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Goderich Council is scheduled to pick up debate on a proposed merger of Goderich Hydro and Ingersoll-based Erie Thames Powerlines at its regular meeting this afternoon (MON.)
The issue was tabled for further study, following a two-hour special session on June 26th.
Goderich Hydro board member Duncan Jewell says merging the two electricity distribution companies would be a win for both, as well as for customers.
He says a merger would result in a savings of $350,000 a year, for services Erie Thames already provides to Goderich Hydro.
Jewell points out that under a 10-year agreement between the two, the only increases on customers' Hydro bills would come from the province under the Fair Hydro Act.
He adds that hikes could be imposed if electricity distribution rates are increased through annual reviews.
Jewell says merging with Erie Thames is Goderich Hydro's best bet, because areas surrounding the town get their electricity from Hydro One.
If the merger proposal is approved, the Erie Thames customer service centre in Mitchell would move to Goderich and local electricity operations would continue from Huckins Street.
Jewell reminds us that there were 350 electricity distribution companies across Ontario in the early 1990s, and the province is looking to further reduce the number from the current 65.