What are the options?
City Council voted to explore 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.
We’re not considering a specific transaction or negotiating with potential partners. The following information is based on what we’ve learned from electricity utility transactions and consolidations in other cities across Ontario.
In all cases, the Ontario Energy Board will continue to set rates for Guelph and Rockwood.
- No acquisition investment required
- No implementation costs
- Preserve existing community presence
- Retain local jobs
- Guelph may maintain control of its local electricity distribution assets
- 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
- 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
- Retain some community presence, local operations and responsiveness
- Could participate in future consolidation
- Likely increase to dividend payments
- Likely increase in equity value
- 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