ITC extension expected to fuel further geographic expansion and sales growth in Crius' solar business
/NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION IN THE UNITED STATES OR OVER UNITED STATES WIRE SERVICES/
TORONTO, Dec. 21, 2015 /CNW/ - Crius Energy Trust (TSX: KWH.UN) (the "Trust") and Crius Energy, LLC ("Crius" or the "Company") today announce that Crius' fast-growing solar energy business has achieved a new milestone, having booked 50 megawatts in solar energy sales over a two-year period, a milestone amplified by the decision of the United States government on Friday to extend the solar Investment Tax Credit (the "ITC"). The ITC is one of the most significant public policy mechanisms to support the deployment of solar energy in the United States, providing long-term business certainty to solar energy project developers, investors and the solar industry at large. The ITC provides a dollar-for-dollar reduction in the income taxes that a person or company investing in solar would otherwise pay the U.S. federal government.
"The ITC extension is expected to have a far-reaching impact in the markets we service. Crius applauds this monumental decision, which signals a strong commitment by the United States towards becoming a leader in the global clean energy movement, and is expected to preserve 80,000 jobs in the United States," said Michael Fallquist, Chief Executive Officer of the Trust and Crius. "We're also proud to recognize a milestone in our solar energy business, having recently sold our 50th megawatt of solar energy, which has helped nearly 7,000 customers choose 100% reliable and clean solar energy. The ITC extension promises to accelerate the already rapid growth of the solar industry by enabling solar energy products to be viably offered in more states, thereby expanding Crius' geographic footprint and enabling our solar business to continue its strong growth trajectory."
In the third quarter of 2015, Crius realized nearly 30% growth in megawatts of generating capacity sold as compared the prior quarter, and more than 90% growth year-over-year, driven primarily by the Viridian Energy network marketing channel. To facilitate continued growth, in September 2015 the Company entered into a strategic alliance with Sungevity, Inc. ("Sungevity"), a leading global solar energy provider ranked highest in customer satisfaction in the United States. As part of the Sungevity alliance, Crius has realized improved economics from sales of solar systems, along with long-term 20-year customer relationships with strong cross-selling potential. In addition, the Company received an equity warrant position in Sungevity, which recently closed this year's largest private financing deal in the solar energy segment having secured US$650 million.
"The solar energy market represents a high-margin opportunity for Crius, having contributed 10% to our EBITDA last year," Fallquist explained. "We look forward to continuing to deliver on the extensive potential of this business with our well-capitalized partner, Sungevity, with optimism after having achieved our 50 megawatt sales milestone in just two years. The ITC extension positions us firmly on the fast track towards fully realizing significant value creation for unitholders from our solar business."
The Trust was established to provide investors with a distribution-producing investment through its 43.1% ownership interest in Crius. With approximately 800,000 residential customer equivalents, Crius is a comprehensive energy solutions partner that provides electricity, natural gas and solar energy products to residential and commercial customers. Crius connects with energy customers through an innovative family-of-brands strategy and multi-channel marketing approach. This unique combination creates multiple access points to a broad suite of energy products and services that make it easier for consumers to make informed decisions about their energy needs. Crius currently sells energy products in the United States in 20 states and the District of Columbia with plans to continue expanding its geographic reach.
The Trust intends to continue to qualify as a "mutual fund trust" under the Income Tax Act (Canada) (the "Tax Act"). The Trust will not be a "SIFT trust" (as defined in the Tax Act), provided that the Trust complies at all times with its investment restriction which precludes the Trust from holding any "non-portfolio property" (as defined in the Tax Act). Material information about the Trust may be found under the Trust's issuer profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com or at www.criusenergytrust.ca.
Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively, "Forward-Looking Statements") that involve substantial known and unknown risks and uncertainties, most of which are beyond the control of Crius, including, without limitation, those risks described in the Annual Information Form of the Trust dated March 25, 2015 (under the headings "Risk Factors" and "Forward-Looking Statements") and in the MD&A of the Trust for the period ended September 30, 2015. Any statements that express, or involve discussions as to, expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, assumptions or future events or performance (often, but not always, through the use of words of phrases such as "will likely result", "are expected to", "expects", "will continue", "is anticipated", "anticipates", "believes", "estimated", "intends", "plans", "forecast", "projection" and "outlook") are not historical facts and may be Forward-Looking Statements which involve estimates, assumptions and uncertainties which could cause actual results or outcomes to differ materially from those expressed in such Forward-Looking Statements. These statements relate to future events or future performance and reflect current assumptions, expectations and estimates of management, including relating to: future geographic expansion and sales growth in the solar business of Crius; impact of the ITC in fueling growth of the solar energy market; the significance of the ITC as a public policy mechanism; long-term business certainty of to solar energy project developers, investors and the solar industry resulting from the extension of the ITC; far reaching impact of the ITC in markets serviced by Crius; preserving 80,000 jobs in the United States; solar energy products being viably offered in more states; increasing the ability of Crius to enhance unitholder value through expansion of its geographic footprint; alliance with Sungevity leading to improved economics from sales of solar systems and long-term,20-year customer relationships with strong cross selling potential; growth, results of operations, performance, business prospects and opportunities relating to Crius; Canadian economic environment; Crius's ability to attract and retain customers; customer revenues and margins; customer additions and renewals; customer attrition; geographical expansion; customer consumption levels; treatment under governmental regulatory regimes; Distributable Cash; growth of the business of Crius; growth initiatives of Crius; the Canada-United States dollar exchange rate; and Crius' expectations and estimates regarding the impact the Acquisition discussed herein. Crius cautions investors in the Trust's securities about important factors that could cause Crius' actual results to differ materially from those projected in any Forward-Looking Statements included in this news release. No assurance can be given that the expectations set out in this news release will prove to be correct and accordingly, prospective investors should not place undue reliance on these Forward-Looking Statements. These statements speak only as of the date of this news release and Crius' does not assume any obligation to update or revise them to reflect new events or circumstances, except as required by law.
SOURCE Crius Energy Trust
For further information: Michael Fallquist, Chief Executive Officer, [email protected], (203) 663-7545; Roop Bhullar, Chief Financial Officer, [email protected], (203) 883-9900; Kelly Castledine, Investor Relations, [email protected], (416) 644-1753