PARIS – Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro, also known as Energy+, has purchased Brant County Power Inc. for $40.2 million.
County of Brant announced to the sale on Monday afternoon (May 12).
The county will receive $32.2 million after settlement of debt and other obligations, which it said represents a significant premium over Brant Power’s book value.
The county announced last August it was putting its utility up for sale to raise money for infrastructure and help keep property taxes under control.
Conditions of the sale protect Brant Power customers from hikes in hydro distribution rates for four years and guarantee the jobs of Brant Power employees.
Energy+ agreed to freeze current Brant Hydro distribution rates for four years. Afterward, Energy+ will apply to the Ontario Energy Board to harmonize the Brant Power rates with its own rates, which is expected to result in similar or lower rates for Brant customers than if Brant Power remained municipally owned.
About 30 per cent of a customer’s hydro bill covers distribution. The rest is the actual cost of the electricity, which is set by the Ontario Energy Board.
Energy+ also agreed to continue to employ all Brant Power employees and honor all existing conditions of employment following the transaction, and continue operations from Brant Power’s Paris operations center for at least five years.
County council will create an investment fund using the sale proceeds. Annual returns are expected to “significantly” exceed the annual dividend the county received from Brant Power. The investment proceeds will go to infrastructure projects and to maintain and improve country roads, bridges, parks, trails and other public assets.
Ontario Energy Board approval of the sale is expected to take four to five months.
During that time, the county will work with Energy+ and Brant Power representatives on a transition plan. Energy+ plans to form an advisory committee made up of representatives from the county and its own officials.