Energy Minister and Kenora Rainy – River MPP Greg Rickford says that the merger between Kenora Hydro and Thunder Bay Hydro to create Synergy North is a great step forward for both utilities – as well as the province.
“My goal is to be able to show that we cut rates by 12 per cent, opposed to subsidize them. We’re trying to level the playing field, and we’re always interested in partners to consolidate the administrative overhead and delivery efficiencies.”
“It ultimately reduces their operational costs, and we want to see that transferred onto the family or the business that pays their hydro bill at the end of the month. We’ll keep focusing on those steps.”
For the customer, the companies say that in the future, the merger will bring additional service options such as a 24/7 control centre, an online outage map, access to new channels of customer communication and that future rates will reflect the company’s enhanced efficiencies.
The companies say that the move would position themselves to enhance productivity and control costs, give the ability to embrace future delivery service options such as electric vehicles and solar battery storage, give increased specialized skills training and technical resources, and more administrative capacity.
“It became obvious for everyone involved to merge. Kenora Hydro has always been forward-thinking and have been looking at the efficiencies of consolidating with Thunder Bay. We’re supportive of any synergies that we can capitalize on, in an effort to reduce hydro rates for people.”
The utilities both note that distribution rates will remain the same, and the ownership as well as crews will stay local. Both the City of Kenora and City of Thunder Bay will proportionally own the new utility 9 per cent and 91 per cent, respectively.
Kenora Hydro had served the community for over 50 years, with a municipally-owned utitility dating back more than a century.
The City of Kenora has been working on splitting the utility bill for customers. They will now get a water and sewer bill, along with a separate hydro bill from Synergy North.
For more information:
New hydro bills coming to Kenora
Hydro merger moving forward