Question & comment Archive

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.

I live in Guelph. Why does my bill come from Wyse Meter Solutions and not Guelph Hydro?

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

Why does the flyer in the Guelph Hydro bill only outline the possible benefits of merging?

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

Could a merger move us away from nuclear power?

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.

Why are info sessions at Home Depot, the mall and community centres during weekdays? Most people work, or are on vacation.

At the February Council meeting, the City stated that a few questions from Guelph Hydro employees were omitted from this site. Please explain.

Why don't you look into obtaining all the smaller utilities within the County of Wellington?

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.

Why are you considering a merger?

Please explain why two people left or were removed from the committee. How can new members possibly make informed decisions and recommendations coming in half way through the process?

It seems convenient that City Council appointed the entire Strategies and Options Committee. I don't like how one of the citizen members used to be a Guelph Municipal Holding Company board member. I don't see how this committee is an unbiased team at all.

Why are your negative reasons so subjective? If you don't sell the value will just keep increasing. Why are huge funds lining up to buy utilities?

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

City Council decided to further explore possible mergers with publicly-owned local electricity distribution companies. Is this the same as municipally-owned?

Who made the decision to only poll 260 Guelph and Rockwood residents by phone to gather opinions on this issue? This does not allow for a true reflection of the community's feelings. Please explain.

Who is on the committee and how were the members chosen? Please be specific regarding citizen members.

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.

The province is looking at delivery rates and how to help people that pay too much. Not liking their idea of cities paying more!

I am opposed to any loss of independence for Guelph Hydro. Selling may seem like easy money in the short term, but a big/private utility doesn't necessarily mean better service. When the power goes off, who sets priorities?

I am not in favour of merging Guelph Hydro with a larger utility. We will become the tail on the dog. Stay independent.

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?

Your report says people have no appetite to sell to a private utility. So why are you still considering a sale?

Income from a sale would be a boost to the community and could be invested in other services that are at risk. Competition could help reduce our bills.

Why bother doing all this work to make it appear everyone's opinions actually matter? You already know what your ultimate plan is so don't waste everyone's time and just execute your plan as painlessly as possible please.

Guelph should not sell out to another distributer! Taxpayers in guelph would not get prompt service in the event of power outages. In view of high tax rates we now pay, the dividend the city takes should be given back the taxpayers.

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?

We've been here before and the people decided to keep Guelph Hydro owned and operated by Guelph. Let's keep it the way it is. I don't see the reason to sell it off. I think a merger is unwarranted.

I see that the City has received over 24 million dollars from Guelph Hydro. Seems like a no brainer to keep taking that money. The City didn't invest anything to earn that return.

If something can be done locally, it should be! I would agree to a merger for economy of scale, but only with close neighbours, like Kitchener and Cambridge.

If local distribution is only 20% of the bill, shouldn't we be looking at the other 80%? Generation and transmission.

How much money has Guelph Hydro remitted to Guelph for the past 5 years?

Bigger is clearly more expensive. As to keeping up with technology, perhaps if the City didn't take that dividend, Guelph Hydro could "keep up" even better, and/or lower the rates.

I see no reason to change. Guelph Hydro is working well. Bigger is not always better.

Is Guelph Hydro is using different equipment and materials to address future electricity needs?

What is the deadline for comments?

The City doesn't invest in Guelph Hydro, but it receives dividend payments. How much money has the City received how was it spent?

Guelph service and rates are good compared to others. Why change now?

Using the Ontario Energy Board calculator, the largest utilities are the most expensive.

Just because everybody else is doing something shouldn't mean we have too as well.

I don't know what's best and this site does not help. 256 characters for comments is too limiting.

Please provide examples of mergers that led to lower rates for residential consumers without a reduction in service and/or reduced spending on infrastructure.

I understand Guelph Hydro may feel it can't afford the expertise to manage a smaller electric utility, however, I would prefer to maintain public ownership.

If the City of Guelph purchased other utilities, would cost savings reduce our bills or increase dividends to City?

This community consultation seems rushed. How will you make everyone aware of this opportunity to make comments and ask questions?

I will assume any decision will match Guelph's Official Plan and advance attempts to deal with the risks associated with climate change. If not, I would expect some very serious consequences to follow.

Will the decision on the future of Guelph Hydro help achieve the climate change and community energy objectives and policies in the City’s Official Plan?

As a former Hydro One customer I beg you…DO NOT DO THIS! We paid more than twice the average cost per/month for electricity. Let the taxpayers decide what is best!

Are delivery costs higher with Hydro One?

I live in an apartment building and my bill comes from WYSE. Will my bill go up?

What are smart-grid technologies, e-vehicle charging stations, smart home and smart city initiatives etc.? Where did that list come from?

When will detailed financial information for each option be available?

What services do large utilities provide, that smaller utilities cannot? How are utilities adapting to pressures on their business model and engaging with community energy plans in other places?

What new services will we get? Need commitment, not general statements.

Why are you so concerned about customer service and expectations? Guelph Hydro should focus on providing cheap and reliable power.

Why use Guelph Hydro to get money to invest in the community? That's what taxes are for. Guelph Hydro should be run as not-for-profit to provide cheap and reliable power.

How much is my hydro bill going to go down? It is beyond ridiculous now.

Who is on the committee?

Bad idea. A gain today will cost more tomorrow. By selling off an assets to woo voters you've lost this one.

Why are we considering changes to Guelph Hydro now?

Please explain how selling Guelph Hydro to Hydro One would provide better service to Guelph residents.

What's the average electricity bill in Guelph? What portion of the bill will be affected by this process?

Why did the Ontario government offer renewable energy contracts rather than having local utilities build and operate renewable energy systems?

The news often notes the bloated management salaries at Hydro One. I understand merging can reduce duplication and costs, but I fear the opposite would happen. Why should we trust you?

Guelph ratepayers built our electrical infrastructure. I understand it's among the best. I would not want it to be sold for a quick buck!

Will our bills be adjusted if the cost goes down?

Who gets a bonus if the company is sold?

When we moved here, governance and rates were better than other places in Ontario. Given unforeseen hydro privatization elsewhere, I wouldn't change anything major.

Are these options going to lower our energy bills?

Are you selling Guelph Hydro to Hydro One?

What roles do Guelph's Community Energy Initiative and district energy play in this?

If you sell, and it's all rosy for a while, will our bills go up again in three years? Leave it alone. Working class never benefits.

Given the climate between the energy sector and the public, and the cost of electricity, I'm amazed the City would review the possibility of any changes. Why is this happening for real?

Who will be getting kickbacks from the sale of Guelph Hydro?

What's the purpose of a sale or merger? The Province says they want mergers and look what they’ve done to Hydro rates.

Who are we thinking about merging with? Waterloo Region?

Guelph Hydro shares its profits with the city. Why would you sell something profitable?

Will you sell to a private company? At my cottage, we switched from municipally-run to private company and my bill increased.

If Guelph Hydro is sold could the new owners increase rates for profit? Low income families struggle enough at current rates.

Will this result in improvements? Historically, these moves in Ontario appear to decrease service and increase costs to customers.

Will City Council weigh the long-term benefit of keeping Guelph Hydro, and its annual revenue, against a one-time sale to pay down the City's debt?

What is the timeline to making a decision?

What does this mean for my hydro rates?

Why is this happening?

How does this benefit or impact Guelph Hydro customers?

What are the options the Committee is considering?

What exactly is happening?

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