New Jersey Resources Corp. (NYSE:NJR) Q2 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
May 04, 2018 • 10:00 am ET
Thank you. (Operator Instructions) And our first question comes from Travis Miller with Morningstar. Please go ahead.
Good morning. Thank you.
Good morning, Travis. How are you?
Good. I was wondering, you compared the cold weather over the last couple of months to the 2014/'15 period. Obviously a lot of regulatory discussions since then, obviously you guys have made a lot of investments since then. I was wondering if you could characterize the system integrity for a lack of better term between then and what you saw this winter and how those investments and regulatory changes might have impacted that?
Travis, this is Steve Westhoven. Yeah, I mean, certainly the investments that we've made in the utility have strengthened the system. The cold weather that we experienced end of December, beginning of January, was actually colder than what we experienced in 2014 during the Arctic Blast and our system performed very well. But it does reinforce that as growing gas needs happen, we continue to need to reinforce the reliability of our systems. So everything performed well and everything worked well through that extreme period.
Travis, Larry. One point that you should be interested in, since 2008, we've invested over $1 billion into our infrastructure. You hear us talk about the accelerated infrastructure plans that we have with -- here in the state with the Board of Public Utilities. And I think as Steve correctly points out, the performance of the system, clearly has shown the benefits of those programs.
Did you see any part where regulatory changes might improve anything, having gone through these two periods? Was there anything that came out or -- aside from just more investment and system integrity that regulators could change anything or promote anything during --
No, I think -- this is Larry again. I think our regulators have done an outstanding job, giving us the tools that we need to invest properly, not only in the capital resources, but the human resources as well. And clearly, the weather that we experienced recently, was the testable of that. But when I used the word collaboration in describing our relationship with the regulators, it is truly that, and the steps that we're able to take and the programs, we're able to pursue, put us in the best possible position to be able to serve our customers under most extreme conditions.
Okay, great. And then another completely different topic, the solar business, you've been in it obviously for a long time. What do you think about the tariffs coming into play?
So the tariffs that we're just instituted which raised the cost of solar panels. Currently, we don't expect that to have a material impact on our business, and in fact, for the projects that we have scheduled for this year, a lot of those panels have already been purchased. So as we move forward, we expect that -- those costs will be absorbed by everybody in the value chain and we should continue to move