GridSmartCity Utility Partners Provide a Model of Flexibility and Efficiency to Benefit Customers

Cooperative model creates conditions for cost savings and infrastructure renewal for Burlington Hydro and other GridSmartCity Partners

December 2, 2015

BURLINGTON, ON - The achievements of the GridSmartCity (GSC) Cooperative, and its ten like-minded local distribution company (LDCs) partners, is a concrete example that a viable and successful alternative to large scale consolidation in Ontario’s electricity distribution sector already thrives in the province.

The GridSmartCity Cooperative LDC partners are demonstrating that meaningful savings opportunities can be realized through cooperative initiatives and that a consolidated model, exclusively predicated on mergers, is not the only option.

“We have formalized an approach that is undertaking a full spectrum of cooperative ventures that present smarter and more efficient choices for our businesses and provide - when all is said and done - cost-saving benefits for our customers,” says Gerry Smallegange, President and CEO, Burlington Hydro Inc.

The Cooperative partners include: Burlington Hydro Inc., Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro Inc., Guelph Hydro Electric Systems Inc., Halton Hills Hydro Inc., Kingston Hydro Corp., Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc., Milton Hydro Distribution Inc., Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc., Oakville Hydro Electricity Distribution Inc., and Waterloo North Hydro Inc.

“GridSmartCity seeks to expand the notion of ‘consolidation’ to include a cooperative model that captures the benefits of integration while preserving local distribution company autonomy,” says Jerry Van Ooteghem, GSC Cooperative Steering Committee Chair, and President and CEO, Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro Inc.  

Efficiencies, that are equal or greater than those being achieved by larger distributors, are already being realized by the collective GSC group.

Importantly, the Cooperative approach aligns with the provincial government’s desire for Ontario’s LDCs to find ways to achieve greater efficiencies of scale and scope in their operations.  Ultimately, it is customers who benefit from the savings and value-add that the co-op approach brings to the table.

“The partnership celebrates the advantages and inherent value of maintaining our identity as community-based companies,” says Brian Wilkie, GSC Cooperative Steering Committee Vice Chair, and President and CEO, Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. “We possess close ties in our communities that naturally encourages synergies with our local governments and contributes to our shared desire to work together to build strong, sustainable communities.”

About GridSmartCity

GridSmartCity is a consortium of 32 partner organizations – ten local distribution companies, smart grid innovators and commercial entities, academia, government and other key electricity industry stakeholders – focused on a culture of cooperation and collaboration intended to enhance the efficiency and sustainability of local distribution networks.  This includes advancements in self-healing grids, electric vehicle infrastructure, conservation program implementation, renewable energy initiatives, cooperatives and community energy planning, among others. The GridSmartCity partnership was launched in May 2009. For more information visit: www.gridsmartcity.com.

About the GridSmartCity Cooperative

The GSC Cooperative was established in 2013 to help bring greater efficiencies and broader scope to the purchasing powers of GSC utility partners through cooperative initiatives.
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