FortisAlberta received a decision from its regulator in March 2013 approving an interim increase in customer distribution rates, effective January 1, 2013, including interim approval of 60% of the revenue requirement associated with certain capital expenditures in 2013 not otherwise recovered under performance-based rates. Final decisions on the utility's rates are expected in the second half of 2013.
In April 2013 Newfoundland Power received a cost of capital decision whereby the utility's allowed rate of return on common shareholders' equity ("ROE") and common equity component of capital structure will remain at 8.8% and 45%, respectively, for 2013 through 2015.
Final allowed ROEs and capital structure for 2013 remain to be determined for FortisBC and FortisAlberta. A decision associated with the first phase of a Generic Cost of Capital ("GCOC") Proceeding in British Columbia as it affects FortisBC Energy Inc. is expected mid-2013 and the second phase of the proceeding, which will affect the other FortisBC utilities, commenced in March 2013. The process for the GCOC Proceeding in Alberta is scheduled to commence in the second quarter of 2013.
Caribbean Regulated Electric Utilities contributed $3 million of earnings, consistent with the first quarter of 2012.
Non-Regulated Fortis Generation contributed $24 million of earnings compared to $5 million for the first quarter of 2012. Excluding the $22 million after-tax extraordinary gain on the settlement of expropriation matters, as noted above, earnings decreased $3 million, mainly related to lower production in Belize due to lower rainfall.
Fortis Properties contributed earnings of less than $0.5 million for the first quarter of 2013 compared to $1 million for the first quarter of 2012. The decrease was mainly due to lower occupancy levels at the Hospitality Division's operations in central Canada.
Corporate and other expenses were $18 million compared to $21 million for the first quarter of 2012. Corporate and other expenses for the first quarter of 2013 were reduced by $2 million related to foreign exchange, while corporate and other expenses for the same quarter last year were increased by $1.5 million associated with foreign exchange. CH Energy Group, Inc. ("CH Energy Group") acquisition-related expenses were approximately $0.5 million after tax for the first quarter of 2013 compared to $4 million after tax for the same quarter last year. Excluding the above-noted acquisition-related expenses and foreign exchange impacts, corporate and other expenses increased $4 million quarter over quarter, mainly as a result of higher preference share dividends, partially offset by lower finance charges.
Consolidated capital expenditures, before customer contributions, were approximately $250 million for the first quarter of 2013. Construction of the $900 million, 335-megawatt Waneta Expansion hydroelectric generating facility ("Waneta Expansion") in British Columbia continues on time and on budget, with completion of the facility expected in spring 2015. Approximately $483 million in total has been spent on the Waneta Expansion since construction began in late 2010.
The Corporation's capital program is expected to total $1.3 billion in 2013. Over the five years 2013 through 2017, the Corporation's capital program, including expenditures at Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation ("Central Hudson"), is expected to total approximately $6 billion.
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