Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer at Public Service Enterprise Group
Thank you, Carlotta, and to all of you for joining us on our call this morning. As you have seen, PSEG reported non-GAAP operating earnings of $0.98 per share for the third quarter of 2021 versus $0.96 per share in the year ago quarter. GAAP results for the third quarter were a $3.10 per share net loss related to transition charges at PSEG Power, and they compare with a $1.14 per share of net income for the third quarter of 2020. In this year's quarter, PSEG Power recorded a pretax impairment loss of approximately $2.17 billion to reflect the announced sale of its fossil generating fleet that includes $13 million of other related costs.
Results for the third quarter bring non-GAAP operating earnings for the first nine months of 2021 to $2.96 per share. The 6.5% increase over non-GAAP results of $2.78 per share for the first nine months of 2020 reflects the growing contribution from our regulated operations and continued derisking at PSEG Power. Slides 12 and 14 summarize the results for the third quarter and the first nine months of 2021. The third quarter of 2021 was one of the most significant in recent PSEG history.
Since July, we've announced the sale of Power's Fossil fleet and reached the transmission rate settlement that will help lower customer build. In addition, at our recent investor conference, we announced an increase in our five-year capital spending plan by $1 billion, a $0.12 per share increase to the common stock dividend for 2022, a $500 million share repurchase program expected to be implemented upon the close of the Fossil sale and initiated a 5% to 7% long-term earnings growth projection over the 2022 to 2025 period.
On the ESG front, we advanced our decarbonization efforts with the elimination of coal in our fuel mix this past June. Our participation in the New Jersey Wind Port and ongoing consideration of regional offshore wind opportunities in generation and transmission demonstrates our alignment with clean energy agenda. And our Clean Energy Future program was recently named a star of energy efficiency recipient in --. Of critical importance, we have staked out a leadership position in the industry by accelerating our net-zero vision to 2030 and joining the UN-backed Race to Zero campaign that will put us on a path to establish science-based targets to all of our missions across Scopes one, two and three.
Later this week, I will be attending the Conference of Parties referred to as COP26 to engage with policymakers and further support emissions reduction goals. This includes advocating for climate action now and advancing the case for preserving existing nuclear generation. This month, we issued a combined sustainability and climate report that outlines our progress to date and commitments for the future. We intend to continue taking meaningful climate action in response to the increase frequency and severity of extreme weather in our service area.
Speaking of extreme weather, tropical storm Ida soaked parts of New Jersey with nearly nine inches of rain within a 24-hour period and caused extensive flooding throughout the state. Our past and current Energy Strong investments that hardened flood-proof energy infrastructure brought tremendous benefit to customers during Ida, minimizing the damage to adaptive substations and switching stations and keeping them operational. That said, the extreme weather did wreak havoc throughout our service area and our thoughts go out to the families who lost loved ones to the storm and to the community still recovering from flood damaged homes and businesses.
To continue these enhancements and bring them closer to the customer, we are expanding our reliability improvement programs to the last mile of work we will propose in our upcoming Infrastructure Advancement Program, which we plan to file with the BPU in a few days. This proposal, if approved, would direct approximately $848 million of investment over a four-year period to improve the reliability of our electric distribution system, addressing aging substations and gas metering and regulating stations and electric vehicle charging infrastructure at PSE&G facilities that will support the planned electrification of the utility fleet, all of this while serving the dual purpose of creating important high-quality jobs and helping to further stimulate the New Jersey economy.
The foundation of results for the quarter was the solid operating performances by both PSE&G and PSEG Power. This summer, the third hottest on record contributed to the hottest first nine months we've ever recorded, pushing a number of total hours with temperatures exceeding 90 degrees or greater, nearly 65% higher than the same period in 2020 and versus normal, thereby increasing peak demands. The Conservation Incentive Program effective since June one for electric and October one for natural gas provides recovery for variations in customer usage due to weather, economic conditions and energy efficiency, thereby enabling the utility to promote maximum customer participation in energy efficiency programs without the loss of margin from lower sales.
This also has a stabilizing effect on our margins more broadly. The continued reopening of the New Jersey economy is unwinding some of the shift in sales experienced during most of 2020. Residential electric sales declined adjusted for weather as more people return to work, school and other activities outside the home, partly offset by higher commercial and industrial sales.
Due to the warmer-than-normal summer weather and the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions, the daily peak load for the quarter topped out at 9,620 megawatts compared to last year's third quarter daily peak, which was slightly less at 9,557 megawatts. Our peak load for the year remains the 10,064 megawatts we hit on June 30, which exceeded the 10,000 megawatt mark for the first time since 2013. Moving to the zero-carbon and infrastructure side of PSEG.
We recently announced that we have submitted several joint proposals to New Jersey's competitive State Agreement Approach open window to build offshore wind transmission infrastructure. These joint proposals submitted with orsted are collectively named the Coastal Wind Link and leverage the experienced partnership of PSEG and orsted in New Jersey energy infrastructure, our commitment to diverse suppliers and our mature working relationships with local building and construction trades.
The proposals cover onshore upgrades, new onshore transmission connection facilities, new offshore transmission connection facilities and a networked offshore transmission system in any stand-alone configuration or combination. PJM is providing the technical analysis and recommendations to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, who will make the final decisions based on an evaluation of reliability and economic benefits, cost, constructability, environmental benefits, permitting risks and other myriad New Jersey benefits.
A BPU decision is not expected before the third or fourth quarter of 2022. FERC has granted PJM's request to delay the next capacity auction covering the 2023, 2024 energy year to late January 2022. This revised time line places the 2024, 2025 auction into August of 2022 and the 2025 to 2026 auction into February of 2023. These upcoming capacity auctions will provide additional surety to the gross margin of our nuclear fleet in the outer years of our 2021 to 2025 planning horizon.
Nuclear power's economic struggles are a national challenge that call for a broad federal solution so that individual states like New Jersey aren't shouldering more than their share of the loan. We are continuing efforts to secure support for existing at-risk nuclear plants in the federal tax code. The House version of the Build Back Better infrastructure legislation currently contains an eight-year production tax credit for existing nuclear at -- per megawatt hour with the value of the credit declining as market revenues increase. The proposal has support in the Senate and from the Biden administration.
While passage is not assured, this would be an impactful provision for the nation's nuclear fleet, and we are hopeful that commerce can enact it this fall. You may recall that the New Jersey's ZEC Law contains considerable customer protections and specifically requires that state zero-emission certificate payments that I just referred to a moment ago as ZEC payments, be offset by any out-of-market payment compensating nuclear for the same zero carbon attribute.
Specific to the nuclear production tax credit, the value of the PTC for our New Jersey units would reduce the ZEC payment up to the maximum $10 per megawatt hour. However, the ZEC would not reduce the value of the PTC and our share of the two Pennsylvania Peach Bottom units would benefit from the full production tax credit. Moving forward, there needs to be broad recognition at both the state and federal level of the value of nuclear zero carbon attributes both for the quality of air today and the climate tomorrow.
To avoid backsliding for decades to come, we need to ensure that the long-term viability of New Jersey's nuclear generation is preserved as we bring more clean energy resources into the mix. Turning my attention to guidance. We are raising our forecast for full year 2021 non-GAAP operating earnings to a range of $3.55 per share to $3.70 per share from the prior range of $3.50 to $3.60 per share. And this is based on results in the first nine months of the year. Results for the third quarter and the first nine months incorporate the planned August one implementation of PSE&G's transmission rate settlement.
In addition, full year forecasted results also reflect PSEG Power cessation of depreciation expense on the Fossil assets based upon the move to held to for sale accounting treatment in August while otherwise continuing to contribute to consolidated results. We are also reaffirming PSEG's 2022 non-GAAP operating earnings guidance of $3.30 to $3.60 per share. We remain on track to execute on PSE&G's 2021 planned capital spend of $2.7 billion. This spend is part of PSEG's consolidated five-year $15 billion to $17 billion capital plan, which we still intend to execute without the need to issue new equity while continuing to offer the opportunity for consistent and sustainable growth in our dividend.
Following the close of the peak of the Fossil sale, PSEG will be a 90% regulated and predominantly contracted platform of stable carbon-friendly businesses. As we continue to execute on this strategy as well as on the significant financial announcements made in our recent investor conference, we remain fully dedicated to providing our shareholders with the premier opportunity to pursue sustainable growth in earnings and dividends with an industry-leading ESG platform. I'll turn the call over to Dan for more details on our results, and we'll make myself available for your questions after his remarks.