Mayor Cam Guthrie and representive from Guelph Hydro and Alectra

City Council votes on Guelph Hydro merger December 13

After more than a year of industry research, in-depth financial analysis, and community input, Guelph City Council is considering a merger between Guelph Hydro Electric Systems and Alectra.

City Council meeting
Wednesday, December 13, 6:30 p.m.

Guelph City Council will hear delegations and make its final decision about the proposed merger during an open meeting as the shareholder of Guelph Hydro.

To speak to Guelph City Council during the meeting, please register by Friday, December 8, 2017.

Watch the meeting on the Rogers TV website. or the City of Guelph YouTube Channel

About the proposed Guelph Hydro-Alectra merger

Local ownership and dividends

Next year, in addition to its regular annual dividend, Guelph Hydro would pay the City a special dividend of $18.5 million.

Over the next 20 years, dividends payable to the City would be $10 million more than than they would be if Guelph Hydro continued operating alone.

The City would receive a 4.63% ownership interest in Alectra. Guelph would receive one permanent seat on Alectra’s board of directors and have the right to appoint an independent director. Learn more about who owns Alectra 

The Guelph Hydro brand would be used for one year following the merger.

Electricity distribution rates

Electricity distribution rates are not expected to go down after a merger, but they wouldn’t go up as much as they would if the City maintained full ownership of Guelph Hydro.

Guelph and Rockwood customers would avoid an estimated 5% distribution rate increase in 2021, and another estimated 5% increase in 2026, and would also benefit from the savings expected from consolidating the two companies. Learn more about electricity distribution rates

Service and reliability

Alectra would meet or exceed service standards and reliability for electricity distribution customers in Guelph and Rockwood.

Protection from privatization

Alectra is 97% municipally-owned, with the remaining 3% owned by a subsidiary of OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System). Alectra’s existing unanimous shareholders’ agreement is the result of extensive negotiation among its shareholders, none of whom planned to privatize.

Provisions in Alectra’s unanimous shareholder agreement, tax disincentives, and the municipal character of its shareholders are all protections against future privatization of the utility.

Green Energy & Technology Centre

Alectra would establish the Green Energy & Technology Centre at Guelph Hydro’s current location. The centre would be a platform for accelerating and integrating new and emerging energy technologies and help prepare Guelph’s local utility company to address Ontario’s changing energy landscape, and the global energy transformation already underway.

The GRE&T Centre would employ eight to ten people, and Alectra would invest $5 million in capital to convert parts of Guelph Hydro’s existing headquarters into demonstration areas, laboratories or showrooms. It would invest an additional $3 million annually to fund pilot projects, demonstrations, salaries, administration, marketing, and partnerships.


Guelph Hydro’s current location would become a Southwest Operations Centre for at least 10 years.

Guelph Hydro employs about 130 people. Approximately 30 positions are expected to be addressed through attrition, voluntary retirement or voluntary separation, whenever possible.  An equal number of positions would be offered relocation opportunities within Alectra starting in 2019, with the majority of moves occurring in 2020 and 2022.

Guelph Hydro employees will be treated equitably and with respect. Fair programs will be developed to support employees should they wish to transition from the organization voluntarily.

Ontario Energy Board approval

The merger would be submitted to the Ontario Energy Board for approval. Among other things, the board would have to be satisfied that the merger would not cause harm to consumers with respect to price; and adequacy, reliability and quality of electricity service.


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