GRU debt rating lowered by S&P, General Manager writes critical letter to Gainesville City Commission

Published: May. 4, 2021 at 10:50 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Alarm bells are ringing at Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) after they were dealt a “historic” downgrade by S&P Global Ratings.

The financial services company lowered its long-term rating on GRU’s debt two notches from ‘A’ from ‘AA- negative.’ As a result, GRU General Manager Ed Bielarski fired off a letter to Gainesville City Commissioners critical of their handling of the utility.

S&P expressed concern with “GRU’s very high rates and leverage, the product of investment in renewable resources that have proven to be uncompetitive.”

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Bielarski reacted, writing this “is a signal from knowledgeable industry experts that GRU is now beyond the crossroads. GRU will be forced to navigate the ship against stronger headwinds of higher utility rates, higher leverage, high general fund transfer, and financial inflexibility.”

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