What are the options?

We’re exploring opportunities to merge Guelph Hydro with other publicly-owned utilities and compare those opportunities with maintaining full ownership. City Council is not considering buying other utility companies or selling Guelph Hydro.

The following information is based on what we’ve learned from electricity utility transactions and consolidations in other cities across Ontario. The Ontario Energy Board will continue setting rates for Guelph and Rockwood.

Maintain full ownership

Guelph Hydro could continue operating as it does today, wholly-owned by the City of Guelph. The company could make continuous improvements like small acquisitions, and collaborative business arrangements (e.g. shared services and/or a cooperative model).

Positive

  • No acquisition investment required
  • No implementation costs
  • Preserve existing community presence
  • Retain local jobs
  • Guelph may maintain control of its local electricity distribution assets

Negative

  • Electricity distribution rates may go up to meet increasing regulatory and capital requirements
  • Guelph Hydro customers may not get the same services people get from larger utility companies
  • Guelph Hydro may be less able to invest in system maintenance and upgrades
  • Guelph Hydro may be less able to find new efficiencies
  • Dividends to the City could decrease
  • Guelph Hydro equity value might not increase

Merge with more utilities

Guelph Hydro could merge with one or more publicly-owned utilities, and their respective shareholders (including the City of Guelph) would take proportional ownership interests in the new merged utility.

Positive

  • Cash investment not likely required
  • Potential positive impact on electricity distribution rates
  • Increased scale of operations could create efficiencies
  • Access to better financing rates, and more capacity to invest in system maintenance and upgrades
  • Could participate in future consolidation
  • Likely increase dividend payments
  • Likely increase in equity value

Negative

  • Potential discord between merged partners
  • Potential challenges with employee retention, productivity, and engagement during transition and implementation
  • Guelph Hydro would have less influence on local distribution rates and infrastructure upgrades
  • Potential job redundancies

Quick Facts

Everything you need to know about our goals, process, and timelines for exploring options for Guelph Hydro.

Your Voice Matters

We want to hear from you as we explore opportunities for Guelph Hydro.

Current Landscape

See how many Ontario municipalities are making changes to their electricity distribution companies.