Ascendant Group Issues Year End Letter

January 4, 2015

The Board of Directors of Ascendant Group Limited has declared a dividend of 7.5 cents per share, payable on December 31, 2014 to shareholders of record as of December 15, 2014.

Ascendant Group President and CEO Walter M. Higgins said in the company’s year end letter, “As we close out what has been a very difficult year, we join all of Bermuda in happily celebrating the announcement that Bermuda will host the 35th America’s Cup in 2017, with events beginning in October 2015.

“We look forward to seeing increased jobs, construction projects and infrastructure improvements.

“Ascendant Group Limited has given its commitment to the Bermuda Government and the America’s Cup organizers that we will provide the required energy and infrastructure support to help make the America’s Cup a great success.

“There is much to be done in preparation for the America’s Cup, but Bermuda has a tradition of successfully rising to challenges. A good example is how quickly Bermuda was open for business after recent Hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo.

“Hurricane Fay ripped through Bermuda early on October 12 resulting in 26,000, or 73 percent, of our customers losing power, and major damage to our electric distribution system. By October 17, the day Gonzalo arrived, all but 1,500 customers who lost power in Fay had power restored. Approximately 29,000, or 82 percent, of customers lost power during Hurricane Gonzalo.

“The unwavering efforts of our line crews, operations and support staff, and 19 linesmen supplied by CARILEC from the islands of Barbados, Bahamas, Belize and Cayman, as part of a mutual assistance agreement, resulted in restoration to all customers completed November 1.

“We are sincerely grateful to all employees who participated in what was a mammoth task and appreciate our customers’ patience and the many positive acknowledgements we received, including from Bermuda’s Premier the Hon. Michael Dunkley who visited with us on November 3 to personally thank those involved.

“We also extend our appreciation to CARILEC and all of the island utilities that provided linesmen to assist us, as well as to many vendors who made our restoration requirements their priority.

“On November 13, Bermuda’s Ministry of Education and Economic Development hosted the 2014 Bermuda Energy Summit. This was a first of its kind event involving close to 100 leaders and stakeholders including overseas subject matter specialists.

“The purpose was to initiate a national dialogue on energy policy topics and focus priority on moving quickly to establish an appropriate regulatory framework to facilitate changes to Bermuda’s energy mix.”

In his opening address, Minister of Education and Economic Development the Hon. Grant Gibbons said, “Energy reform needs to undergird our economic recovery, and if we get it right, it could even accelerate the pace of that recovery.” This is a statement that is even more profound given what is required to prepare for the America’s Cup.”

“Ascendant’s success is directly linked to Bermuda’s growth, stability and prosperity, and we will work closely with all stakeholders to achieve the best outcomes.

“The Energy Summit will be followed by a series of topical workshops in the New Year. In the meantime, our Company continues to develop and refine a comprehensive Integrated Resource Plan [IRP] that proposes a diverse portfolio of energy solutions, initiatives to bring down costs to the consumer and job creation associated with implementing the plan.

“The plan recommends reducing costs with energy efficiency and conservation initiatives, extensive renewable energy deployment and a transition to an alternate fuel, likely to be liquefied natural gas [LNG] to achieve lower cost energy.

“As has been shared with you in the past, the Company continues to review and control its legacy expenses.

“We have recently completed a thorough review of health care costs and, as a result, as of January 1, 2015 the employee health insurance plan is being revised to reduce overall costs, while maintaining competitive benefits and sustainable health insurance coverage.

“The New Year will bring with it continued challenges, but also many more opportunities. We are looking forward to working with Government, stakeholders and the whole community in doing our part to deliver on our commitments.”

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