Ask us anything

We want to hear from you as we explore options to get the best value and service for Guelph Hydro customers, the City of Guelph and our community.

Submit a question or comment

Would a merger let us maintain local control?

If it makes sense to merge with another utility, then do it.

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

Who owns Alectra?

Why merge with Alectra? Why not choose a company closer to Guelph's size and location?

How much will I save after a merger?

Why merge if rates for businesses are already 39% lower than Alectra’s? Businesses create local jobs.

How many jobs would be affected by a merger with Alectra?

Why not have a referendum as part of the 2018 election? Voters deserve to decide directly.

30 jobs will not be replaced, and 30 jobs will be relocated. There may be 8-10 new jobs created. A net loss of 50 good jobs, correct?

Some Alectra customers pay different or higher fees than Guelph Hydro customers. Would new or higher fees be introduced after a merger?

Are you implying that Guelph Hydro's control room is inadequate? Have the mayor or any councillors seen how a 100% dedicated control room works?

Could Alectra decide to lower dividends and spend more on rehab of existing infrastructure, acquisition of new technology or expansion?

Who sits on Alectra's board of directors?

The Mayor's blog says 70% of jobs will remain in Guelph, but it now appears that 70 jobs will remain in Guelph, which is about 52%. The Green Energy & Technology Centre will employ about 10 people, resulting in 50 net jobs lost.

Do not sell or merge Guelph Hydro. It has served Guelph well in the past and pays a dividend every year to the city. Our rates are similar to others around the province and there is no need to change. We have a great local team looking after our needs.

If the merger is approved I think our bills will go up. Our Councillors need to tell us the truth.

How many people will the Green Energy & Technology Centre employ? For how long?

If Guelph becomes a such a small shareholder in Alectra, how would there be higher dividends than the ones we're receiving now?

Something as important as this should be put to a vote.

The Mayor says he's heard people say they want better rates and better service. I have heard people say "Please don't sell off our asset".

What was the dividend Guelph Hydro provided to the City last year? What percent of Alectra is from Horizon? What would our dividend be?

We are in favour of the Alectra merger. Much efficiency with shared costs and we all have the same goals. Wonder if Halton-Wellington would come on on board.

The Mayor's blog says comparing past rate changes doesn't tell the whole story, and then goes on to estimate future rate increases. How can you say rate increases will be higher if we don't merge?

How can anybody make real decisions based on estimated rate increases?

Wouldn't Guelph’s voice be smaller regardless of whether utilities join Alectra before or after us? Would Guelph have a seat on the board no matter how large Alectra grows?

If Alectra wants to grow to serve 1.5 million customers, how will continued merger activity affect Guelph's ownership and voice on the Alectra board?

Alectra committed to a 10-year operations hub in Guelph. What happens after that?

How can our questions and comments possibly make any difference if you're already negotiating?

How long has Alectra been in electricity business and who owns it?

The Guelph Mercury Tribune reported that we've spent $810,000 on this process, and it will cost $2.36 million to finalize. How was this money spent? How are we spending the rest?

What will happen to the debt that resulted from the district energy failure? Is that why you're considering a merger?

If Alectra is still implementing changes associated with previous mergers and acquisitions, why not wait for proof that this is a wise decision?

How did Alectra fund its purchase of Hydro One Brampton? Did its municipal owners contribute funds?

Why does Alectra need Guelph's independent profitable hydro utility? To balance their books?

Public/private partnerships always end up with the public on the losing end. I see no reason to proceed with this merger at the moment.

Is Guelph guaranteed a seat on the board of directors?

What guarantees the merged company will not be sold in the future? Eventually, all control could leave Guelph. Don't do it.

What percentage of current job positions at Guelph Hydro do you expect will remain in Guelph? While merging with Alectra would keep some jobs in Guelph, current employees may have to commute to keep their job.

Did Alectra's operating costs actually decrease for the other partners after they joined?

Guelph will not be an equal in this. I'm worried the merger promises local jobs now, but over time jobs will leave Guelph to maximize returns for the larger partners.

How will the dividends be higher? Please explain. I oppose this merger.

I would prefer to have Guelph Hydro remain local so that we have more control over decisions made on our behalf. I am leery of large mergers.

Residents would only save on about 26% of their bill. How would the proposed merger benefit residents?

Is this merger permanent or is there an escape clause after a specified period of time?

Would equal billing be an option with Alectra?

Has anyone done any due diligence or reviewed customer feedback? It appears people's rates have gone up since switching to Alectra.

In negotiations with Alectra will you insist that employees of Guelph Hydro will keep their jobs in the local community and that dividends paid to the City will be annual, not temporary?

Who will end up owning Guelph Hydro's capital assets?

What is the current ownership of Alectra? Which municipalities are involved? What share of ownership does each have?

Since Alectra is so much larger than Guelph Hydro wouldn't Guelph's ownership stake be very small? Hence Guelph might expect a small share of any dividend.

I'm not seeing the gleaming benefits of a merger. Guelph Hydro operates optimally now, caters to the public, and exceeds most industry standards. They already cultivate green technology with the MicroGRID, etc.

Will my bill go up or down?

Guelph did not lose power during the big ice storm. Many other utilities did. If you decide to merge, pick a utility that did not lose power. They are more likely to be a beneficial partner for Guelph Hydro.

Have you talked with utilities who made the decision to stand alone to understand the possible benefits?

Bigger isn't always better. Service could become less personal or less reliable.

Do you have any data on similar locales who have merged? This is a serious issue and Guelph Hydro seems to have a good track record.

Retain some community presence, local operations and responsiveness is showing a positive thing... shouldn't the fact that the community presence will diminish be considered a negative thing. This comment should be under negative since it is a reduction.

As you explored mergers, did you research what steps may be needed to maintain full ownership and keep Guelph Hydro competitive and innovative?

I urge Council to maintain full ownership. The climate change crisis is upon us. Cities need to shift to renewable energy. Public ownership makes the switch to renewables easier.

How do I vote to maintain full ownership?

Guelph Hydro offers local control and revenue for our community. Energy flows are becoming more localized and transactions between supplier, storage and customer will change radically.
Maintaining some degree of local control will be critical.

Guelph Hydro should remain in community hands and not to be sold or merged. Guelph Hydro is the perfect size and would be put at risk if merged into a larger utility; it could then be sold and merged.

How come Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge, Centre Wellington, Milton, and others aren't scrambling to do something?

Guelph's official plan includes objectives relating to climate change and community energy initiatives. Will meeting these objectives be a consideration under a possible restructuring?

Questions & Comments Archive

We’ve been gathering your questions and comments since we began exploring options for Guelph Hydro last year. The questions and comments above reflect community feedback on the proposed Guelph Hydro-Alectra merger. Visit the archive to view questions and comments from previous phases in the process.

View Archive

Submit a question or comment

255 characters left

We’re listening and responding and posting your questions and comments at every stage of the process. That means some responses may have older information than others. For the latest information please visit the news and resources page

DISCLAIMER: All submissions will be reviewed before posting and it may take at least two business days to post a response. Questions/comments may be edited for spelling, grammar, length or tone while maintaining the author’s meaning or intent. Multiple questions/comments similar in nature may be consolidated. Rude or hostile questions/comments will not be answered or posted.