March 9, 2021
Just Energy Group Inc. (TSX:JE), a retail energy provider specializing in electricity and natural gas commodities, with head offices in Mississauga, Ontario and Houston, Texas, filed for protection under the CCAA on March 9. The company and related entities (collectively, the "Just Energy Group") are facing severe short-term liquidity challenges due to the recent unprecedented and catastrophic winter weather event in Texas, which is the Just Energy Group's largest market. The extreme weather event in Texas was colder than anything experienced in decades, causing higher than normal customer demand while also forcing significant supply offline. As a result, the Just Energy Group was forced to balance its demand through spot market purchases. In addition to artificially high electricity costs during the Texas weather event, the Just Energy Group was also exposed to significantly increased ancillary service costs. It estimates that it may have incurred losses and additional costs of up to $312.0 million as a result of the winter storm as well as certain pricing decisions by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas ("ERCOT") and the Texas Public Utility Commission. During these CCAA proceedings, the Just Energy Group will be receiving a US$125.0 million DIP loan from one of its term loan lenders in order to meet its North American obligations, including payments to ERCOT totalling more than $250 million in the near term. If these amounts are not paid, ERCOT can suspend the Just Energy Group's market participation. FTI Consulting was appointed monitor. Counsel is Osler for the Just Energy Group, TGF for the monitor, Torys for the term loan lenders, McCarthy Tétrault for the credit facility lenders, and Cassels for the DIP lender.