Mississauga Residents Set to Save a Little on Hydro Bills

If you've often complained about unspeakable hydro bills (and you're not alone if you have), you might be happy to hear that your hydro bill will be a little lower.

But only a little.

On Monday, Jan. 16, electric utility company Alectra was unveiled by Enersource, Horizon Utilities and PowerStream officials in Mississauga. The aforementioned companies will now merge and operate as the newly-minted Alectra, effective Feb. 1. The company will purchase Hydro One Brampton and absorb it on Feb. 28.

The company will serve nearly one million customers in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area.

The freshly formed company's corporate head office will be located in Mississauga and Mayor Bonnie Crombie, along with Energy Minister Glenn Thibeault, was present at the announcement to welcome the organization to the fold.

Alectra is now the second largest municipally-owned electric utility by customer base in North America, second only to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.

The newly consolidated giant will operate within a 1,800 square kilometre service territory comprised of 15 communities, including Alliston, Aurora, Barrie, Beeton, Brampton, Bradford, Hamilton, Markham, Mississauga, Penetanguishene, Richmond Hill, St. Catharines, Thornton, Tottenham and Vaughan.

In terms of savings, the merger should help residents save $40 per year on bills over the next 10 years.

Mayor Crombie lauded the unveiling, saying Alectra will benefit the city in the long run.

"For all of us involved in this effort, our mission has always been clear: work together to form a new utility company that will provide the residents and businesses of all 15 communities with cost savings, new efficiencies, improved customer service, along with safer, reliable and clean energy," Crombie said. "The creation of Alectra will result in residential customers saving an average of $40 dollars per year on their energy bills, as merger efficiencies are achieved over the next 10 years. Mississauga is projected to receive $600 million in dividends over the next 25 years from Alectra. The funds will go toward our city-building priorities."

Crombie was careful to add that she's keen on protecting the city's investment in the company.

"My job as Mayor - representing almost 800,000 residents - is to protect Mississauga’s investment in Alectra. It is important that this new utility company remains accountable to Mississauga ratepayers; this why I am pleased to serve on the Alectra board. On behalf of Council, I will continue to demand this responsibility for our residents."

Ideally, the creation of Alectra will result in savings, improved reliability and power quality and increased investment in innovation and technologies.

“The launch of Alectra is a win-win for both electricity ratepayers and for municipalities in communities across the region,” said Glenn Thibeault, Ontario Minister of Energy. “It will result in an improved company that is better positioned to serve customers who will also benefit from savings on electricity rates. I am pleased that each of the municipalities involved recognized these benefits, and I hope more municipal leaders across Ontario will follow their lead.”

Well $40 a year isn't a lot, it's at least better than a $40 increase?

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