For the quarter ended September 30, 2012, non-GAAP operating earnings reflect lower realized electric and natural gas unit margins in the current quarter, partially offset by higher sales volumes. The quarterly pattern of margin recognition that the retail energy-marketing segment realizes within a given fiscal year varies from year-to-year. Operating expenses for the quarter were lower primarily due to lower marketing and employee compensation cost, while the effective tax rate was higher.
For the fiscal year comparisons, the increase in non-GAAP operating earnings reflects higher electricity margins due to increased sale volumes resulting from customer growth and favorable price conditions versus the prior fiscal year. Natural gas margins were lower primarily due to lower retail sales volumes resulting from warm weather and lower margins on portfolio optimization activities. Operating expenses did not change significantly year-over-year. Lower levels of customer acquisition and compensation expenses were offset by increases in customer billing, bad debt and other administrative expenses. A change in the effective tax rate reduced earnings.
Commercial Energy Systems
For the quarter ended September 30, 2012, the commercial energy systems segment reported net income of $0.9 million, or $0.02 per share, compared to net income of $0.3 million, or $0.01 per share, for the same quarter of the prior fiscal year. For the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012, the commercial energy systems segment reported net income of $2.4 million, or $0.05 per share, an increase of $0.04 per share, over net income of $0.3 million, or $0.01 per share, for the same period of the prior fiscal year. The increase in earnings is primarily due to higher revenue from commercial solar projects in the current period and the benefits from the timing of project work for government agency customers that was delayed in the prior year. There were no non-GAAP adjustments for this segment for any of the periods presented.