Hydro shutters 12 offices in southern Manitoba

Hydro shutters 12 offices in southern Manitoba

Manitoba Hydro plans to shut down a dozen district offices in southern Manitoba in a move the Crown corporation says is about improving customer service.

"Consolidating customer service operations allows Manitoba Hydro to use resources more efficiently, better meeting evolving customer expectations and growing system maintenance requirements — while also reducing operating costs," a statement from Manitoba Hydro reads.

Reducing the number of offices will trim $2 million per year outright and could avoid another $50 million in anticipated upgrades to the former offices, Hydro said.

Hydro first announced plans to consolidate and whittle down its offices in 2013. Twenty-four of 36 offices were chosen at the time. Twelve of those were closed in 2014 and employees were shifted over to one of 16 Hydro customer service buildings.

On Wednesday, Hydro released a list of another 12 rural offices to be closed by May 19, including branches in Gimli and Beausejour.

Employees of the 12 offices will be reassigned to the Crown corporation's customer service centres, according to a news release.

Last fall, Manitoba Hydro said its current debt was $13 billion but that was expected to climb to $25 billion over the next three or four years.