FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Melissa Krause
Chief Communications and Strategy Officer
830.629.8440 | firstname.lastname@example.org
(New Braunfels, TX – August 12, 2022) – Like a report card grade given to a public utility or other organization, bond ratings indicate the strength and stability of an entity’s financial metrics. The three major bond rating agencies, S&P Global Ratings (S&P), Moody’s Investors Service (Moody’s), and Fitch Ratings (Fitch), have recently updated New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) bond ratings. These independent rating agencies issue ratings based on a number of factors, including an entity’s historical financial performance, projected financial plan, and the utility market outlook.
On August 9, 2022, S&P affirmed NBU’s A+ long-term rating and A-1 short-term commercial paper (CP) rating, assigning a negative outlook. S&P noted that NBU remains exposed to power cost volatility, thus assigning an outlook of negative. As pointed out in the S&P report, “We believe that ERCOT’s demand and price volatility, and NBU’s growth pressures necessitate extraordinary levels of liquidity, and so we view the prospective improvement in liquidity as necessary to maintain the current rating.” The negative outlook assigned by S&P reflects NBU’s risk exposure due to price volatility within the ERCOT market. However, the outlook could be upgraded to stable if NBU successfully mitigates this exposure.
On July 21, 2022, Fitch downgraded NBU’s approximately $124 million utility system revenue bonds, series 2004, series 2015, series 2016, and 2018, from AA to AA-; the Rating Outlook is stable. Fitch cited ERCOT market risk as a contributing factor to the downgrade.
On June 7, 2022, Moody’s assigned the Aa1 rating to NBU’s $71.845 million Utility System Revenue Refunding Bonds, Series 2022; the Rating Outlook is negative. At the same time, Moody’s maintained the Aa1 rating on NBU’s previously issued parity debt. Moody’s noted in its report, “A return to stability is dependent on the utility’s ability to return to pre-storm liquidity and debt service coverage levels.”
According to NBU’s Chief Financial Officer, Dawn Schriewer, “A strong bond rating ultimately affects customers because it allows utilities like NBU to issue debt obligations at lower interest rates, potentially saving millions of dollars for the organization and its customers.”
About New Braunfels Utilities:
Dedicated to excellence in service, New Braunfels Utilities (NBU) was established in 1942 and is one of 2,000 community-owned, nonprofit public power electric utilities in the nation. The mission of NBU is to enhance the quality of our community by providing innovative, essential services. Governed by a Board of Trustees comprised of local residents appointed by the New Braunfels City Council, NBU is committed to being a recognized and trusted community partner, providing essential electric, water, and wastewater services. Utility revenue is invested back into the utility systems, which benefits the community. New Braunfels Utilities makes an annual transfer to the City of New Braunfels, which in turn helps to pay for services such as fire, police, and parks. Additionally, in 2016, NBU repurposed its former16-acre warehouse site to become the Headwaters at the Comal, to serve as its conservation legacy, which will strengthen the relationship between the community and nature by showcasing the significance of the Comal Springs. Follow NBU on Facebook at facebook.com/newbraunfelsutilities, on Twitter at @nbutexas, and learn more, visit nbutexas.com.