Peterborough Distribution Inc. Sale to Hydro One: Final Phase

The sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc. (PDI), which is responsible for the distribution of electricity to Peterborough, Lakefield, and Norwood, is certainly not without contention. Negotiations began back in 2016, and the City of Peterborough agreed in principle to the sale of PDI on August 1, 2018, for $105 million, with an expected $55 million in net profit for the city. Among other things, the deal was to incorporate a one per cent (1%) distribution rate reduction and a five-year freeze in distribution rates for customers, plus:

  • A second five-year period with distribution rate increases limited to inflation and an earnings sharing mechanism to offset rates in year 11 and onward; 
  • Protection for PDI employees with employees receiving employment offers to move to Hydro One; An agreement to develop a regional operations centre and new fleet maintenance facility in Peterborough.
Aside from Hydro One's notable presence in the area, Hydro One was said to be unique in its ability to offer new investments and jobs in Peterborough, notably through the development of a new regional operations centre and fleet maintenance facility. The ability to create efficiencies by better utilizing Hydro One's existing infrastructure was also seen as a positive aspect to have Hydro One as the buyer of PDI. 

An estimated $1.4 million dollars was invested on negotiating the deal, and PDI and the Peterborough Utilities Board incurred an estimated $2 million in expenses. From its onset, the sale of PDI to Hydro One has met resistance. Despite continue opposition from members of the public as well as key public officials from the city of Peterborough, notably Ashburnham ward councillor Keith Riel and Peterborough Mayor Dian Therrien, the final sale now remains before the Ontario Energy Board for final approval, which is expected to go through sometime in the fall of 2019.