Quick Facts

Why is a Guelph Hydro-Alectra merger the recommended option?

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.

Financial benefits

Guelph Hydro would pay the City a special dividend of $18.5 million. Over the next 20 years, a merger would also increase Guelph’s dividends by a total of $10.1 million.

Financial Position Standalone Merger Commentary
Equity Value at Closing $129.4M $129.4M Current equity value – same under either scenario.

Growth in equity value in a merger with Alectra should be more robust than on a standalone basis due to scale and significant innovation investment

Closing Adjustments N/A $18.5M To compensate Guelph Hydro for its more favourable expected Net Debt and working capital positions relative to Alectra
Incremental Dividends N/A $10.1M Guelph’s estimated incremental dividends as a result of incremental synergies and share of original Alectra synergies
Standalone Dividends


$91.2M $91.2M Base dividends same under either scenario (greater of $3 M or 50% of Net income)
Total $220.6M $249.9M Guelph is better off financially under a merger with Alectra than on a standalone basis with $29 M in additional cash through closing adjustments and dividends, as well as greater potential equity value appreciation.

See how a Guelph Hydro-Alectra merger compares to maintaining full ownership of Guelph Hydro

Summary of savings

Total cost savings Beneficiary
Operations Maintenance & Administration synergies from Guelph Hydro
$28.5M Shareholders Customers
Capital synergies from Guelph Hydro
$3.8M Shareholders Customers
Operations Maintenance & Administration synergies from Guelph Hydro
$73.7M Customers
Total cash savings from
Guelph Hydro-Alectra merger
Total cash savings from original Alectra merger

(based on original Alectra merger business case)

$426M Shareholders Customers
Total cash savings $532M


Electricity distribution rates may not go down after a merger, but they’ll go up less than they would if Guelph Hydro continued to operate alone. Even before realizing efficiencies, a merger allows customers to avoid an estimated 5% rate increase in 2021, and another estimated 5% increase in 2026. Learn more about rates 

On top of those savings, a merger would reduce duplication and create operating efficiencies, and customers would further benefit from lower costs.

Operating, maintenance and administration costs would be lower than they are now, and continue decreasing until at least 2027

Annual savings of $4.3 million are expected. After 2027, rates will be reset to pass along all savings from the merger to customers. We can also expect about $50 million in annual operating, maintenance and administration and capital savings from the original Alectra merger to flow through entirely to customers.

Ownership after a merger

The City would own 4.63% of Alectra and have a permanent seat on the board of directors.

  • City of Guelph 4.63%
  • City of Mississauga 26.60%
  • City of Vaughan 20.50%
  • City of Hamilton 17.31%
  • City of Markham 15.00%
  • City of Barrie 8.37%
  • City of St. Catharines 4.63%
  • OMERS Infrastructure 2.96%


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.

Green Energy & Technology Centre

Located at the Guelph Hydro’s current headquarters, the Green Energy & Technology Centre (GRE&T) will focus new and emerging technologies in energy efficiency; conservation; renewable energy; and sustainable energy solutions.

The GRE&T would complement Guelph’s Community Energy Initiative by attracting energy innovation and investment, integrating and accelerating new and emerging technologies, and building local experience and expertise.

Ultimately the work done at GRE&T will help redefine the traditional utility business model and strengthen Guelph’s position as a regional energy leader.

GRE&T budget and jobs

The GRE&T Centre would employ eight to ten professionals.

A $5 million capital budget would be used to convert parts of Guelph Hydro’s existing headquarters into demonstration areas, laboratories or showrooms.

An annual operating budget of $3 million would cover the cost of pilot projects, demonstrations, salaries, administration, marketing, and partnerships.

About Alectra

Alectra was formed earlier this year with the merger of three local electrical utilities – Enersource, Horizon Utilities, PowerStream – and the subsequent joint purchase of Hydro One Brampton. Alectra is a leader in electricity distribution and providing integrated energy solutions, made possible through the consolidation of our four publicly-owned utilities.

The consolidation has provided the resources and helped achieve the greater efficiencies that Alectra needs to deliver the smart and simple choices its customers demand.

Alectra believes respect and loyalty for its like-minded municipalities is important for success. While geographically diverse, the Alectra family of companies shares the view that it must create sustainable value for our customers, shareholders, and employees.
Learn more about Alectra

Guelph’s top five priorities

Over the past year, customers in Guelph and Rockwood attended open houses, filled out surveys, submitted questions, and posted comments online. Most people we talked to said these were the top five priorities to consider when reviewing options for Guelph Hydro:

  1. Rates
  2. Service
  3. Community planning
  4. Environment
  5. Local jobs

Learn more about the community-supported decision making criteria we’re using to negotiate a merger between Guelph Hydro and Alectra Utilities

Technology is changing. Utilities are changing too.

Advances in energy technology are making it harder for small and mid-sized utilities to offer competitive electricity prices and services. Typically, larger utilities are in a better position to improve local services and infrastructure because they spread the cost of these investments over more customers. Customers across Ontario expect modern, affordable electricity services like:

  • electric vehicle charging stations
  • small, local, renewable generation
  • home automation
  • smart-grid technology
  • advanced energy management systems

By joining forces with Alectra Utilities, Guelph Hydro would be better prepared to keep pace with changing customer behaviour, new technologies, changing regulations, and increasing competition.
Learn how a global energy transformation is affecting utilities across Ontario.

The decision-makers

Guelph City Council has the authority to make decisions about the future of Guelph Hydro.
The Strategies and Options Committee gathered community input, conducted industry research and performed in-depth financial analysis in order to make it’s a recommendation to Guelph City Council.
Learn more about the organizations involved

Ontario Energy Board requirements

Any plan to buy sell or merge electricity utility assets must be approved by the Ontario Energy Board. That means the proposal must show it will not have an adverse effect on ratepayers based on the Board’s statutory objectives:

  • To protect the interests of consumers with respect to prices and the adequacy, reliability, and quality of electricity service.
  • To promote economic efficiency and cost effectiveness in the generation, transmission, distribution, sale and demand management of electricity and to facilitate the maintenance of a financially viable electricity industry.
  • To promote electricity conservation and demand management in a manner consistent with the policies of the Government of Ontario, including having regard to the consumer’s economic circumstances.
  • To facilitate the implementation of a smart grid in Ontario.
  • To promote the use and generation of electricity from renewable energy sources in a manner consistent with the policies of the Government of Ontario, including the timely expansion or reinforcement of transmission systems and distribution systems to accommodate the connection of renewable energy generation facilities.

Learn more about the Ontario Energy Board No Harm Test in the Handbook to Electricity Distributor and Transmitter Consolidations

About your bill

Following a merger, customers will receive monthly invoices and ongoing service from Alectra.
When you pay your electricity bill, 80 percent of the money is used to pay generators, transmitters, and provincial government agencies. These charges are related to the amount of electricity you use, and our local electricity distributor has limited control over them. Twenty percent of your payment covers the cost of distributing electricity here in our community.
Learn more about the charges on your electricity bill

About the process

We are currently in Phase 3 of a 4 stage process to explore opportunities to ensure we get the most value from Guelph’s energy assets—to benefit our city, the community, and Guelph Hydro customers. You can review the timeline below.
View the latest updates and announcements on the news and resources page



Guelph City Council appoints Strategies and Options Committee to compare maintaining full ownership of Guelph Hydro regarding buying, selling or merging with other utilities.

October 2016

Guelph City Council appoints Strategies and Options Committee to compare maintaining full ownership of Guelph Hydro regarding buying, selling or merging with other utilities.

January 2017

Our community is invited to learn more, and ‘ask us anything’ using open house events, telephone surveys, Energizing Tomorrow website and social media.

February 2017

City Council decides not to sell Guelph Hydro, and directs Strategies and Options Committee to explore possible mergers with publicly-owned utilities and maintaining full ownership of Guelph Hydro.




June 2017

City Council approves further research into possible mergers.

Summer 2017

Guelph Hydro customers continues to ask questions, share comments, and participate in conversations with the Strategies and Options Committee at locations throughout the city.




October 2017

City Council enters into formal merger negotiations with Alectra Utilities



Winter 2017 to 2018

If merger negotiations are successful, partners submit a Merger, Acquisition, Amalgamation and Divestiture Application to the Ontario Energy Board.

Develop implementation plan

Establish leadership and governance