Orillia mayor 'disappointed' OEB won't hear appeal of Hydro One, OPDC acquisition decision

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) will not hear an appeal of its decision regarding the sale of the Orillia Power Distribution Corporation (OPDC).

The city of Orillia received word on April 12 this year that the application, which would allow the sale of OPDC to Hydro One, had been denied by the OEB.

Hydro One claimed the consolidation would result in a one per cent reduction in base delivery rates for Orillia Power Distribution Corporation’s customers in years one to five and rate increases of less than the inflation rate in years six to 10.

In their application, Hydro One also claimed the sale would result in cost savings of approximately $3.9 million per year and reduce capital costs by about $600,000 per year.

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According to the OEB decision, when the board applied the ‘no harms test,’ in determining if the sale should be approved, they were ultimately “not satisfied that the no harm test had been met.”

“The OEB has determined that it is reasonable to expect that the underlying cost structures to serve acquired customers following a proposed consolidation will be no higher than they otherwise would have been,” the decision reads. “It is the OEB’s expectation that future rates paid by the acquired customers will be based on the same cost structures used to project the future cost savings in support of this application.”

In May, an appeal was filed regarding the decision.

Ontario Energy Board pulls plug on Hydro One-Orillia Power Distribution deal

According to a press release, the city of Orillia received word on Thursday that the OEB would not hear the appeal.

According to the release, the board determined the appeal motions put forward by the OPDC and Hydro One “failed to satisfy the threshold necessary to move forward with an appeal process.”

Orillia’s Mayor, Steve Clark, called the OEB’s decision not to hear the appeal “disappointing.”

“This decision is very disappointing and unfortunate for the city of Orillia. The acquisition of OPDC by Hydro One would result in one of the largest ever investments in Orillia’s history; bringing much needed economic growth, jobs and development to our community,” he said in the press release.

Greg Gee, chair of the Orillia Power Corporation Board of Directors, echoed the mayor’s disappointment.

“Orillia Power is committed to working with the City of Orillia as we determine a path forward that is in the best interest of our customers,” he said in the release.

According to the city, staff will consult with “necessary parties” to evaluate their options and opportunities moving forward.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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