Background: Strategies and Options Committee

Guelph, Ont., October 24, 2016 – To make the best choice regarding the future direction of the City’s energy assets including Guelph Hydro, Guelph City Council created the Strategies and Options Committee to explore how the City can get the most from its local utility assets. The Committee is doing this because:

  • An asset management review is a regular process municipalities undertake to ensure public assets are achieving maximum value.
  • Provincial policy initiatives encourage local electricity utility companies to reduce duplication, manage costs and modernize electricity service to benefit electricity customers.

The Committee’s role is to provide recommendations and citizen input to City Council, which has the ultimate authority to make decisions about Guelph’s energy assets. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Review options for Guelph’s energy assets.
  • Investigate and recommend opportunities related to maintaining the status quo or making a change, which could include buying, selling or merging.
  • Identify and rank potential options.
  • Inform and engage industry, employee and community stakeholders.
  • Make recommendations and obtain all necessary approvals from Guelph City Council.

If directed by City Council, the Committee may also:

  • Engage in discussions with potential partners.
  • Develop draft agreements.
  • Develop an implementation plan.

Process and timeline

The work of the Strategies and Options Committee will occur in phases, and each phase depends on the results of the previous phase and City Council approval.  This is Phase 1 of the process and the Committee expects to make an initial recommendation to City Council in 2017. There are no pre-determined outcomes, and at each phase Council can make the decision to maintain the status quo.

  • Phase 1: Review launch (October 24, 2016)
  • Phase 2: Report to City Council with review of options (early 2017)
  • Phase 3: Development of preferred options (mid-2017)
  • Phase 4: Final decision (fall/winter 2017)

Community engagement

Residents and customers will have several opportunities to learn more, ask questions and provide comments in person and online as the Strategies and Options Committee explores opportunities for the future of Guelph Hydro.

As of October 24, 2016, residents can visit the Energizing Tomorrow website (hydro.guelph.ca) to learn more about the process and to ask questions.

The City of Guelph will also organize in-person consultations in the coming months. Throughout the process, the City of Guelph will be seeking the community’s input.

The changing energy landscape in Ontario

Across Ontario, municipalities are exploring options to ensure they are getting the best value from their local electricity distribution company.

  • To consolidate Ontario’s fragmented local distribution utility market, the provincial government created a new policy framework that encourages municipalities to evaluate options for their electric utility, which could include mergers and acquisitions.
  • The province favours consolidation of Ontario’s electricity distribution network because it would generate greater operational efficiencies for customers and municipal shareholders, while providing more capital to invest in modernizing infrastructure to ensure safe and reliable electricity to customers.

Media Contact

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