Compare both options

After more than a year of gathering community input, conducting industry research, and performing in-depth financial analysis, Guelph Hydro is negotiating a merger with Alectra Utilities.

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

For Guelph Hydro customers, a merger with Alectra offers better rates, reliable service, local response teams based in Guelph Hydro’s current location and an exciting new Green Energy & Technology Centre.

Using Guelph Hydro customers’ top five priorities, here’s how a Guelph Hydro-Alectra merger compares to maintaining full ownership of Guelph Hydro.

Rates

A merger helps keeps rates lower than standing alone. When local rates are aligned with Alectra’s growing, densely-populated service area, Guelph and Rockwood customers benefit from lower costs.

Merger with Alectra

  • Electricity distribution rates won’t 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.
  • After 10 years, customers would save even more when rates are aligned across Alectra’s high-density, urban, and growing customer base.
  • Guelph and Rockwood customers would avoid an estimated 5% distribution rate increase in 2021, and another estimated 5% increase in 2026. Customers would also benefit from the savings expected from consolidating the two companies.
    Learn more about electricity distribution rates

Maintain Full Ownership

  • No change to expected rate increases.
  • Customers would be exposed to Guelph Hydro’s typical rate increases in 2021 and 2026.
  • Efficiencies limited to existing operations.

Community Planning and Investment

As part owner of Alectra, Guelph would have more resources to invest in local infrastructure, programs and services.

Merger with Alectra

  • As the first utility in Southwestern Ontario to merge with Alectra, Guelph Hydro’s current headquarters would become a regional operations hub.
  • Increased annual dividends mean the City would have more money to invest back into our community.
  • Next year, in addition to its regular 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 they would be if Guelph Hydro continued operating alone

Maintain Full Ownership

  • Guelph-centric innovation, community planning, and economic development strategies would continue.
  • Guelph Hydro could pursue partnerships and government funding for additional capital funds.

Ownership

As part owner of Alectra, Guelph would have a stronger voice and more influence in Ontario’s electricity sector

Merger with Alectra

  • The City would receive a 4.63% ownership interest in Alectra, one permanent seat on Alectra’s board of directors.
    Learn more about who owns Alectra
  • Alectra is 97% municipally-owned, with the remaining 3% owned by a subsidiary of OMERS (Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System). Alectra’s unanimous shareholder agreement, tax disincentives, and the municipal character of its shareholders are all protections against future privatization of the utility.
  • A Guelph Hydro-Alectra merger would enhance Guelph’s ability to advocate for local interests among regulators, industry and other levels of government.
  • Guelph would share decision-making authority with other municipal shareholders.

Maintain Full Ownership

  • Continue operating independently.
  • As other utilities across Ontario continue consolidating, Guelph’s relative size becomes even smaller in comparison.

Local Jobs

A merger would mean that some existing jobs would move or change in a few years. New jobs would be created at the Green Energy and Technology Centre (GRE&T).

Merger with Alectra

  • Guelph Hydro employs about 130 people. About 30 positions are expected to be addressed through attrition, voluntary retirement or voluntary separation, whenever possible. Another 30positions 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.
  • Guelph Hydro’s current location would become a Southwest Operations Centre for at least 10 years.

Maintain Full Ownership

  • All operations would remain in Guelph.
  • Some job creation would be sought through Guelph-centric innovation strategy.

Service and Reliability

Customers can continue relying on a 24/7 control room; a technical call centre and 24/7 access to customer self-service. Customers would also get support from a larger team during severe storms or emergencies.

Merger with Alectra

  • Customer service, reliability and response times would be the same or better than they are today.
  • Local crews would respond to local outages and receive support from a large, highly-skilled team during severe storms or emergencies.
  • Alectra would meet or exceed service standards and reliability for electricity distribution customers in Guelph and Rockwood.

Maintain Full Ownership

  • Guelph Hydro would continue delivering excellent service.
  • Customers in Guelph and Rockwood would continue relying on a 24/7 control room; a technical call centre and 24/7 access to customer self-service.
  • The company would meet its capital investment needs for core operations.

Environment and Innovation

Both Guelph Hydro and Alectra Utilities are already focused on conservation, renewable energy, and environmental sustainability. As part of a merger, Alectra Utilities would establish a Green Energy and Technology Centre (GRE&T) in Guelph.

Merger with Alectra

  • Alectra would establish a Green Energy and Technology Centre (GRE&T) by investing $5 million in capital to convert parts of Guelph Hydro’s existing headquarters into demonstration areas, laboratories or showrooms. It would also invest an additional $3 million annually to fund pilot projects, demonstrations, salaries, administration, marketing, and partnerships. The GRE&T Centre would employ eight to ten people.
  • Alectra would work closely with the City’s Climate Change office on local mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Maintain Full Ownership

  • Guelph Hydro would continue to focus on conservation and support for local renewable energy projects.
  • Ability to invest in new technology or modern services may be limited unless City of Guelph invests further capital or allows dividends to be impacted.