City of Guelph committee to explore options for its energy assets

Energizing Tomorrow website to ensure community is informed and can participate in the process

Guelph, Ont., October 24, 2016 – This evening, Guelph City Council discussed the work of the Strategies and Options Committee as it begins to explore opportunities for the future direction of the City’s energy assets including Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. (Guelph Hydro).

The Committee is mandated to evaluate opportunities and propose a course of action to provide the best long-term value for the community, Guelph Hydro customers and the City of Guelph. The Committee will consider maintaining the status quo or making a change, which could include sale, mergers, acquisitions and other opportunities.

The initiative is consistent with the City’s ongoing commitment to making sure residents get the best possible value from City assets. The plan also aligns with Ontario provincial policy initiatives that encourage local electric utilities to find ways to manage costs and modernize electricity services.

The Committee’s work will occur in phases, with each phase depending on the results of the previous phase and City Council approval. The Committee is currently in Phase 1, which includes:

  • consulting with stakeholders;
  • investigating transaction options and approach; and
  • reporting to Council on recommended options and seeking Council direction on next steps.

The Committee will report back to Council with preliminary recommendations early in 2017.

Both City Council and the Committee will be seeking public input throughout the process. Residents, customers and other interested parties will have opportunities through various channels in the weeks and months ahead to share their views and ask questions before a final decision is reached.

Today the City of Guelph launched a website, energizingtomorrow.ca, to provide details on the initiative, keep the community updated on developments, and provide the community with a forum where they can ask questions and get answers.

In conjunction with the Strategies and Options Committee report, Guelph City Council approved changes to the governance structure of Guelph Municipal Holdings Inc. (GMHI). Having been through a Council-approved transition period, GMHI is restructuring to clarify roles and responsibilities, and to create a direct reporting relationship from Guelph Hydro and Envida Community Energy to City Council.

Quotes

“I encourage everyone to become educated, informed, and engaged in the process. We want to hear from as many people as possible as we go down the path of exploring how to get the most from our energy assets.”

– Mayor Cam Guthrie

“We are objectively exploring all options for the City’s energy assets. We look forward to working with City Council and the public in order to ensure our recommendations are based on what’s in the best interests of the community.”

– Derrick Thomson, Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), City of Guelph (Committee Co-Chair)

“Around us, the utility industry is transforming at a pace never before witnessed and the City, as Guelph Hydro’s sole shareholder, has wisely decided to examine if there are more optimal business models that would benefit the community.”

– Pankaj Sardana, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc. (Committee Co-Chair)

For more information including questions and answers, facts and process, please visit energizingtomorrow.ca

Media Contact

Tara Sprigg, General Manager
Corporate Communications and Customer Service
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2610
tara.sprigg@guelph.ca