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Initial recommendation calls for closer look at merging or selling Guelph Hydro

Initial recommendation goes to special meeting of council on Feb. 15
guelph hydro

A special city committee looking into the future of Guelph Hydro is recommending the city authorize further investigation into the options of selling or merging the city-owned utility.

The initial recommendation, made by the Strategies and Options Committee headed by city CAO Derrick Thomson, will be presented to council at a special council meeting on Feb. 15.

The next step in the process will be for the Strategies and Options Committee to look for potential partners for merger or a sale. That will be done with the help of an independent advisor.

Those options will be compared to the option of maintaining full ownership.

No final decision will be made without direction from council but the committee will report back to council by the middle of 2017 and make a recommendation.

The public and stakeholders will continue to be informed and consulted during the process, says the report.

The report heading to council explains that changes in the industry, both in provincial policy (which is favouring consolidation of smaller utilities) and technology are making it prudent to look at options moving forward.

“The SOC believes it is essential to address these emerging challenges proactively and, while it can proceed from a position of strength, ensure the ongoing strength of electricity distribution in Guelph and Rockwood by preparing now to meet the challenges ahead,” the report says.

“The question facing Guelph Hydro today is not whether a change in its historically successful business model will be required, but rather what new form it will take, how rapidly it will have to alter course, and how to ensure Guelph Hydro has the technical resources and the financial capacity to transform in order to thrive long term.”

The full report heading to council can be found here on the city’s web site.