acquisition and product cost risk management practices to reduce the effect of volatility on selling prices. These practices currently include the use of summer storage, forward purchases and derivative commodity instruments, such as propane price swaps. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Market Risk Disclosures.”
The following graph shows the average prices of propane on the propane spot market during the last five fiscal years at Mont Belvieu, Texas, and Conway, Kansas, both major storage areas.
Average Propane Spot Market Prices
General Industry Information
Propane is separated from crude oil during the refining process and also extracted from natural gas or oil wellhead gas at processing plants. Propane is normally transported and stored in a liquid state under moderate pressure or refrigeration for economy and ease of handling in shipping and distribution. When the pressure is released or the temperature is increased, it is usable as a flammable gas. Propane is colorless and odorless; an odorant is added to allow for its detection. Propane is considered a clean alternative fuel under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
Propane competes with other sources of energy, some of which are less costly for equivalent energy value. Propane distributors compete for customers with suppliers of electricity, fuel oil and natural gas, principally on the basis of price, service, availability and portability. Electricity is generally more expensive than propane on a Btu equivalent basis, but the convenience and efficiency of electricity make it an attractive energy source for consumers and developers of new homes. Fuel oil, which is also a major competitor of propane, is a less environmentally attractive energy source. Furnaces and appliances that burn propane will not operate on fuel oil, and vice versa, and, therefore, a conversion from one fuel to the other requires the installation of new equipment. Propane serves as an alternative to natural gas in rural and suburban areas where natural gas is unavailable or portability of product is required. Natural gas is generally a significantly less expensive source of energy than propane, although in areas where natural gas is available, propane is used for certain industrial and commercial applications and as a standby fuel during interruptions in natural gas service. The gradual expansion of the nation’s natural gas distribution systems has resulted in the availability of natural gas in some areas that previously depended upon propane. However, natural gas pipelines are not present in many areas of the country where propane is sold for heating and cooking purposes.
For motor fuel customers, propane competes with gasoline, diesel fuel, electric batteries, fuel cells and, in certain applications, LNG and compressed natural gas. Wholesale propane distribution is a highly competitive, low margin business. Propane sales to other retail distributors and large-volume, direct-shipment industrial end-users are price sensitive and frequently involve a competitive bidding process.
Retail propane industry volumes have been flat for several years and no or modest growth in total demand is foreseen in the next several years. Therefore, AmeriGas Propane’s ability to grow within the industry is dependent on the success of its sales and marketing programs designed to attract and retain customers, the success of business transformation initiatives, its ability to achieve internal growth, which includes the continuation of ACE, Cynch and National Accounts (through which multi-location propane users enter into a single AmeriGas Propane supply agreement rather than agreements with multiple suppliers), and its ability to acquire other retail distributors. The failure of AmeriGas Propane to retain and grow its customer base would have an adverse effect on its long-term results.
The domestic propane retail distribution business is highly competitive. AmeriGas Propane competes in this business with other large propane marketers, including other full-service marketers, and thousands of small independent operators. Some farm cooperatives, rural electric cooperatives and fuel oil distributors include propane distribution in their businesses and AmeriGas Propane competes with them as well. The ability to compete effectively depends on providing high quality customer service, maintaining competitive retail prices and controlling operating expenses. AmeriGas Propane also offers customers various payment and service options, including guaranteed price programs, fixed price arrangements and pricing arrangements based on published propane prices at specified terminals.
In Fiscal 2023, AmeriGas Propane’s retail propane sales totaled approximately 820 million gallons. Based on the most recent annual survey by the Propane Education & Research Council, 2022 domestic retail propane sales (annual sales for other than chemical uses) in the U.S. totaled approximately 9.8 billion gallons. Based on LP-GAS magazine rankings, 2022 sales volume of the ten largest propane distribution companies (including AmeriGas Propane) represented approximately 32% of domestic retail propane sales.
As of September 30, 2023, AmeriGas Propane owned approximately 87% of its nearly 525 local offices throughout the country. The transportation of propane requires specialized equipment. The trucks and railroad tank cars utilized for this purpose carry specialized steel tanks that maintain the propane in a liquefied state. As of September 30, 2023, the Partnership operated a transportation fleet with the following assets:
|Approximate Quantity & Equipment Type||% Owned||% Leased|
|650||Railroad tank cars||0%||100%|
|2,910||Service and delivery trucks||11%||89%|
Other assets owned at September 30, 2023 included approximately 909,000 stationary storage tanks with typical capacities of more than 120 gallons, approximately 4.7 million portable propane cylinders with typical capacities of 1 to 120 gallons, 21 terminals and 11 transflow units.
Trade Names, Trade and Service Marks
AmeriGas Propane markets propane and other services principally under the “AmeriGas®,” “America’s Propane Company®,” and “Cynch®” trade names and related service marks. AmeriGas Propane owns, directly or indirectly, all the right, title and interest in the “AmeriGas” name and related trade and service marks. AmeriGas Polska Sp. z.o.o. has an exclusive, royalty-free license from AmeriGas Propane to use the “AmeriGas®” name and related service marks in Poland and Germany and with respect thereto on the Internet. The term of the license is in perpetuity.
Because many customers use propane for heating purposes, AmeriGas Propane’s retail sales volume is seasonal. During Fiscal 2023, approximately 63% of the Partnership’s retail sales volume occurred, and substantially all of AmeriGas Propane’s operating income was earned, during the peak heating season from October through March. As a result of this seasonality, revenues are typically higher in AmeriGas Propane’s first and second fiscal quarters (October 1 through March 31). Cash receipts are generally greatest during the second and third fiscal quarters when customers pay for propane purchased during the winter heating season. For more information on the risks associated with the seasonality of our business, see “Risk Factors - Our business is seasonal and decreases in the demand for our energy products and services because of warmer-than-normal heating season weather or unfavorable weather conditions may adversely affect our results of operations.”
Sales volume for AmeriGas Propane traditionally fluctuates from year-to-year in response to variations in weather, prices, competition, customer mix and other factors, such as conservation efforts and general economic conditions. For information on national weather statistics, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations.”
AmeriGas Propane is subject to various federal, state and local environmental, health, data privacy, safety and transportation laws and regulations governing the storage, distribution and transportation of propane and the operation of bulk storage propane terminals.
Generally, applicable environmental laws impose limitations on the discharge of pollutants, establish standards for the handling of solid and hazardous substances, and require the investigation and cleanup of environmental contamination. These laws include, among others, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, CERCLA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, comparable state statutes and any applicable amendments. The Partnership incurs expenses associated with compliance with its obligations under federal and state environmental laws and regulations, and we believe that the Partnership is in material compliance with its obligations. The Partnership maintains various permits that are necessary to operate its facilities, some of which may be material to its operations. AmeriGas Propane continually monitors its operations with respect to potential environmental issues, including changes in legal requirements.
AmeriGas Propane is investigating and remediating contamination at a number of present and former operating sites in the U.S., including sites where its predecessor entities operated MGPs. CERCLA and similar state laws impose joint and several liability on certain classes of persons considered to have contributed to the release or threatened release of a “hazardous substance” into the environment without regard to fault or the legality of the original conduct. Propane is not a hazardous substance within the meaning of CERCLA.
Health and Safety
AmeriGas Propane is subject to the requirements of OSHA and comparable state laws that regulate the protection of the health and safety of our workers. These laws require the Partnership, among other things, to maintain information about materials utilized, stored, transported, or sold, in accordance with OSHA’s Hazard Communications Standard. Certain portions of this information must be provided to employees, federal and state and local governmental authorities, emergency responders, commercial and industrial customers and local citizens in accordance with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act requirements.
All states in which AmeriGas Propane operates have adopted fire and life safety codes that regulate the storage, distribution, and use of propane. In some states, these laws are administered by state agencies, and in others they are administered on a municipal level. AmeriGas Propane conducts training programs to help ensure that its operations comply with applicable governmental regulations. With respect to general operations, AmeriGas Propane is subject in all jurisdictions in which it operates to rules and procedures governing the safe handling of propane, including those established by National Fire Protection Association (“NFPA”) in the Liquefied Petroleum Gas Code (NFPA 58) and National Fuel Gas Code (NFPA 54), the International Code Council’s International Fuel Gas Code and International Fire Code, as well as various state and local codes. Management believes that the policies and procedures currently in effect at all of its facilities for the handling, storage, distribution and use of propane are consistent with industry standards and are in compliance, in all material respects, with applicable laws and regulations.
With respect to the transportation of propane, AmeriGas Propane is subject to regulations promulgated under federal legislation, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and Pipeline Hazardous Materials Regulations which fall under the enforcement and supervision of the DOT, Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the Federal Aviation Administration. AmeriGas Propane facilities and containers are equally regulated by these agencies regarding security standards as well as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards. AmeriGas Propane’s programs related to the transportation and security of hazardous materials are regularly inspected and meet all applicable standards and regulations.
AmeriGas Propane maintains jurisdictional pipeline systems as defined by the Transportation of Natural and Other Gas by Pipeline: Minimum Federal Safety Standards as regulated by the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and multiple State Public Utility Commissions under the authority and authorization of the Pipeline Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. These pipeline safety regulations apply to, among other things, propane gas systems that supplies 10 or more residential customers or two or more commercial customers from a single source and to a propane gas system any portion of which is located in a public place. The DOT’s pipeline safety regulations require operators of all gas systems to provide operator qualification standards and training and written instructions for employees and third-party contractors working on covered pipelines and facilities, establish written procedures to minimize the hazards resulting from gas pipeline emergencies, and conduct and keep records of inspections and testing. Operators are subject to the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002. Management believes that the procedures currently in effect at all of AmeriGas Propane’s facilities for the handling, storage, transportation and distribution of propane are consistent with industry standards and are in compliance, in all material respects, with applicable laws and regulations.
There continues to be increased legislative and regulatory activity related to climate change and the contribution of GHG emissions, most notably carbon dioxide, to global warming. Because propane is considered a clean alternative fuel under the federal Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the Partnership believes this provides it with a competitive advantage over other sources of energy, such as fuel oil and coal. At the same time, however, increasing regulations of GHG emissions, especially in the transportation and building sectors, could restrict the use of fossil fuels and could impose significant additional costs on AmeriGas Propane, its suppliers, its vendors and its customers. There has been an increase in state initiatives aimed at regulating GHG emissions, including the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard, the Washington Cap and Invest Program and the New York Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. Compliance with these types of regulations may increase our operating costs if we are unable to pass on these costs to our customers.
The Partnership does not directly employ any persons responsible for managing or operating the Partnership. The General Partner provides these services and is reimbursed for its direct and indirect costs and expenses, including all compensation and benefit costs. At September 30, 2023, the General Partner had approximately 5,160 employees, including more than 100 part-time, seasonal and temporary employees, working on behalf of the Partnership. UGI also performs, and is reimbursed for, certain financial and administrative services on behalf of the Partnership and AmeriGas OLP.
UGI International, through its subsidiaries and affiliates, conducts an LPG distribution business in 17 countries throughout Europe (Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom). Based on reported market volumes for 2022, which is the most recent information available, UGI International believes that it is the largest distributor of LPG in France, Austria, Belgium, Denmark and Luxembourg and one of the largest distributors of LPG in Norway, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland.
During Fiscal 2023, we made significant progress on our strategic decision to exit the energy marketing business at UGI International. In Fiscal 2023, we divested of our energy marketing business in the United Kingdom and Belgium. On October 1, 2023, we divested substantially all of our energy marketing business in France. We also continue to make significant progress on the wind-down of our energy marketing business in the Netherlands.
Products, Services and Marketing
LPG Distribution Business
During Fiscal 2023, UGI International sold approximately 900 million gallons of LPG throughout Europe. UGI International operates under six distinct LPG brands, and its customer base primarily consists of residential, commercial, industrial, agricultural, wholesale and automobile fuel (“autogas”) customers that use LPG for space heating, cooking, water heating, motor fuel, leisure activities, crop drying, irrigation, construction, power generation, manufacturing and as an aerosol propellant. For Fiscal 2023, approximately 50% of UGI International’s LPG volume was sold to commercial and industrial customers, 15% was sold to residential, 9% was sold to agricultural and 26% was sold to wholesale and other customers (including autogas). UGI International supplies LPG to its customers in small, medium and large bulk tanks at their locations. In addition to bulk sales, UGI International sells LPG in cylinders through retail outlets, such as supermarkets, individually owned stores and gas stations and directly to businesses that operate LPG-powered forklifts. Sales of LPG are also made to service stations to fuel vehicles that run on LPG. UGI International’s Fiscal 2023 LPG sales were attributed to bulk, cylinder, wholesale and autogas. For Fiscal 2023, no single customer represented more than 5% of UGI International’s revenues.
Approximately 62% of UGI International’s Fiscal 2023 LPG sales (based on volumes) were attributed to bulk customers. UGI International classifies its bulk customers as small, medium or large bulk, depending upon volume consumed annually at the customer locations. Based on volumes consumed, small bulk customers are primarily residential and small business users, such as restaurants, that use LPG mainly for heating and cooking. Medium bulk customers consist mainly of large residential housing developments, hospitals, hotels, municipalities, medium-sized industrial enterprises and poultry brooders. Large bulk customers include agricultural customers (including crop drying) and companies that use LPG in their industrial processes. UGI International had approximately 492,000 bulk LPG customers and sold 557 million gallons of bulk LPG during Fiscal 2023.
Approximately 15% of UGI International’s Fiscal 2023 LPG sales (based on volumes) were attributed to cylinder customers. UGI International sells LPG in both steel and composite cylinders and typically owns the cylinders in which the LPG is sold. The principal end-users of cylinders are residential customers who use LPG for domestic applications, such as cooking and heating. Non-residential uses include fuel for forklift trucks, road construction and welding. At September 30, 2023, UGI International had more than 20 million cylinders in circulation and sold approximately 137 million gallons of LPG in cylinders during Fiscal 2023. UGI International also delivers LPG to wholesale and retail customers in cylinders, including through the use of vending machines.
Wholesale, Autogas and Other Services
Approximately 19% of UGI International’s Fiscal 2023 LPG sales (based on volumes) were to wholesale customers (including small competitors and large industrial customers), and approximately 4% of Fiscal 2023 LPG sales (based on volumes) were to autogas customers. UGI International also provides logistics, storage and other services to third-party LPG distributors.
Energy Marketing Business
UGI sold its energy marketing business in the United Kingdom, France and Belgium and continues to make progress on the wind-down of its energy marketing business in the Netherlands. For further information, see “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Executive Overview – Recent Developments.”
LPG Supply, Storage and Transportation
UGI International is typically party to term contracts, with approximately 45 different suppliers, including producers and international oil and gas trading companies, to meet LPG supply requirements throughout Europe. LPG supply is transported via rail and sea, and by road for shorter distances. Agreements are generally one-year terms with pricing based on internationally quoted market prices. Additionally, LPG is purchased on the European spot markets to manage supply needs. In certain geographic areas, such as the U.K. and Italy, a single supplier may provide nearly 50% or more of UGI International’s requirements. Because UGI International’s profitability is sensitive to changes in wholesale LPG costs, UGI International generally seeks to pass on increases in the cost of LPG to its customers. There can be no assurance, however, that UGI International will always be able to pass on product cost increases fully, or keep pace with such increases, particularly when product costs rise rapidly. Product cost increases can be triggered by periods of severe cold weather, supply interruptions, increases in the prices of base commodities such as crude oil and natural gas, or other unforeseen events.
The significant increase in European natural gas prices have resulted in refineries substituting a portion of their natural gas refinery fuels with LPG, leading to a decrease in some areas in the availability of LPG. In addition, gas processing plants supplying the United Kingdom and Norway markets are injecting LPG into the natural gas grid, decreasing the overall supply of LPG from the gas processing plants.
UGI International stores LPG at various storage facilities and terminals located across Europe and has interests in both primary storage facilities and secondary storage facilities. LPG stored in primary storage facilities is transported by rail and road to secondary storage facilities where LPG is loaded into cylinders or trucks equipped with tanks and then is delivered to customers. UGI International also manages an extensive logistics and transportation network and has access to seaborne import facilities.
UGI International transports LPG to customers primarily through outsourced transportation providers to serve both bulk and cylinder markets. UGI International has long-term relationships with many providers of logistics and transportation services in most of its markets, and is not dependent on the services of any single transportation provider.
Trade Names, Trade and Service Marks
UGI International protects its intellectual property rights through tradenames, trade and service marks and foreign intellectual property laws. UGI International and its subsidiaries utilize a variety of tradenames, including, but not limited to, AmeriGas (Poland), Antargaz, AvantiGas, FLAGA, Kosan Gas and UniverGas, and related service marks to market its LPG products and services and energy marketing services. UGI International and its subsidiaries currently have tradenames, trade and service marks registered in various countries. UGI International’s trademarks, tradenames and other proprietary rights are valuable assets and we believe that they have significant value in the marketing of our products and services.
Competition and Seasonality
The LPG markets in western and northern Europe are mature, with modest declines in total demand due to competition with other fossil fuels and other energy sources, conservation and macroeconomic conditions. Sales volumes are affected principally by the severity of the weather and customer migration to alternative energy forms, including natural gas, electricity, heating oil and wood. High LPG prices also may result in slower than expected growth due to customer conservation and customers seeking less expensive alternative energy sources. Conversely, high natural gas prices versus LPG prices over a period of time will result in customers seeking to migrate to LPG. In addition, government policies and incentives that favor alternative energy sources, such as heat pumps as well as wind and solar sources, can result in customers migrating to energy sources other than LPG. In addition to price, UGI International competes for customers in its various markets based on contract terms. UGI International competes locally as well as regionally in many of its service territories. Additionally, particularly in France, although UGI International supplies certain supermarket chains, it also competes with some of these supermarket chains that affiliate with LPG distributors to offer their own brands of cylinders. UGI International seeks to increase demand for its LPG cylinders through marketing and product innovations, such as the use of automatic vending machines.
Because many of UGI International’s customers use LPG for heating, sales volumes are affected principally by the severity of the temperatures during the heating season months and traditionally fluctuates from year-to-year in response to variations in weather, prices and other factors, such as conservation efforts and the economic environment. During Fiscal 2023, approximately 60% of UGI International’s retail sales volumes occurred during the peak heating season from October through March. As a result of this seasonality, revenues are typically higher in UGI International’s first and second fiscal quarters (October 1 through March 31). For historical information on weather statistics for UGI International, see ‘‘Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations”.
UGI International’s business is subject to various laws and regulations at the country and local levels, as well as at the EU level, with respect to matters such as protection of the environment, the storage, transportation and handling of hazardous materials and flammable substances (including the Seveso II Directive), regulations specific to bulk tanks, cylinders and piped networks, competition, pricing, regulation of contract terms, anti-corruption (including the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Sapin II and the U.K. Bribery Act), data privacy and protection, and the safety of persons and property.
Environmental laws and regulations may require expenditures over a long timeframe to control environmental effects. Estimates of liabilities for environmental response costs are difficult to determine with precision because of the various factors that can affect their ultimate level. These factors include, but are not limited to, the following: (i) the complexity of the site; (ii) changes in environmental laws and regulations; (iii) the number of regulatory agencies or other parties involved; (iv) new technology that renders previous technology obsolete or experience with existing technology that proves ineffective; (v) the level of remediation required; and (vi) variation between the estimated and actual period of time required to respond to an environmentally-contaminated site.
EU Carbon Neutral Target
In December 2019, EU leaders endorsed the objective of achieving a climate-neutral EU by 2050, with net-zero GHG emissions, and in July 2021, the European Commission adopted the European Climate Law to write this target into the law. The European Climate Law also includes a 2030 GHG reduction target of at least 55% below 1990 levels as an intermediate target. These targets are legally binding and based on an impact assessment conducted by the Commission.
The EU adopted the GDPR, which became effective in May 2018. The GDPR expanded the EU data protection laws to all companies processing data of EU residents. It primarily focuses on unifying and strengthening the regulations dealing with the collection, processing, use and security of personal and sensitive data.
In addition to regional headquarter locations and sales offices throughout its service territory, UGI International has interests in ten primary storage facilities and more than 80 secondary storage facilities.
At September 30, 2023, UGI International had approximately 2,500 employees.
MIDSTREAM & MARKETING
Retail Energy Marketing
Our retail energy marketing business is conducted through Energy Services and its subsidiaries, and sells natural gas, RNG, liquid fuels and electricity to nearly 11,500 residential, commercial, and industrial customers at approximately 41,000 locations. In Fiscal 2023, we (i) served customers in all or portions of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Ohio, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, California, and the District of Columbia, (ii) distributed natural gas through the use of the distribution systems of 47 local gas utilities, and (iii) supplied power to customers through the use of the transmission and distribution lines of 20 utility systems.
Historically, a majority of Energy Services’ commodity sales have been made under fixed-price agreements, which typically contain a take-or-pay arrangement that permits customers to purchase a fixed amount of product for a fixed price during a specified period, and requires payment even if the customer does not take delivery of the product. However, a growing number of Energy Services’ commodity sales are currently being made under requirements contracts, under which Energy Services is typically an exclusive supplier and will supply as much product at a fixed price as the customer requires. Energy Services manages supply cost volatility related to these agreements by (i) entering into fixed-price supply arrangements with a diverse group of suppliers, (ii) holding its own interstate pipeline transportation and storage contracts to efficiently utilize gas supplies, (iii) entering into exchange-traded futures contracts on NYMEX and ICE, (iv) entering into over-the-counter derivative arrangements with major international banks and major suppliers, (v) utilizing supply assets that it owns or manages, and (vi) utilizing financial transmission rights to hedge price risk against certain transmission costs. Energy Services also bears the risk
for balancing and delivering natural gas and power to its customers under various gas pipeline and utility company tariffs. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Market Risk Disclosures.”
Our midstream assets, which are owned by Energy Services and its subsidiaries, comprise a natural gas liquefaction, storage and vaporization facility in Temple, Pennsylvania, a natural gas liquefaction and storage facility in Mehoopany, Pennsylvania, liquefied natural gas vaporization and storage facilities in Steelton and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and three small mobile facilities located in Reading, Mount Carmel and Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.
In addition, Energy Services sells LNG to customers for use by trucks, drilling rigs, other motor vehicles and facilities located off the natural gas grid. In Fiscal 2023, Energy Services sold LNG to Mountaineer under a WVPSC-approved contract. Further, in Fiscal 2023, our Midstream & Marketing segment also managed natural gas pipeline and storage contracts for utility company customers, including UGI Utilities.
Natural Gas and Propane Storage
Energy Services and its subsidiaries own propane storage and propane-air mixing stations in Bethlehem, Reading, Hunlock Creek and White Deer, Pennsylvania. Energy Services and its subsidiaries also operate propane storage, rail transshipment terminals and propane-air mixing stations in Steelton and Williamsport, Pennsylvania. These assets are used in Midstream & Marketing’s energy peaking business that provides supplemental energy, primarily LNG and propane-air mixtures, to gas utilities at times of high demand (generally during periods of coldest winter weather).
A wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Services owns and operates underground natural gas storage and related high pressure pipeline facilities, which have FERC approval to sell storage services at market-based rates. The storage facilities are located in the Marcellus Shale region of north-central Pennsylvania and have a total storage capacity of 15 million dekatherms and a maximum daily withdrawal quantity of 224,000 dekatherms. In Fiscal 2023, Energy Services leased approximately 82% of the firm capacity at its underground natural gas facilities to third parties.
Gathering Systems and Pipelines
Energy Services operates the Auburn gathering system in the Marcellus Shale region of northeastern Pennsylvania with a total pipeline system capacity of 635,000 dekatherms per day. The gathering system delivers into both the Tennessee Gas and Transcontinental Gas pipelines and receives gas from Tennessee Gas Pipeline as part of a capacity lease with UGI Utilities. Energy Services also operates a 6.5-mile pipeline, known as the Union Dale pipeline, that gathers gas in Susquehanna County and has a capacity of 100,000 dekatherms per day. In addition, Energy Services owns and operates approximately 90 miles of natural gas gathering lines, dehydration and compression facilities, known as Texas Creek, Marshlands, and Ponderosa, located in Bradford, Tioga, Lycoming, Potter and Clinton Counties, Pennsylvania. The combined capacity of these three systems is more than 250,000 dekatherms per day.
Energy Services and its subsidiaries also own and operate a 35-mile, 20-inch pipeline, known as the Sunbury pipeline, with related facilities located in Snyder, Union, Northumberland, Montour, and Lycoming Counties, Pennsylvania, which has a design capacity of 200,000 dekatherms per day. In addition, Energy Services owns and operates the Mt. Bethel pipeline, which runs 12.5 miles in Northampton County, Pennsylvania and is designed to provide 72,000 dekatherms per day.
Energy Services’ subsidiary, UGI Appalachia, consists of six natural gas gathering systems with approximately 305 miles of natural gas gathering pipelines and gas compressors and one processing plant in southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, and the panhandle of West Virginia. In Fiscal 2022, Energy Services also acquired the remaining ownership interest in Pennant, a natural gas gathering system located in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania, and now has 100% ownership interest in Pennant. The UGI Appalachia assets provide natural gas gathering and processing services in the Appalachian Basin with gathering capacity of approximately 2,808,000 dekatherms per day and processing capacity of approximately 240,000 dekatherms per day.
In Fiscal 2021, a subsidiary of Energy Services entered into a joint venture with Stonehenge to acquire Pine Run Midstream, LLC. Energy Services owns approximately 49% of the Pine Run Midstream joint venture with Stonehenge, and Stonehenge operates the system. The system is currently comprised of approximately 46 miles of pipeline, 40,830 HP of installed compression and dedicated production of 54,000 gross acres. The system is attached to another gathering system owned by Energy Services.
In January 2022, Energy Services acquired Stonehenge Appalachia, LLC from Stonehenge Energy Holdings, LLC and subsequently renamed the system UGI Moraine East. The system consists of approximately 48 miles of pipeline and associated compression assets.
Electric Generation Assets
Midstream & Marketing holds electric generation facilities conducted by Energy Services’ wholly owned subsidiary, UGID. UGID owns and operates the Hunlock Creek Energy Center located near Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, a 174-megawatt natural gas-fueled electricity generating station. Additionally, UGID owns and operates 13.5 megawatts of solar-powered generation capacity in Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey.
Renewable Natural Gas
GHI, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Services, purchases gas produced from landfills and biodigesters and resells the gas to fleet operators in California. Environmental credits are generated through this process, which are then sold to various third parties for an additional revenue stream. See “Business Strategy – Investment in Renewable Energy” in this Item 1. and 2. Business and Properties for information on transactions Energy Services completed to further UGI’s foundation for growth within the renewable energy space.
Our Midstream & Marketing segment competes with other midstream operators to sell gathering, compression, storage and pipeline transportation services. Our Midstream & Marketing segment competes in both the regulated and non-regulated environment against interstate and intrastate pipelines that gather, compress, process, transport and market natural gas. Our Midstream & Marketing segment sells midstream services primarily to producers, marketers and utilities on the basis of price, customer service, flexibility, reliability and operational experience. The competition in the midstream segment is significant and has grown recently in the northeast U.S. as more competitors seek opportunities offered by the development of the Marcellus and Utica Shales.
Our Midstream & Marketing segment also competes with other marketers, consultants and local utilities to sell natural gas, liquid fuels, electric power and related services to customers in its service area principally on the basis of price, customer service and reliability. Midstream & Marketing’s midstream asset business has faced an increase in competition in recent years with the consolidation of companies that have resulted in large, national competitors that can offer a suite of services across all customer segments.
Our electricity generation assets compete with other generation stations on the interface of PJM, a regional transmission organization that coordinates the movement of wholesale electricity in certain states, including the states in which we operate, and bases sales on bid pricing.
Through our wholly owned subsidiary, GHI, Energy Services has the capability to source and deliver RNG to customers throughout the U.S. GHI currently delivers RNG to transportation fleets for utilization in their compressed natural gas and LNG fueled vehicles, resulting in the creation and monetization of California Low Carbon Fuel Standard credits and Renewable Fuel Standard Renewable Identification Number credits. GHI competes with other RNG marketers and brokers on the basis of price, customer service and reliability. Further, our Midstream & Marketing segment competes with other RNG project developers, which has recently become a more competitive environment. We compete to acquire the projects from the feedstock generators, which are typically farmers (for manure digesters) and landfill operators, including through offerings of joint venture ownership interests, feedstock payments and royalties. In addition, there has been significant consolidation over the past year with both agricultural and landfill RNG project owners/developers.
FERC has jurisdiction over the rates and terms and conditions of service of wholesale sales of electric capacity and energy, as well as the sales for resale of natural gas and related storage and transportation services. Energy Services has a tariff on file with FERC, pursuant to which it may make power sales to wholesale customers at market-based rates, to the extent that Energy Services purchases power in excess of its retail customer needs. Two subsidiaries of Energy Services, UGI LNG, Inc. and UGI Storage Company, currently operate natural gas storage facilities under FERC certificate approvals and offer services to wholesale customers at FERC-approved market-based rates. Two other Energy Services subsidiaries operate natural gas pipelines that are subject to FERC regulation. UGI Mt. Bethel Pipeline Company, LLC operates a 12.5-mile, 12-inch pipeline
located in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, and UGI Sunbury, LLC operates the Sunbury Pipeline, a 35-mile, 20-inch diameter pipeline located in central Pennsylvania. Both pipelines offer open-access transportation services at cost-based rates approved by FERC. Energy Services and its subsidiaries undertake various activities to maintain compliance with the FERC Standards of Conduct with respect to pipeline operations. Energy Services is also subject to FERC reporting requirements, market manipulation rules and other FERC enforcement and regulatory powers with respect to its wholesale commodity business.
Midstream & Marketing’s midstream assets include natural gas gathering pipelines and compression and processing in northeastern Pennsylvania, southwestern Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio and the panhandle of West Virginia that are regulated under federal pipeline safety laws and subject to operational oversight by both the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration and the state public utility commissions for the states in which the specific pipelines are located.
Certain of our Midstream & Marketing and RNG businesses are subject to various federal, state and local environmental, safety and transportation laws and regulations governing the storage, distribution and transportation of propane and the operation of bulk storage LPG terminals. These laws include, among others, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, CERCLA, the Clean Air Act, OSHA, the Homeland Security Act of 2002, the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, the Clean Water Act and comparable state statutes. CERCLA imposes joint and several liability on certain classes of persons considered to have contributed to the release or threatened release of a “hazardous substance” into the environment without regard to fault or the legality of the original conduct. With respect to the operation of natural gas gathering and transportation pipelines, Energy Services also is required to comply with the provisions of the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002 and the regulations of the DOT.
Our Midstream & Marketing’s electricity generation assets own electric generation facilities that are within the control area of PJM and are dispatched in accordance with a FERC-approved open access tariff and associated agreements administered by PJM. UGID is the entity designated for dispatching and financially settling all company owned generation and receives certain revenues collected by PJM, determined under an approved rate schedule. Like Energy Services, UGID has a tariff on file with FERC pursuant to which it may make power sales to wholesale customers at market-based rates, and FERC has approved UGID’s market-based rate authority through 2023, with approval pending through 2026. UGID is also subject to FERC reporting requirements, market manipulation rules and other FERC enforcement and regulatory powers.
At September 30, 2023, Midstream & Marketing had approximately 380 employees.
PA GAS UTILITY
PA Gas Utility consists of the regulated natural gas distribution business of our subsidiary, UGI Utilities. PA Gas Utility serves customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania and in portions of one Maryland county, and therefore is regulated by the PAPUC and, with respect to its customers in Maryland, the MDPSC.
Service Area; Revenue Analysis
PA Gas Utility provides natural gas distribution services to approximately 684,000 customers in certificated portions of 46 eastern and central Pennsylvania counties through its distribution system. Contemporary materials, such as plastic or coated steel, comprise approximately 93% of PA Gas Utility’s more than 12,600 miles of gas mains, with bare steel pipe comprising approximately 6% and cast iron pipe comprising approximately 1% of PA Gas Utility’s gas mains. In accordance with PA Gas Utility’s agreement with the PAPUC, PA Gas Utility will replace the cast iron portion of its gas mains by March 2027 and the bare steel portion of its gas mains by September 2041. Located in PA Gas Utility’s service area are major production centers for basic industries such as specialty metals, aluminum, glass, paper product manufacturing and several power generation facilities. PA Gas Utility also distributes natural gas to more than 550 customers in portions of one Maryland county.
System throughput (the total volume of gas sold to or transported for customers within PA Gas Utility’s distribution system) for Fiscal 2023 was approximately 324 Bcf. System sales of gas accounted for approximately 18% of system throughput, while gas transported for residential, commercial and industrial customers who bought their gas from others accounted for approximately 82% of system throughput.
Sources of Supply and Pipeline Capacity
PA Gas Utility is permitted to recover all prudently incurred costs of natural gas it sells to its customers. See “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations - Market Risk Disclosures” and Note 9 to Consolidated Financial Statements. PA Gas Utility meets its service requirements by utilizing a diverse mix of natural gas purchase contracts with marketers and producers, along with storage and transportation service contracts. These arrangements enable PA Gas Utility to purchase gas from Marcellus, Gulf Coast, Mid-Continent, and Appalachian sources. For its transportation and storage functions, PA Gas Utility has long-term agreements with a number of pipeline companies, including Texas Eastern Transmission, LP, Columbia Gas Transmission, LLC, Transcontinental Gas Pipeline Company, LLC, Eastern Gas Transmission and Storage, Inc., Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, L.L.C., and Energy Services and its subsidiaries (including UGI Storage Company and UGI Sunbury, LLC).
Gas Supply Contracts
During Fiscal 2023, PA Gas Utility purchased approximately 78 Bcf of natural gas for sale to retail core-market customers (principally comprised of firm residential, commercial and industrial customers that purchase their gas from PA Gas Utility) and off-system sales customers. Approximately 96% of the volumes purchased were supplied under agreements with ten suppliers, with the remaining volumes supplied primarily by 30 producers and marketers. Gas supply contracts for PA Gas Utility vary in length by counterparty and type of supply. Typically, pipeline and storage contracts range from one to five years in length. PA Gas Utility also has long-term contracts with suppliers for natural gas peaking supply during the months of November through March.
Because many of its customers use natural gas for heating purposes, PA Gas Utility’s sales are seasonal. For Fiscal 2023, approximately 59% of PA Gas Utility’s sales volume was supplied, and approximately 90% of PA Gas Utility’s operating income was earned, during the peak heating season from October through March.
Natural gas is a fuel that competes with electricity and oil and, to a lesser extent, with propane and coal. Competition among these fuels is primarily a function of their comparative price and the relative cost and efficiency of the equipment. Natural gas generally benefits from a competitive price advantage over oil, electricity and propane. Fuel oil dealers compete for customers in all categories, including industrial customers. PA Gas Utility responds to this competition with marketing and sales efforts designed to retain, expand and grow its customer base.
In substantially all of its service territories, PA Gas Utility is the only regulated gas distribution utility having the right, granted by the PAPUC or by law, to provide gas distribution services. All of PA Gas Utility’s customers, including core-market customers, have the right to purchase gas supplies from entities other than natural gas distribution utility companies.
A number of PA Gas Utility’s commercial and industrial customers have the ability to switch to an alternate fuel at any time and, therefore, are served on an interruptible basis under rates that are competitively priced with respect to the alternate fuel. Margin from these customers, therefore, is affected by the difference or “spread” between the customers’ delivered cost of gas and the customers’ delivered cost of the alternate fuel, the frequency and duration of interruptions, and alternative firm service options. See “Utilities Regulation - State Utility Regulation - PA Gas Utility.”
Approximately 74% of PA Gas Utility’s annual throughput volume for commercial and industrial customers includes customers at locations that afford them the opportunity of seeking transportation service directly from interstate pipelines, thereby bypassing PA Gas Utility. During Fiscal 2023, PA Gas Utility had 17 such customers, 15 of which have transportation contracts extending beyond Fiscal 2024. The majority of these customers are served under transportation contracts having three to 20-year terms and all are among the largest customers for PA Gas Utility in terms of annual volumes. No single customer represents, or is anticipated to represent, more than five percent of PA Gas Utility’s total revenues.
Outlook for Gas Service and Supply
PA Gas Utility anticipates having adequate pipeline capacity, peaking services and other sources of supply available to it to meet the full requirements of all firm customers on its system through Fiscal 2024. Supply mix is diversified, market priced and delivered pursuant to a number of long-term and short-term primary firm transportation and storage arrangements, including transportation contracts held by some of PA Gas Utility’s larger customers and natural gas suppliers serving
customers on PA Gas Utility’s distribution system.
During Fiscal 2023, PA Gas Utility supplied transportation service to 11 electric generation facilities and 29 major co-generation facilities. PA Gas Utility continues to seek new residential, commercial and industrial customers for both firm and interruptible service. In Fiscal 2023, PA Gas Utility connected more than 1,460 new commercial and industrial customers. In the residential market sector, PA Gas Utility added more than 11,100 residential heating customers during Fiscal 2023. Approximately 56% of these customers converted to natural gas heating from other energy sources, mainly oil and electricity. New home construction and existing non-heating gas customers who added gas heating systems to replace other energy sources primarily accounted for the other residential heating connections in Fiscal 2023.
PA Gas Utility continues to monitor and participate, where appropriate, in rulemaking and individual rate and tariff proceedings before FERC affecting the rates and the terms and conditions under which PA Gas Utility transports and stores natural gas using interstate natural gas pipelines. Among these proceedings are those arising out of certain FERC orders and/or pipeline filings that relate to (i) the pricing of pipeline services in a competitive energy marketplace, (ii) the flexibility of the terms and conditions of pipeline service tariffs and contracts, and (iii) pipelines’ requests to increase their base rates, or change the terms and conditions of their storage and transportation services.
PA Gas Utility’s objective in negotiations with providers of gas supply resources, and in proceedings before regulatory agencies, is to ensure availability of supply, transportation and storage alternatives to serve market requirements at the lowest cost possible, taking into account the need for safety, security and reliability of supply. Consistent with that objective, PA Gas Utility negotiates certain terms of firm transportation capacity on all pipelines serving it, arranges for appropriate storage and peak-shaving resources, negotiates with producers for competitively priced gas purchases and participates in regulatory proceedings related to transportation rights and costs of service.
At September 30, 2023, PA Gas Utility had approximately 1,600 employees.
In September 2021, we completed the Mountaineer Acquisition, whereby Mountaineer Gas Company became an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of UGI. Mountaineer provides a regulated natural gas distribution business to over 211,000 customers in 50 of West Virginia’s 55 counties. Mountaineer’s system is comprised of approximately 6,200 miles of distribution, transmission and gathering pipelines. Contemporary materials, such as plastic or coated steel, comprise approximately 76% of Mountaineer’s gas mains, with bare steel pipe comprising the remaining 24%.
As of September 30, 2023, Mountaineer’s customer base was approximately 90% residential, and 10% commercial and industrial customers, with throughput volumes consisting of approximately 25% residential, 33% commercial and 42% industrial and other. Because many of its customers use gas for heating purposes, Mountaineer’s sales are seasonal. For Fiscal 2023, approximately 60% of Mountaineer’s sales volume (including transport volumes) was supplied, and 142% of Mountaineer’s operating income was earned, during the peak heating season from October through March. No single customer represents, or is anticipated to represent, more than five percent of Mountaineer’s total revenues.
System throughput (the total volume of gas sold to or transported for customers within Mountaineer’s distribution system) for Fiscal 2023 was approximately 51 Bcf. Retail core-market sales of gas accounted for approximately 39% of system throughput, while gas transported for commercial and industrial customers who bought their gas from others accounted for approximately 61% of system throughput. Mountaineer anticipates having adequate pipeline capacity, peaking services and other sources of supply available to it to meet the full requirements of all firm customers on its system through Fiscal 2024.
Approximately 53% of Mountaineer’s annual throughput volume for commercial and industrial customers represents customers who are served under interruptible rates and are also in a location near an interstate pipeline. As of September 30, 2023, Mountaineer had 19 such customers, one of which has a transportation contract extending beyond September 30, 2024. The majority of these customers, including 10 of Mountaineer’s largest customers in terms of annual volumes, are served under evergreen transportation contracts having a 30- to 180-day termination notice.
Mountaineer meets its service requirements by utilizing a diverse mix of natural gas purchase contracts with marketers and producers, along with storage and transportation service contracts. During Fiscal 2023, Mountaineer purchased approximately 20 Bcf of natural gas for sale to retail core-market customers (principally comprised of firm- residential, commercial and industrial customers that purchase their gas from Mountaineer). Approximately 81% of the volume purchased was supplied under agreements with 10 suppliers, with the remaining volumes supplied by various producers and marketers. Gas supply contracts for Mountaineer are generally evergreen agreements with a 30-day termination notice.
At September 30, 2023, Mountaineer had approximately 480 employees.
Electric Utility supplies electric service to approximately 62,700 customers in portions of Luzerne and Wyoming counties in northeastern Pennsylvania through a system consisting of over 2,600 miles of transmission and distribution lines and 14 substations. For Fiscal 2023, approximately 57% of sales volume came from residential customers, 32% from commercial customers and 11% from industrial and other customers. During Fiscal 2023, 12 retail electric generation suppliers provided energy for customers representing approximately 23% of Electric Utility’s sales volume. At September 30, 2023, UGI Utilities’ electric utility operations had approximately 80 employees.
State Utility Regulation
PA Gas Utility
PA Gas Utility is subject to regulation by the PAPUC as to rates, terms and conditions of service, accounting matters, issuance of securities, contracts and other arrangements with affiliated entities, gas safety and various other matters. Rates that PA Gas Utility may charge for gas service come in two forms: (i) rates designed to recover PGCs; and (ii) rates designed to recover costs other than PGCs. Rates designed to recover PGCs are reviewed in PGC proceedings. Rates designed to recover costs other than PGCs are primarily established in general base rate proceedings.
Act 11 of 2012 authorized the PAPUC to permit electric and gas distribution companies, between base rate cases and subject to certain conditions, to recover reasonable and prudent costs incurred to repair, improve or replace eligible property through a DSIC assessed to customers. Among other requirements, DSICs are subject to quarterly reconciliation of over-/under- collection and are capped at five percent of total customer charges absent a PAPUC-granted exception. In addition, Act 11 requires affected utilities to obtain approval of LTIIPs from the PAPUC. Act 11 also authorized electric and gas distribution companies to utilize a fully projected future test year when establishing rates in base rate cases before the PAPUC.
On August 21, 2019, PA Gas Utility filed a consolidated LTIIP designed for the 2020-2024 calendar years, during which PA Gas Utility projects spending is $1.265 billion on DSIC-eligible property. PA Gas Utility’s filing was approved by the PAPUC in an order entered December 19, 2019.
On September 15, 2022, the PAPUC issued a final order approving a settlement of a base rate proceeding by PA Gas Utility that permitted PA Gas Utility to implement a $49 million annual base distribution rate increase through a phased approach, with $38 million beginning October 29, 2022 and an additional $11 million beginning October 1, 2023. In accordance with the terms of the final order, PA Gas Utility will not be permitted to file a rate case prior to January 1, 2024. Also in accordance with the terms of the final order, PA Gas Utility implemented a weather normalization adjustment rider as a five-year pilot program beginning on November 1, 2022. Under this rider, customer billings for distribution services are adjusted monthly to reflect normal weather conditions where weather deviates more than three percent from normal. Additionally, under the terms of the final order, PA Gas Utility is authorized to implement a DSIC once its total property, plant and equipment less accumulated depreciation reached $3.368 billion. This threshold was achieved in September 2022 and PA Gas Utility implemented a new DSIC effective January 1, 2023.
In addition to base distribution rates and various surcharges designed to recover specified types of costs, PA Gas Utility’s tariff also includes a uniform PGC rate applicable to firm retail rate schedules for customers who do not obtain natural gas supply service from an alternative supplier. The PGC rate permits recovery of all prudently incurred costs of natural gas that PA Gas Utility sells to its retail customers. PGC rates are reviewed and approved annually by the PAPUC. PA Gas Utility may request quarterly or, under certain conditions, monthly adjustments to reflect the actual cost of gas. Quarterly adjustments become effective on one day’s notice to the PAPUC and are subject to review during the next annual PGC filing. Each proposed annual PGC rate is required to be filed with the PAPUC six months prior to its effective date. During this period, the PAPUC investigates and may hold hearings to determine whether the proposed rate reflects a least-cost fuel procurement policy consistent with the obligation to provide safe, adequate and reliable service. After completion of these hearings, the PAPUC issues an order permitting the collection of gas costs at levels that meet such standard. The PGC mechanism also provides for an annual reconciliation and for the payment or collection of interest on over and under collections.
PA Gas Utility’s gas service tariff also contains a state tax surcharge clause. The surcharge is recomputed whenever any of the tax rates included in their calculation are changed. These clauses protect PA Gas Utility from the effects of increases in certain of the Pennsylvania taxes to which it is subject.
Mountaineer is subject to regulation of rates and other aspects of its business by the WVPSC. When necessary, Mountaineer seeks general base rate increases to recover increased operating costs and a fair return on rate base investments. Base rates are determined by the cost-of-service by rate class, and the rate design methodology allocates the majority of operating costs through volumetric charges.
Mountaineer makes routine filings with the WVPSC to reflect changes in the costs of purchased gas. These purchased gas costs are subject to rate recovery through a mechanism that provides dollar-for-dollar recovery of prudently incurred costs. Costs in excess of revenues that are expected to be recovered in future rates are deferred as regulatory assets; conversely, revenues in excess of costs are deferred as a regulatory liability. The PGA filings generally cover a prospective 12-month period. The WVPSC entered a procedural order on September 9, 2022, directing all gas utilities and other parties to file proposals to reduce or levelize the impact of high natural gas costs on utilities’ customers in the near term. Further, WVPSC issued orders issued on November 28, 2022 and December 1, 2022 that established interim purchased gas rates. In addition, for Mountaineer’s residential customers only, the WVPSC created a new monthly fixed charge of $11.08 to levelize the collection of the pipeline demand charges. The WVPSC issued a final order and a further final order on April 12, 2023 and April 14, 2023, respectively, which established final purchased gas rates, keeping in place the residential pipeline demand charge of $11.08 and permitted partial recovery of interest on the unrecovered balance that was deferred. In July 2023, Mountaineer filed a PGA case, and on October 5, 2023, an interim rate order was issued that established new reduced interim rates effective November 1, 2023. All parties were directed to file further information in their final substantive recommendations regarding whether to continue the residential pipeline demand charge or return to volumetric rate recovery. The final PGA rate order is not expected until the first quarter of 2024.
As permitted by West Virginia law, the WVPSC has also approved a standalone cost recovery rider to recover specified costs and a return on infrastructure projects between general base rate cases in accordance with its IREP. Mountaineer makes an annual IREP filing, which is subject to an over/under-recovery mechanism similar to purchased gas costs. In December 2022, the WVPSC issued a final order approving a settlement in Mountaineer’s 2023 IREP filing, resulting in an increase of $5.4 million effective January 1, 2023. In July 2023, Mountaineer submitted its annual IREP filing to the WVPSC requesting a revenue increase of $6.5 million effective January 1, 2024, based on the forecasted 2024 calendar year IREP-eligible capital investments of $67.0 million and recovery of eligible costs. An order from the WVPSC is expected in December 2023.
Mountaineer filed a base rate proceeding on March 6, 2023. By statute, the WVPSC suspended the rate increase until December 31, 2023. On October 6, 2023, Mountaineer filed a joint stipulation and agreement for settlement of the base rate case, which included a net revenue increase of approximately $13.9 million, which is expected to result in an overall increase in total revenues of 4.16%. An order from the Commission is expected in December and new rates will take effect on January 1, 2024.
Electric Utility is permitted to recover prudently incurred electricity costs, including costs to obtain supply to meet its customers’ energy requirements, pursuant to a supply plan filed with and approved by the PAPUC. Electric Utility distributes electricity that it purchases from wholesale markets and electricity that customers purchase from other suppliers.
On January 27, 2023, Electric Utility filed for a base rate increase with the PAPUC. On July 14, 2023, Electric Utility filed a joint petition for settlement of the rate case, which included a revenue increase of approximately $8.5 million. In an order dated September 21, 2023, the PAPUC approved the settlement and authorized the increased rate to become effective October 1, 2023.
Electric Utility’s tariff includes rates, applicable to so-called “default service” customers who do not obtain electric generation service from an alternative supplier, incurred pursuant to a PAPUC-approved supply plan. These default service rates are reconcilable, may be adjusted quarterly, and are designed to permit Electric Utility to recover the full costs of providing default service in a full and timely manner. Electric Utility’s default service rates include recovery of costs associated with compliance with the AEPS Act, which requires Electric Utility to directly or indirectly acquire certain percentages of its supplies from designated alternative energy sources. In an order dated January 14, 2021, the PAPUC authorized Electric Utility to implement its current Default Service plan for the period June 1, 2021 through May 31, 2025, subject to possible, prospectively applied
interim modifications that parties to that proceeding may propose in accordance with a settlement filed in that proceeding on October 23, 2020.
Electric Utility’s tariff also includes a DSIC surcharge mechanism that was authorized by the PAPUC in 2019. Electric Utility’s first LTIIP, approved in 2017, provided the basis for its current DSIC charges through September 30, 2022. That authority was extended by order of the PAPUC issued August 25, 2022, in which Electric Utility’s second LTIIP filing was approved, authorizing the expenditure of $50.6 million of DSIC-eligible plant over the five-year period ending September 30, 2027.
With the implementation of new base rates on October 1, 2023 pursuant to the PAPUC’s September 21, 2023 order in the 2023 Electric Utility base rate case, Electric Utility’s DSIC-eligible plant associated revenue requirement was rolled into Electric Utility’s base rates. The final order issued by the PAPUC approved the settlement of the base rate proceeding and authorized Electric Utility to implement a new DSIC surcharge once Electric Utility’s total gross plant balance exceeds $275 million.
PA Gas Utility and Electric Utility hold certificates of public convenience issued by the PAPUC and certain “grandfather rights” predating the adoption of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Code and its predecessor statutes, which authorize it to carry on its business in the territories in which it renders gas service. Under applicable Pennsylvania law, PA Gas Utility and Electric Utility also have certain rights of eminent domain as well as the right to maintain their facilities in public streets and highways in their respective territories.
Similarly, Mountaineer holds certificates of public convenience issued by the WVPSC, which authorize it to carry on its business in substantially all of the territories in which it now renders gas service. Under applicable West Virginia law, Mountaineer also has certain rights of eminent domain as well as the right to maintain its facilities in public streets and highways in its territories.
Federal Energy Regulation
With the acquisition of Mountaineer on September 1, 2021, UGI and its subsidiaries became subject to FERC regulation under PUHCA 2005 pertaining to record-keeping and affiliate service pricing requirements. UGI provided notice of its non-exempt status on September 17, 2021.
Utilities is subject to Section 4A of the Natural Gas Act, which prohibits the use or employment of any manipulative or deceptive devices or contrivances in connection with the purchase or sale of natural gas or natural gas transportation subject to the jurisdiction of FERC, and FERC regulations that are designed to promote the transparency, efficiency, and integrity of gas markets.
Similarly, UGI Utilities is also subject to Section 222 of the Federal Power Act, which prohibits the use or employment of any manipulative or deceptive devices or contrivances in connection with the purchase or sale of electric energy or transmission service subject to the jurisdiction of FERC, and FERC regulations that are designed to promote the transparency, efficiency, and integrity of electric markets.
FERC has jurisdiction over the rates and terms and conditions of service of electric transmission facilities used for wholesale or retail choice transactions. Electric Utility owns electric transmission facilities that are within the control area of PJM and are dispatched in accordance with a FERC-approved open access tariff and associated agreements administered by PJM. PJM is a regional transmission organization that regulates and coordinates generation, supply and the wholesale delivery of electricity. Electric Utility receives certain revenues collected by PJM, determined under a formulary rate schedule that is adjusted in June of each year to reflect annual changes in Electric Utility’s electric transmission revenue requirements, when its transmission facilities are used by third parties. FERC has jurisdiction over the rates and terms and conditions of service of wholesale sales of electric capacity and energy. Electric Utility has a tariff on file with FERC pursuant to which it may make power sales to wholesale customers at market-based rates.
Under provisions of EPACT 2005, Electric Utility is subject to certain electric reliability standards established by FERC and administered by an ERO. Electric Utility anticipates that substantially all the costs of complying with the ERO standards will be recoverable through its PJM formulary electric transmission rate schedule.
EPACT 2005 also granted FERC authority to impose substantial civil penalties for the violation of any regulations, orders or provisions under the Federal Power Act and Natural Gas Act and clarified FERC’s authority over certain utility or holding company mergers or acquisitions of electric utilities or electric transmitting utility property valued at $10 million or more.
Other Government Regulation
In addition to state and federal regulation discussed above, Utilities is subject to various federal, state and local laws governing environmental matters, occupational health and safety, pipeline safety and other matters. Each is subject to the requirements of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, CERCLA and comparable state statutes with respect to the release of hazardous substances. See Note 16 to Consolidated Financial Statements.
BUSINESS SEGMENT INFORMATION
The table stating the amounts of revenues, operating income and identifiable assets attributable to each of UGI’s reportable business segments, and to information regarding the geographic areas in which we operate, for Fiscal 2023, Fiscal 2022 and Fiscal 2021 appears in Note 22 to Consolidated Financial Statements included in Item 15 of this Report and is incorporated herein by reference.
At September 30, 2023, UGI and its subsidiaries had approximately 10,500 employees.
HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT
We are committed to the attraction, development, retention and safety of our employees. The following is an overview of some of our key human capital initiatives that are designed to ensure the overall well-being of our employees and other stakeholders as well as to promote workforce diversity.
UGI publishes annual sustainability reports, which are available free of charge on its corporate website under “ESG - Resources - Sustainability Reports.” Information included in these sustainability reports is not intended to be incorporated into this Report.
We are committed to maintaining an effective safety culture and stressing the importance of our employees’ role in identifying, mitigating and reporting safety risks. We believe that the achievement of superior safety performance is both an important short- and long-term strategic initiative in managing our operations. In this regard, our policies and operational practices promote a culture where all levels of employees are responsible for safety. Safety is generally included as a component of the annual bonus calculation for executives and non-executives, reinforcing our commitment to safety across our organization. For more details as to how we integrate safety performance into our core business activities, please refer to our Health, Safety, Security and the Environment (“HSSE”) Policy, which is available on our website under “Company - Company Policies - HSSE Policy.”
UGI’s Board of Directors oversees safety efforts primarily through its Safety, Environmental, and Regulatory Compliance (“SERC”) Committee, which is responsible for the governance and oversight of health and safety matters at the Company, including compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The SERC Committee oversees the Company’s practices and policies focused on protecting the health and safety of our employees, contractors, customers, the communities we serve, and the environment. Additionally, our senior management team is actively engaged in our safety programs and conducts regular reviews of safety performance metrics. These metrics are presented quarterly to the SERC Committee for review and consideration. In addition, each of our business units has a safety team that is responsible for overseeing the safety of our operations, reinforcing our values, and enhancing our safety culture within such business units. As part of our commitment to continuously improve our safety performance, UGI has implemented robust training programs that enable field employees to safely execute their job responsibilities. Our safety programs are required to comply with both OSHA and industry-specific regulations.
Diversity as Part of Our Company Culture
We believe that, by fostering an environment that exemplifies our core value of respect, we gain, as a Company, unique perspectives, backgrounds and varying experiences to ensure our continued long-term success. Belonging, inclusion, diversity and equity are essential to our success, and we respect and value all employees.
In alignment with our efforts to promote diversity and inclusion, our Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (“BIDE”) Initiative provides the organizational blueprint for achieving greater diversity and promoting respect for uniqueness of individuals and cultures and inclusion of the varied perspectives they provide. We believe the BIDE Initiative helps align our core values (safety, integrity, respect, sustainability, reliability, and excellence) with our leadership’s actions and our employees’ work environment. The BIDE Initiative embodies and promotes internal policies with respect to setting expectations relating to our work environment, including our Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and our Anti-Harassment/Anti-Discrimination, and Human Rights policies. As part of the BIDE Initiative, we have partnerships with numerous organizations that support underrepresented populations.
UGI also supports diverse segments of our workforce through employee resource groups. Employee resource groups are a key component of the BIDE Initiative. These groups are open to all employees and allow them to learn from a cultural perspective and support their colleagues through allyship. UGI’s employee resource groups include the Black Organizational Leadership and Development (“BOLD”) resource group, the Women’s Impact Network (“WIN”), and the Veteran Employee Team (“VET”).
•BOLD is focused on inclusion, equity, education, and empowerment for black employees and their allies, and assists leadership with communication, talent recruitment, retention and development opportunities. BOLD focuses on professional development by creating mentoring opportunities, increasing exposure through networking and career development events, broadening outreach to and recruitment of talent and sponsoring activities such as lectures
featuring distinguished speakers. The group aims to support and promote UGI’s BIDE Initiative by providing cultural insight from employee, customer and community partner perspectives.
•WIN is an organization that aims to foster an environment for women and their allies to be recruited, retained, developed and advanced as leaders throughout UGI. Membership in WIN offers exposure to various professional development opportunities, including speaker series events, group engagement activities, virtual group discussions, and partnerships with local organizations.
•VET focuses on recruiting and retaining veterans, as well as creating growth for and goodwill towards military veterans. VET members include Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard veterans of the Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, and Air Force, their families, and partners committed to supporting military veteran employees.
Diversity in Our Leadership
We believe that diversity in our Board of Directors is critical for effective governance. In assessing the Board of Directors’ composition, the Board of Directors and its Corporate Governance Committee ensure that our Board of Directors and its standing committees have the appropriate qualifications, skills, experience and characteristics, including diversity of perspectives, to support our business. In assessing director candidates, the Board of Directors and Corporate Governance Committee consider a number of qualifications, including independence, knowledge, judgment, character, leadership skills, education, experience, financial literacy, standing in the community and diversity of backgrounds and views, including, but not limited to, gender, race, ethnicity and national origin. The Board of Directors and Corporate Governance Committee look to complement the Board of Directors’ existing strengths, recognizing that diversity is a critical element to enhancing Board effectiveness. Our Board of Directors is currently comprised of 10 directors, of which three are female, two are racially diverse and one identifies as LGBTQ+.
Similarly, we believe diversity of management is crucial to position our business for continued success. UGI ensures that diverse candidates are considered for all leadership positions and is committed to considering all qualified applicants in our hiring process.
As part of our continued commitment to enhancing opportunities for diversity in our workforce, in Fiscal 2023 all executives had a diversity and inclusion component in their annual bonus plan. The executive team was evaluated on the effectiveness of the Company’s development and implementation of a multi-dimensional strategy to deepen and improve the Company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, supporting the Company’s BIDE Initiative and establishing a roadmap to achieve excellence in diversity and inclusion and branding UGI as an employer of choice for diverse candidates.
Diversity in Our Workforce
UGI strives for diverse representation at all levels of our business. We annually publish our workforce demographics (which reflects our EEO-1 reporting data) in our sustainability reports. We believe that by publicly disclosing our workforce demographics, we increase transparency in the composition of our workforce as well as facilitate accountability in ensuring that diverse candidates are actively considered for roles throughout the organization.
Diversity as Part of Our Employee Development
UGI has a global partnership with the Human Library Organization (the “Human Library”), a global not-for-profit learning platform that hosts personal conversations designed to challenge stigma and stereotypes and create a safe space for dialogue where topics are discussed openly between “human books” and their readers. The Human Library is a thought leader when it comes to diversity and inclusion in the workplace, partnering with companies that are committed to incorporating social understanding and cultural awareness as part of their business model in relation to their workforce, partnerships, clients and customers.
UGI has committed to a sponsorship role with the Human Library for the creation of a digital learning platform that will expand the reach of the Human Library’s diversity experiences across the globe. UGI began working with the Human Library in Fiscal 2020 to provide diversity and inclusion education for its leadership development, supervisor training and new hire onboarding programs. Many of our employees participated in the Human Library “reader sessions” over the past few years.
Talent Development and Support
Maintaining a robust pipeline of talent is crucial to UGI’s ongoing success and is a key aspect of succession planning efforts across the organization. Our leadership and human resources teams are responsible for attracting and retaining quality talent by supporting management in fostering an environment where employees feel supported and encouraged in their professional and personal development. Competition for attracting and retaining talent has increased in recent years. UGI understands this
challenge and the importance of maintaining competitive compensation and benefits as well as providing appropriate training that enables growth, developmental opportunities and multiple career paths within our Company. We commit to investing in our employees through training and development programs, including mentorship, manager trainings, and leadership development programs, as well as through tuition reimbursement to promote continued professional growth. For example, UGI Global Leadership Summit is an enterprise leadership development program for high potential leaders identified for future executive roles. Rooted in research of what skills executives need most, our potential leaders learn and practice skills such as learning agility, strategic thinking, adaptability intelligence, advanced emotional intelligence and leadership presence. In addition, potential leaders engage directly with business unit leaders and executives, gaining a broader sense of UGI and the stakeholders it serves. In addition, in Fiscal 2023, UGI launched Lifecycle Leadership, which is an enterprise wide leadership development initiative providing development to all levels of leaders, including three programs: (1) People Leaders Program, for managers at all levels of the company, (2) Experienced Managers Program, for managers with three or more years of experience, and (3) Managers of Managers Program, for managers who manage two or more teams. Through our Lifecycle Leadership initiatives, our leaders complete a variety of assessments and practice strategic and tactical skills such as effective communication, time management, delegation, employee development, conflict resolution, budgeting and finance, and unconscious bias, among other skills needed for success as a leader.
ITEM 1A. RISK FACTORS
There are many factors that may affect our business, financial condition and results of operations, many of which are not within our control, including the following risks relating to: (1) the demand for our products and services and our ability to grow our customer base; (2) our business operations, including internal and external factors that may impact our operational continuity; (3) our international operations; (4) our supply chain and our ability to obtain and transport adequate quantities of LPG; (5) government regulation and oversight; and (6) general factors that may impact our business and our shareholders. Investors should carefully consider, together with the other information contained in this Report, the risks and uncertainties described below. Additional risks and uncertainties not currently known to us, or that we currently deem to be immaterial, also may materially affect our business, financial condition and results of operations. No priority or significance is intended by, nor should be attached to, the order in which the risk factors appear.
Risks Relating to the Demand for Our Products and Services and Our Ability to Grow Our Customer Base
Our business is seasonal and decreases in the demand for our energy products and services because of warmer-than-normal heating season weather or unfavorable weather conditions may adversely affect our results of operations. Because many of our customers rely on our energy products and services to heat their homes and businesses our results of operations are adversely affected by warmer-than-normal heating season weather. Weather conditions have a significant impact on the demand for our energy products and services for both heating and agricultural purposes. Accordingly, the volume of our energy products sold is at its highest during the peak heating season of October through March and is directly affected by the severity of the winter weather. For example, historically, approximately 60% to 70% of AmeriGas Propane’s annual retail propane volume, 60% of UGI International’s annual retail LPG volume, 55% to 65% of Energy Services’ retail natural gas volume and 60% of PA Gas Utility’s natural gas throughput (the total volume of gas sold to or transported for customers within our distribution system) has typically been sold during these months. There can be no assurance that normal winter weather in our market areas will occur in the future.
In addition, our agricultural customers use LPG for purposes other than heating, including for crop drying, and unfavorable weather conditions, such as lack of precipitation, may impact the demand for LPG. Moreover, harsh weather conditions may at times impede the transportation and delivery of LPG or restrict our ability to obtain LPG from suppliers. Spikes in demand caused by weather or other factors can stress the supply chain and limit our ability to obtain additional quantities of LPG. Changes in LPG supply costs are normally passed through to customers, but time lags (between when we purchase the LPG and when the customer purchases the LPG) may result in significant gross margin fluctuations that could adversely affect our results of operations.
The potential effects of climate change may affect our business, operations, supply chain and customers, which could adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations. Shifts and fluctuations in weather patterns and other environmental conditions, including temperature and precipitation levels, may affect consumer demand for our energy products and services. In addition, the potential physical effects of climate change, such as increased frequency and severity of storms, floods, fires and other climatic events, could disrupt our operations and supply chain, and cause us to incur significant costs in preparing for or responding to these effects. These or other meteorological changes could lead to increased operating costs, capital expenses or supply costs. Our commercial and residential customers may also experience the potential physical impacts of climate change and may incur significant costs in preparing for or responding to these efforts, including increasing the mix and resiliency of their energy solutions and supply, which may adversely impact their ability to pay for our products and services or decrease demand for our products and services. The impact of any one or all of the foregoing factors may adversely affect our financial condition and results of operations.
In addition to the direct physical impact that climate change may have on our business, financial condition and results of operations, we may also be adversely impacted by other environmental factors, including: (i) technological advances designed to promote energy efficiency and limit environmental impact; (ii) increased competition from alternative energy sources; (iii) regulatory responses aimed at decreasing GHG emissions; and (iv) litigation or regulatory actions that address the environmental impact of our energy products and services. For more information on these risks, please refer to the following risk factors included elsewhere in this section:
•“Energy efficiency and technology advances, as well as price induced customer conservation, may result in reduced demand for our energy products and services”;
•“Our operations may be adversely affected by competition from other energy sources”;
•“Our need to comply with, and respond to, industry-wide changes resulting from, comprehensive, complex, and sometimes unpredictable governmental regulations, including regulatory initiatives aimed at increasing competition within our industry, may increase our costs and limit our revenue growth, which may adversely affect our operating results”;
•“Our operations, financial results and cash flows may be adversely affected by existing and future global climate change laws and regulations, including with respect to GHG emission restrictions, as well as market responses thereto”; and
•“We are subject to operating and litigation risks that may not be covered by insurance”.
Our potential to increase revenues may be affected by the decline in retail volumes of LPG and our ability to retain and grow our customer base. The retail LPG distribution industry in the U.S. and many of the European countries in which we operate is mature and has experienced either no or modest growth (or decline) the past few years, and we do not expect significant changes to total demand in the near future. Accordingly, we expect that year-to-year industry volumes will be principally affected by weather patterns. Therefore, our ability to grow within the LPG industry is dependent on our ability to acquire other retail distributors and to achieve internal growth, which includes the continuation of the ACE, Cynch and National Accounts programs in the U.S. and expansion in Europe, as well as the success of our sales and marketing programs designed to attract and retain customers. Any failure to retain and grow our customer base and successfully acquire other distributors would have an adverse impact on our results.
Our ability to successfully execute on strategic initiatives and achieve our long-term goals may be adversely affected if we are not successful in identifying and completing strategic transactions and investments, or if we are unable to realize the anticipated benefits from such strategic transactions and investments. As part of our business strategy, we have pursued, and may continue to pursue, acquisitions, joint ventures, partnerships, divestitures, dispositions, and other strategic transactions and relationships with third parties. We have grown the Company through investments in the U.S. and in international markets, and have expanded our presence in the renewable energy industry. We may choose to finance any future investments with debt, equity, cash or a combination of the three. We can give no assurances that we will find attractive investment opportunities in the future (including renewable energy opportunities), that we will be able to complete and finance these transactions on economically acceptable terms, that any investments and related transactions will not be dilutive to earnings or that any additional debt incurred to finance such investment will not affect our ability to pay dividends. Moreover, certain investments and acquisitions in the U.S. and Europe may require merger control filings with the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission, as applicable, and commitments (such as agreements not to compete for certain businesses) or divestments of assets may be required to obtain clearance. Such commitments or divestments may adversely influence the overall economics and risk profile of the contemplated transaction.
To the extent we are successful in executing these transactions, such transactions involve a number of risks. These risks include, but are not limited to, the assumption of material liabilities, including environmental liabilities, the diversion of management’s attention from the management of daily operations to the integration of acquired operations, difficulties in the assimilation and retention of employees and difficulties in the assimilation of different cultures and practices and internal controls, challenges with consolidating the operations of acquired companies into our own, as well as in the assimilation of broad and geographically dispersed personnel and operations. We also may experience integration difficulties, including in implementing new systems and processes and with integrating systems and processes of companies with complex operations, which can result in inconsistencies in standards, controls, procedures and policies and may increase the risk that our internal controls are found to be ineffective. Future investments could also result in, among other things, the failure to identify material issues during due diligence, the risk of overpaying for assets, unanticipated capital expenditures, the failure to maintain effective internal control over financial reporting, recording goodwill and other intangible assets at values that ultimately may be subject to impairment charges and fluctuations in quarterly results. There can also be no assurance that our past and future investments, including our recent investments in renewable energy, will deliver the strategic, financial, operational and environmental benefits that we anticipate, nor can we be certain that strategic investments will remain available in the future.
Similarly, any divestitures or dispositions of assets have inherent risks, including the inability to find potential buyers upon favorable terms, expenses associated with a divestiture, the possibility that any anticipated sale will be delayed or will not occur, the potential impact on our cash flows and results of operations, the potential delay or failure to realize the perceived strategic or financial benefits of the divestment or disposition, difficulties in the separation of operations, services, information technology, products and personnel, potential loss of customers or employees, exposure to unanticipated liabilities, unexpected costs associated with such separation, diversion of management’s attention from other business concerns and potential post-closing claims for alleged breaches of related agreements, indemnification or other disputes. Further, any cost saving measures, restructurings and divestitures may result in workforce reduction and consolidation of our facilities. As a result of these actions, we may experience a loss of continuity, loss of accumulated knowledge, disruptions to our operations and inefficiency during transitional periods. These actions could also impact employee retention. In addition, we cannot be sure that these actions will be as successful in reducing our overall expenses as we expect or that we do not forego future business opportunities as a result of these actions.
The failure to successfully identify, complete, implement and manage business combinations, acquisitions, divestitures and investments intended to advance our business strategy could have an adverse impact on our business, cash flows, financial condition and results of operations.
Further, our long-term goal to grow our earnings per share is driven by disciplined investments and is impacted by, among other things, our ability to increase investments in our regulated utilities businesses and generate significant fee-based income in our Midstream and Marketing operations. Other factors, assumptions and beliefs of management and our Board regarding external factors, including the global economy and regulatory developments, on which our long-term goals were based may also prove to differ materially from actual future results. Accordingly, we may not achieve our stated long-term goals, or our stated long-term goals may be negatively revised, as a result of less than expected progress toward achieving these goals.
Energy efficiency and technology advances, as well as price induced customer conservation, may result in reduced demand for our energy products and services. The trend toward increased energy efficiency and technological advances, including installation of improved insulation and the development of more efficient boilers and increased consumer preference for alternative heating equipment installations, such as electric heat pumps, alongside concerted conservation measures, which have been exacerbated particularly in Europe by the evolving energy crisis, may reduce the demand for our energy products. Prices for LPG and natural gas are subject to volatile fluctuations as a result of changes in supply and demand as well as other market conditions and external factors. During periods of high energy commodity costs, our prices generally increase, which may lead to customer conservation and attrition. A reduction in demand could lower our revenues and, therefore, lower our net income and adversely affect our cash flows. In addition, federal, European and/or local regulators may offer energy conservation incentives or otherwise enact laws and regulations that may require mandatory conservation measures, which would reduce the demand for our energy products. In Europe, measures are underway to decarbonize the electric generation grid, as well as residential and commercial heating, in order to achieve EU climate change objectives, including a net zero goal by 2050. For example, in 2018 the EU revised the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (the “EPBD”) with the goal to create a clear path towards a low and zero-emission and decarbonized building stock in the EU by 2050. Updates to the EPBD continue to make their way through EU legislative approvals, which will establish stronger targets for management of new and existing building construction and integral heating systems that focus on low or zero carbon outcomes. For example, certain EU countries have adopted legislation mandating the replacement of existing fossil-fuel based heating systems with lower carbon solutions and requiring newly installed heating systems to operate with renewable energy sources. Over time, these various measures will impact fossil fuel consumption in Europe and the demand for our energy products. We cannot predict the materiality of the effect of future conservation measures or the effect that any technological advances in heating, conservation, energy generation or other devices might have on our operations.
Our operations may be adversely affected by competition from other energy sources. Our energy products and services face competition from other energy sources, some of which are less costly for equivalent energy value. In addition, we cannot predict the effect that the development of alternative energy sources might have on our operations.
Our LPG distribution businesses compete for customers against suppliers of electricity, fuel oil and natural gas. Electricity is a major competitor of LPG but is generally more expensive than LPG on a Btu equivalent basis for space heating, water heating and cooking. However, in Europe and elsewhere, climate change policies favoring electricity from renewable energy sources or the use of electric-powered equipment, such as heat pumps in heating applications, may cause changes in current relative price relationships. Moreover, notwithstanding cost or regulatory mandates or incentives, the convenience and efficiency of electricity make it an attractive energy source for consumers and developers of new homes. Fuel oil, which is a major competitor to propane, is a less environmentally attractive energy source. Furnaces and appliances that burn LPG must be upgraded to run on fuel oil and vice versa, and, therefore, a conversion from one fuel to the other requires the installation of new equipment. Our customers generally have an incentive to switch to fuel oil only if fuel oil becomes significantly less expensive than LPG, and in multiple countries, the risk of conversion to fuel oil is diminishing due to regulations that prevent or disfavor the installation and/or use of fuel oil boilers or fuel oil for heating applications. The gradual expansion of natural gas distribution systems in our service areas may continue to result in the availability of natural gas in some areas that previously depended upon LPG resulting in lower demand for LPG.
Our natural gas businesses in the U.S. compete primarily with electricity and fuel oil, and, to a lesser extent, with LPG and coal. Competition among these fuels is primarily a function of their comparative price and the relative cost and efficiency of fuel utilization equipment. There can be no assurance that our natural gas revenues will not be adversely affected by this competition.
The expansion, construction and development of our energy infrastructure assets subjects us to risks. We seek to grow our business through the expansion, construction and development of our energy infrastructure, including new pipelines, gathering systems, facilities and other assets. These projects are subject to state and federal regulatory oversight and require certain property rights, such as easements and rights-of-way from public and private owners, as well as regulatory approvals, including environmental and other permits and licenses. There is no assurance that we or our project partners, as applicable, will be able to obtain the necessary property rights, permits and licenses in a timely and cost-efficient manner, or at all, which may result in a delay or failure to complete a project. We may face opposition to the expansion, construction or development of new or existing pipelines, gathering systems, facilities or other assets from environmental groups, landowners, local groups and other advocates. This opposition could take many forms, including organized protests, attempts to block or sabotage our operations, intervention in regulatory or administrative proceedings involving our assets, or lawsuits or other actions designed to prevent, disrupt, or delay the development or operation of our assets and business. Failure to complete any pending or future infrastructure project may have a materially adverse impact on our financial condition and results of operations.
Even if we are able to successfully complete any pending or future infrastructure project, our revenues may not increase immediately upon the expenditure of funds on a particular project or as anticipated during the lifespan of the project. As a result, there is the risk that new and expanded energy infrastructure may not achieve our expected investment returns, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.
Risks Relating to Our Business Operations, Including Internal and External Factors that May Impact Our Operational Continuity
Our review of potential strategic alternatives may not result in the approval or completion of any specific transaction or outcome, and the process of reviewing strategic alternatives or the outcome could adversely affect our business, financial condition, operations and stock price. In August 2023, we announced that our Board of Directors initiated a process to evaluate potential strategic alternatives, including cost optimization initiatives, with the intent to unlock and maximize shareholder value. Our Board has not yet established a timeline for completion of the strategic review process, and there is no assurance that the process will result in the approval or completion of any specific transaction or outcome. We are actively working with financial and legal advisors in connection with our review of potential strategic alternatives.
Any potential transaction or other strategic alternative would be dependent on a number of factors that may be beyond our control, including, among other things, market conditions, industry trends, regulatory approvals, and the availability of financing for a potential transaction on reasonable terms. The process of reviewing potential strategic alternatives, including optimization of our cost structure, is time consuming, may divert the attention of our Board and management from core business operations, and may be distracting and disruptive to our business operations and long-term planning, which may cause concern to our current or potential customers, employees, investors, strategic partners and other stakeholders, and may have a material impact on our business and operating results or our internal controls and procedures, or result in increased volatility in our share price. We may incur substantial expenses associated with identifying, evaluating and negotiating potential strategic alternatives. There can be no assurance that any potential transaction or other strategic alternative, if consummated, will provide greater value to our shareholders than that reflected in the current price of our common stock. Additionally, the outcome of the strategic review may adversely impact our business, cash flows, operations, financial condition and stock price. Until the review process is concluded or developments on the progress of the strategic review are disclosed, perceived uncertainties related to our future may result in the loss of potential business opportunities, volatility in the market price of our common stock, and difficulty attracting and retaining qualified employees and business partners. Similarly, activist investors may engage in proxy solicitations or advance shareholder proposals, or otherwise attempt to affect changes and assert influence on our Board of Directors and management, which could negatively impact our business and operations and cause a distraction to our Board, management and employees.
Our information technology systems and those of our third-party vendors have been the target of cybersecurity attacks in the past. If we are unable to protect our information technology systems against future service interruption, misappropriation of data, or breaches of security resulting from cybersecurity attacks or other events, or if we encounter other unforeseen difficulties in the design, implementation or operation of our information technology systems, or if our third-party vendors or service providers experience compromises to their information technology systems, our operations could be disrupted, our business and reputation may suffer, and our internal controls could be adversely affected. In the ordinary course of business, we rely on information technology systems, including the Internet and third-party hosted services, to support a variety of business processes and activities and to store sensitive data, including (i) intellectual property, (ii) our proprietary business information and that of our suppliers and business partners, (iii) personally identifiable information of our customers and employees, and (iv) data with respect to invoicing and the collection of payments, accounting, procurement, and supply chain activities. In addition, we rely on our information technology systems to process financial information and results of operations for internal reporting purposes and to comply with financial reporting, legal, and tax requirements.
Cybersecurity incidents have recently increased in both frequency and magnitude and have involved malicious software and attempts to gain unauthorized access to data and systems, including ransomware attacks where a target’s access to its information systems is blocked until a ransom has been paid. The White House and various regulators, including the SEC, have accordingly increased their focus on companies’ cybersecurity vulnerabilities and risks. Despite our security measures, our technologies, systems, and networks have been and may continue to be the target of cybersecurity attacks or information security breaches that could result in the unauthorized release, misuse, loss or destruction of proprietary and other information, or other disruption of our business operations. Due to increasingly sophisticated threat actors, we may be unable to detect, identify or prevent attacks, and even if detected, we may be unable to adequately stop, investigate or remediate our systems given the tools and techniques being used by threat actors to circumvent controls and to remove or obfuscate forensic evidence. Attacks and incidents may also occur due to malfeasance by employees or contractors, as well as human error as in the case of social engineering and phishing campaigns. A number of our employees currently work remotely full-time or on a hybrid basis; as a result, our cybersecurity program may be less effective and information technology security may be less robust for those employees. Similarly, our third-party vendors or service providers have been impacted by cybersecurity attacks and incidents and are subject to many, if not all, of the same risks and disruptions as described above. A loss of our information technology systems, or temporary interruptions in the operation of our information technology systems, or those of our third-party vendors or service providers, or any other misappropriation of data, or breaches of security could lead to investigations and fines or penalties, litigation, increased costs for compliance and for remediation or rebuilding of our systems, and could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition, results of operations, and reputation. In addition, an attack could provide an intruder with the ability to control or alter our pipeline operations. Such an act could result in critical pipeline failures.
The efficient execution of our businesses is dependent upon the proper design, implementation and functioning of its current and future internal systems, such as the information technology systems that support our underlying business processes. Any significant failure or malfunction of such information technology systems may result in disruptions of our operations. In addition, the effectiveness of our internal controls could be adversely affected if we encounter unforeseen problems with respect to the operation of our information technology systems.
Moreover, as cybersecurity incidents increase in frequency and magnitude, we may be unable to obtain cybersecurity insurance in amounts and on terms we view as adequate for our operations, including the agreement to certain indemnification provisions by our insurance providers.
Our utility transmission and distribution systems, our non-utility midstream assets, and the assets of upstream interstate pipelines and other midstream providers may not operate as planned, which may increase our expenses or decrease our revenues and, thus, have an adverse impact on our financial results. Our ability to manage operational risk with respect to utility distribution and transmission and non-utility midstream assets, and the availability of natural gas delivered by interstate natural gas pipelines and midstream gathering assets is critical to our financial results. We obtain our supply from local Marcellus and Utica Shale sources, as well as other trading points in the U.S. If we experience physical capacity constraints on one or more of the interstate or intrastate natural gas pipelines that supply our businesses, we may not be able to supply our customers, which could have an adverse impact on our financial results. Our businesses also face several risks, including the breakdown or failure of, or damage to, equipment or processes (especially due to severe weather or natural disasters), accidents and other factors, including as a result of overpressurization of or damage to natural gas pipelines. Operation of our transmission and distribution systems or our midstream assets below our expectations may result in lost revenues or increased expenses, including higher maintenance costs, civil litigation and the risk of regulatory penalties.
Risks Relating to Our International Operations
Our international operations could be subject to increased risks, which may negatively affect our business results. We operate LPG distribution and energy marketing businesses in Europe through our subsidiaries. As a result, we face risks in conducting business abroad that we do not face domestically. Certain aspects inherent in transacting business internationally could negatively impact our operating results, including:
•costs and difficulties in staffing and managing international operations;
•disagreements and disputes with our employees represented by a works council or union;
•strikes and work stoppages by the employees of the Company or our suppliers and vendors;
•fluctuations in currency exchange rates, particularly the euro, which can affect demand for our products, increase our costs and adversely affect our profitability and reported results;
•new or revised regulatory requirements, including European competition and carbon emission reduction laws, that may adversely affect the terms of contracts with customers, including with respect to exclusive supply rights and usage restrictions, and stricter regulations applicable to the storage and handling of LPG;
•new and inconsistently enforced industry regulatory requirements, which can have an adverse effect on our
•tariffs and other trade barriers;
•difficulties in enforcing contractual rights;
•local political and economic conditions as well as geopolitical conditions that could cause instability and adversely impact the global economy or specific markets, such as the war between Russia and Ukraine; and
•potential violations of federal regulatory requirements, including anti-bribery, anti-corruption, and anti-money laundering law, economic sanctions, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, and EU regulatory requirements, including the GDPR and Sapin II.
In particular, certain legal and regulatory risks are associated with international business operations. We are subject to various anti-corruption, economic sanctions and trade compliance laws, rules and regulations. For example, the U.S. government imposes restrictions and prohibitions on transactions in certain foreign countries, including restrictions directed at oil and gas activities in Russia. U.S. laws also prohibit the improper offer, payment, promise to pay, or authorization of the payment of money or anything of value to any foreign official or political party, or to any person, knowing that all or a portion of it will be used to influence a foreign official in his or her official duties or to secure an improper advantage. Ensuring compliance with all relevant laws, rules and regulations is a complex task. Violation of one or more of these laws, rules or regulations could lead to loss of import or export privileges, civil or criminal penalties for us or our employees, or potential reputational harm, which could have a material adverse impact on earnings, cash flows and financial condition.
The European energy crisis may create LPG commodity supply challenges and could negatively impact our business results. The geopolitical situation in Europe during 2022 led to a sharp decrease in natural gas imports from Russia to Europe. This decrease resulted in a significant increase in natural gas prices in Europe. Although the natural gas prices have declined from the unprecedented highs of 2022, in response to the significant price increases experienced, refineries still see an incentive to, and are substituting a portion of their natural gas refinery fuels with, LPG leading to a decrease in the availability of inland LPG as well as higher LPG costs. In addition, gas processing plants supplying the United Kingdom and Norway markets are injecting LPG into the natural gas grid, decreasing the overall supply of LPG from the gas processing plants. In this context, LPG supply patterns are substantially changing with increased reliance on sea-imports and land logistics.
We anticipate that the European energy crisis and the corresponding response by refineries and gas processing plants will continue in Fiscal 2024, leading to continued commodity supply challenges in some markets, higher commodity costs that may not be able to be absorbed by our customers, particularly in the Nordic countries and our Eastern European markets, and lower consumption by our customers, among other impacts, which could have a material adverse impact on our earnings, cash flows and overall financial condition.
Economic and geopolitical instability, including as a result of acts of war, have had, and could continue to have, an adverse effect on our operating results, financial condition, and cash flows. In late February 2022, Russian military forces launched significant military action against Ukraine, which has continued through the date of this Report. We do not have operations in Russia or Ukraine. Nevertheless, the outbreak of war between Russia and Ukraine and the resulting sanctions by U.S. and European governments, together with any additional future sanctions by them, could have a larger impact that expands into other geographies where we do business, including our supply chain, business partners and customers in those markets, which could result in lost sales, supply shortages, commodity price fluctuations, increased costs, transportation logistics challenges, customer credit and liquidity issues, and lost efficiencies. The acceleration of a global energy crisis, including as a result of restrictions on Russia’s energy exports, could similarly impact the geographies where we do business. In addition, the U.S. and Europe have commenced certain trade actions as a result of the war between Russia and Ukraine. While significant uncertainty exists with respect to this matter, the war between Russia and Ukraine and its broader impacts, including any increased trade barriers or restrictions on global trade imposed by the U.S. or Europe, or further trade measures taken by Russia or other countries in response, could have a material impact on our operating results, financial condition and cash flows.
Our energy marketing business in Europe may continue to be disrupted by extreme prices and volatility in the natural gas and power markets in Europe, which have resulted in, and may continue to result in, a material negative impact on our financial results. Our natural gas and power marketing businesses have traditionally relied upon relative pricing and periods of market stability. Since the end of 2021, the European energy markets have been in an unprecedented state of volatility. The war between Russia and Ukraine and the resulting substantial reduction of natural gas imports from Russia to Europe have led to significant uncertainty in supply, including price volatility of both wholesale gas and power, and have created new risks that we have experienced and expect to continue to experience within our European energy marketing business. These risks include: (i) the ability to economically support the traditional fixed price and full requirement contracts of customers due to the significant increased cost to adjust for shifting volumes due to excess or shortage of consumption expectations; (ii) the ability to service typical portfolio needs with standard trading activities due to the limitations on purchasing cost effective services in the market; (iii) the ability to pass increased and volume deviation costs, including balancing costs, onto customers due, among other
things, to timing, regulatory and contractual constraints, (iv) the ability to maintain sourcing services to customers due to the margining and liquidity constraints as well as maximum trading limits implemented by both clearing banks and wholesale counterparties on energy suppliers, and (v) the ability to economically support fixed and variable price products while offering competitive services in the market. As a result, UGI considered all scenarios with respect to the future of its energy marketing business in Europe and decided to exit this market. UGI sold its energy marketing businesses in the United Kingdom, France and Belgium and UGI continues to make progress on the wind-down of its energy marketing business in the Netherlands. The risks identified with respect to our energy marketing business in Europe have resulted in and may continue to have a material negative impact on our financial results.
Risks Relating to Our Supply Chain and Our Ability to Obtain Adequate Quantities of LPG
We are dependent on our principal LPG suppliers, which increases the risks from an interruption in supply and transportation. During Fiscal 2023, AmeriGas Propane purchased approximately 85% of its propane needs from 20 suppliers. If supplies from these sources were interrupted, the cost of procuring replacement supplies and transporting those supplies from alternative locations might be materially higher and, at least on a short-term basis, our earnings could be affected. Additionally, in certain geographic areas, a single supplier provides more than 50% of AmeriGas Propane’s propane requirements. Disruptions in supply in these geographic areas could also have an adverse impact on our earnings. Our international businesses are similarly dependent upon their LPG suppliers. For example, during Fiscal 2023, UGI International’s business in the United Kingdom purchased approximately 76% of its LPG needs from two suppliers and, in Italy, approximately 72% of its supply was sourced from two suppliers. If supplies from UGI International’s principal LPG sources are interrupted, the cost of procuring replacement supplies and transporting those supplies from alternative locations might be materially higher and our earnings could be adversely affected. There is no assurance that our international businesses will be able to continue to acquire sufficient supplies of LPG to meet demand at prices or within time periods that would allow them to remain competitive.
Our ability to obtain sufficient quantities of LPG is dependent on transportation facilities and providers. Spikes in demand caused by weather or other factors can limit our access to port terminals and other transportation and storage facilities, disrupt transportation and limit our ability to obtain sufficient quantities of LPG. A significant increase in port and similar fees and fuel prices may also adversely affect our transportation costs and business. Transportation providers (rail and truck) in some circumstances have limited ability to provide additional resources in times of peak demand. Moreover, the ability of our transportation providers to maintain a staff of qualified truck drivers is critical to the success of our business. Regulatory requirements and an improvement in the economy could reduce the number of eligible drivers or require us to pay higher transportation fees as our transportation providers seek to pass on additional labor costs associated with attracting and retaining drivers.
Our profitability is subject to LPG pricing and inventory risk. The retail LPG business is a “margin-based” business in which gross profits are dependent upon the excess of the sales price over LPG supply costs. LPG is a commodity, and, as such, its unit price is subject to fluctuations in response to changes in supply or other market conditions. We have no control over supplies, commodity prices or market conditions. Consequently, the unit price of the LPG that our subsidiaries and other distributors and marketers purchase can change rapidly over a short period of time. Most of our domestic LPG product supply contracts permit suppliers to charge posted prices at the time of delivery or negotiated prices based on the current industry index prices established at major U.S. storage points such as Mont Belvieu, Texas or Conway, Kansas. Most of our international LPG supply contracts are based on internationally quoted market prices. We also purchase a portion of our supplies in the spot market. Because our subsidiaries’ profitability is sensitive to changes in wholesale LPG supply costs, we will be adversely affected if we cannot pass on increases in the cost of LPG to our customers, or if there is a delay in passing on such cost increases. Due to competitive pricing in the industry, our subsidiaries may not fully be able to pass on product cost increases to our customers when product costs rise, or when our competitors do not raise their product prices in a timely manner. Finally, market volatility may cause our subsidiaries to sell LPG at less than the price at which they purchased it, which would adversely affect our operating results.
We offer our customers various fixed-price LPG programs, and a significant number of our customers utilize our fixed-price programs. In order to manage the price risk from offering these services, we utilize our physical inventory position, supplemented by forward commodity transactions with various third parties having terms and volumes substantially the same as our customers’ contracts, but there can be no assurance that such measures will be effective. In periods of high LPG price volatility, the fixed-price programs create exposure to over or under-supply positions as the demand from customers may significantly exceed or fall short of supply procured. In addition, if LPG prices decline significantly subsequent to customers signing up for a fixed-price program, there is a risk that customers will default on their commitments, adversely affecting our results of operations.
Changes in commodity market prices may have a significant negative effect on our liquidity. Depending on the terms of our contracts with suppliers as well as our use of financial instruments to reduce volatility in the cost of LPG and natural gas, changes in the market price of LPG and natural gas can create margin payment obligations for us and expose us to increased liquidity risk. In addition, increased demand for domestically produced LPG and natural gas overseas may, depending on production volumes in the U.S., result in higher domestic prices and expose us to additional liquidity risks.
Supplier and derivative counterparty defaults may have a negative effect on our operating results. When we enter into fixed-price sales contracts with customers, we typically enter into fixed-price purchase contracts with suppliers. Depending on changes in the market prices of products compared to the prices secured in our contracts with suppliers of LPG, natural gas and electricity, a default of or force majeure by one or more of our suppliers under such contracts could cause us to purchase those commodities at higher prices from alternate suppliers, which would have a negative impact on our operating results.
Additionally, we economically hedge the market risk associated with a substantial portion of our supply purchases using certain derivative instruments. Such changes in market prices of the aforementioned commodities could result in material exposures or significant concentrations of balances with derivative counterparties. If certain counterparties were unable to meet the obligations set forth in these derivative contracts and we were unable to fully mitigate this exposure via collateral deposit requirements and master netting arrangements, such outcomes could result in a negative effect on our operating results.
Our business is dependent on the domestic and global supply chain to ensure that equipment, materials and other resources are available to both expand and maintain services in a safe and reliable manner. Moreover, prices of equipment, materials and other resources have increased recently and may continue to increase in the future. Failure to secure equipment, materials and other resources on economically acceptable terms may adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations. Current domestic and global supply chain issues are delaying the delivery, and in some cases resulting in shortages of, materials, equipment and other resources that are critical to our business operations. Failure to eliminate or manage the constraints in the supply chain may impact the availability of items that are necessary to support normal operations as well as materials that are required for continued infrastructure growth, including the replacement of end-of-life assets.
Moreover, inflation has been and continues to be an area of increasing economic concern, both domestically and internationally. Changes in the costs of providing our energy products and services, including price increases in equipment and materials as well as increases in labor and distribution costs, have negatively impacted, and may continue to negatively impact, our financial condition and results of operations and/or result in corresponding price increases for the energy products and services we offer our customers.
Risks Relating to Government Regulation and Oversight
Regulators may not approve the rates we request and existing rates may be challenged, which may adversely affect our results of operations. In our Utilities segment, our distribution operations are subject to regulation by the PAPUC, WVPSC and MDPSC, depending on the state in which the operations are located. These regulatory bodies, among other things, approve the rates that Utilities may charge utility customers, thus impacting the returns that Utilities may earn on the assets that are dedicated to its operations. Utilities periodically files, and we expect to continue to periodically file, requests with these regulatory bodies to increase base rates charged to customers in the respective states in which Utilities operates. If Utilities is required in a rate proceeding to reduce the rates it charges its utility customers, or is unable to obtain approval for timely rate increases from the appropriate regulatory body, particularly when necessary to cover increased costs, Utilities’ revenue growth will be limited and earnings may decrease.
The enactment of proposed or future tax legislation may adversely impact our financial condition and results of operations. We continue to assess the impact of various U.S. federal, state, local and international legislative proposals that could result in a material increase to our U.S. federal, state, local and/or international taxes. We cannot predict what impact, if any, changes in federal policy, including tax policies, will have on our industry or whether any specific legislation will be enacted or the terms of any such legislation. However, if such proposals were to be enacted, or if modifications were to be made to certain existing regulations, the consequences could have a material adverse impact on us, including increasing our tax burden, increasing our cost of tax compliance or otherwise adversely affecting our financial position, results of operations, cash flows and liquidity. Changes in applicable U.S. or foreign tax laws and regulations, or their interpretation and application, including the possibility of retroactive effect, could affect our tax expense and profitability. Such impact may also be affected positively or negatively by subsequent potential judicial interpretation or related regulation or legislation which cannot be predicted with certainty.
Our need to comply with, and respond to, industry-wide changes resulting from, comprehensive, complex, and sometimes unpredictable governmental regulations, including regulatory initiatives aimed at increasing competition within our industry, may increase our costs and limit our revenue growth, which may adversely affect our operating results. While we
generally refer to our Utilities segment as our “regulated segment,” there are many governmental regulations that have an impact on all of our businesses. Currently, we are subject to extensive and changing international, federal, state, and local laws and regulations including, but not limited to, safety, health, transportation, tax, and environmental laws and regulations that govern the marketing, storage, distribution, and transportation of our energy products. Moreover, existing statutes and regulations may be revised or reinterpreted and new laws and regulations may be adopted or become applicable to us that may affect our businesses in ways that we cannot predict.
New regulations, or a change in the interpretation of existing regulations, could result in increased expenditures. In addition, for many of our operations, we are required to obtain permits from regulatory authorities and, in some cases, such regulatory permits could subject our operations to additional regulations and standards of conduct. Failure to obtain or comply with these permits or applicable regulations and standards of conduct could result in civil and criminal fines or the cessation of the operations in violation. Governmental regulations and policies in the U.S. and Europe may provide for subsidies or incentives to customers who use alternative fuels instead of carbon fuels. The EU has committed to cut CO2 emissions and EU member states are proposing and implementing a range of subsidies and incentives to achieve the EU’s climate change goals. These subsidies and incentives may result in reduced demand for our energy products and services.
We are investigating and remediating contamination at a number of present and former operating sites in the U.S., including former sites where we or our former subsidiaries operated MGPs. We have also received claims from third parties that allege that we are responsible for costs to clean up properties where we or our former subsidiaries operated a MGP or conducted other operations. Most of the costs we incur to remediate sites outside of Pennsylvania cannot currently be recovered in PAPUC rate proceedings, and insurance may not cover all or even part of these costs. Our actual costs to clean up these sites may exceed our current estimates due to factors beyond our control, such as:
•the discovery of presently unknown conditions;
•changes in environmental laws and regulations;
•judicial rejection of our legal defenses to third-party claims; or
•the insolvency of other responsible parties at the sites at which we are involved.
Moreover, if we discover additional contaminated sites, we could be required to incur material costs, which would reduce our net income.
We also may be unable to timely respond to changes within the energy and utility sectors that may result from regulatory initiatives to further increase competition within our industry. Such regulatory initiatives may create opportunities for additional competitors to grow their business or enter our markets and, as a result, we may be unable to maintain our revenues or continue to pursue our current business strategy.
Our operations, financial results and cash flows may be adversely affected by existing and future global climate change laws and regulations, including with respect to GHG emission restrictions, as well as market responses thereto. Climate change continues to attract considerable public and scientific attention in the U.S. and in foreign countries. As a result, numerous proposals have been made, and could continue to be made, at the international, national, regional, state and local levels of government to monitor and limit GHG emissions and climate impact. These efforts have included consideration of, among other things, cap-and-trade programs, carbon taxes, GHG reporting and tracking programs, and regulations that directly limit GHG emissions from certain sources.
Increased regulation of GHG emissions, or climate impact generally, could have significant additional adverse impacts on us as well as our suppliers, vendors, and customers. The adoption and implementation of any laws or regulations imposing obligations on, or limiting GHG emissions from, our equipment and operations could require us to incur significant costs to reduce GHG emissions associated with our operations or could adversely affect demand for our energy products. The potential increase in our operating costs could include, but are not limited to, new costs to operate and maintain our facilities, install new emission controls on our facilities, acquire allowances to authorize our GHG emissions, pay taxes related to our GHG emissions, administer and manage a GHG emissions reduction program, and adversely impact the value of certain assets. We may not be able to pass on resulting increases in costs to customers. In addition, changes in regulatory policies that result in a reduction in the demand for hydrocarbon products and carbon-emitting fuel sources that are deemed to contribute to climate change, or restrict the use of such products or fuel sources, may reduce volumes available to us for processing, transportation, marketing and sto