This rating is an upgrade to the underlying ratings on existing $27.2 million combined utility system revenue bond in 2002 and 2007. CPW’s bonds are secured by the net revenues of the combined utility consisting of gas, electric, water and wastewater.
Fitch Ratings’ report based the new rating on several factors including a strong financial performance by CPW, power supply concentration by Piedmont Municipal Power Agency, competitive retail rates and customer concentration.
In 2015, CPW’s total operating revenues were $82.4 million, consisting of 49% electric, 32% gas, 9% water, 6% sewer and 3% other system revenues. “This new rating proves Greer CPW is strong financially and can accommodate the growing service territory,” said Chuck Reynolds, CPW Finance Manager.
“We’ve experienced strong customer growth since 2004 and a AA- rating confirms we continue to head in the right direction for Greer,” Reynolds said.
Economics and a low employment rate were also factors in the decision. According to Fitch Ratings, the local unemployment rate is 3.0% compared to a statewide 4.1%.
BMW North American and Mitsubishi Polyester Film Inc., CPW’s two largest natural gas customers were also credited for their stable performance in the community. Combined, BMW and Mitsubishi Polyester Firm represent 24% of CPW’s gas system revenue.
Fitch Ratings also mentions the Greer community as one of the highest income markets in the Greenville-Spartanburg metropolitan region. "Having our rating upgraded should give customers even more confidence for reliable and stable utilities now and in the future,” said Mike Richard, CPW General Manager.