Orangeville Hydro halves borrowing amount for capital plan

·2 min read

Orangeville Hydro plans to borrow $1 million to sustain its capital works plan, half the amount it originally planned, as it attempts to cut costs.

A report, presented to Grand Valley council on Jan. 12, states this is done to fund regulatory-related payments, such as increased Hydro One low voltage, network and connection charges.

“Historically, Orangeville has provided safe and reliable and cost-effective power to our customers, and our business plan shows that,” said Rob Koekkoek, president of Orangeville Hydro.

A $2-million loan was previously budgeted in 2021, but with some expenditures deferred due to COVID-19, as well as a corporate-wide attempt to reduce expense, including financing costs, the forecasted loan was reduced to $1 million.

The business plan calls for another $1 million increase in borrowing in 2022 and $2 million in borrowing in 2024.

In terms of revenue, the total cost per customer is calculated as the sum of Orangeville Hydro’s capital and operating costs and dividing this cost figured by the total number of customers it serves.

Orangeville Hydro’s cost performance increased in 2019 to $568 per customer, above the cost performance in 2018 at $551 per customer.

Koekkoek states the number of the company’s customers go up, as the population continues to grow, and infrastructure is constantly upgraded.

Orangeville Hydro’s service areas have a population of about 32,000 and are expected to grow to 42,540 by 2036, according to forecasts contained within the Dufferin County Official Plan.

Koekkoek said he understands the devastating impacts COVID-19 may have had on customers' budgets and he discussed a way for them to save money.

“For businesses and residential that are struggling with their bills, that have been economically impacted by COVID-19, we have the energy response program available for residential and business customers,” he said. “They can get, basically a rebate, on their electricity bills to help them with their costs if they are falling behind.”

Joshua Santos, Local Journalism Initiative reporter, Orangeville Banner