For Guelph Hydro customers, a merger with Alectra offers better rates, reliable electricity service, local response teams based in Guelph Hydro’s current location and an exciting new Green Energy & Technology Centre.
Electricity distribution rates won’t go down after a merger, but they’ll go up less than they would if Guelph Hydro continued operating alone.
Guelph Hydro customers will avoid an estimated 5% rate increase in 2021, and another estimated 5% increase in 2026.
That’s because the Ontario Energy Board allows merged companies to “sit out” of typical rate resets that happen every five years. The “sit out” period gives merged companies an opportunity to implement operational changes intended to reduce costs.
On top of those savings, a merger would reduce duplication and create operating efficiencies, and customers would further benefit from lower costs.
Service would be the same or better for customers in Guelph and Rockwood. Local crews would respond to local calls and get support from a larger team during severe storms or emergencies.
Alectra is 97% municipally-owned, with the remaining 3% owned by a subsidiary of the 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.
Guelph will own 4.63% ownership interest in Alectra, and have one permanent seat on Alectra’s board of directors.
Community planning and investment
A merger would offer higher dividends for the City to invest in local infrastructure, programs, and services.
This year, in addition to its regular dividend, Guelph Hydro will pay the City a special dividend of $18.5 million.
Over the next 20 years, the City would receive $10 million more than it would if Guelph Hydro continued operating alone.
As part of a merger, Alectra will establish a Green Energy and Technology Centre (GRE&T).
Alectra will invest $5 million to renovate parts of Guelph Hydro’s existing headquarters into demonstration areas, laboratories or showrooms, and another $3 million a year to fund pilot projects, demonstrations, salaries, administration, marketing, and partnerships.
Guelph Hydro employs about 130 people. About 30 positions are expected to be addressed through attrition, voluntary retirement, or voluntary separation whenever possible. Another 30 positions would be offered relocation opportunities starting in 2019, with most moves occurring in 2020 and 2022.
The Green Energy & Technology Centre would employ eight to 10 people.