Plans to merge Waterloo Region energy companies in the works

City leaders in Kitchener and Waterloo both agree: a merger of Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro and Waterloo North Hydro is a good idea.

The two councils both voted unanimously Monday night to bring the two energy companies together, but there are still a number of steps to go before it could become a reality.

“We have what appears to be a win-win for the utility, for the customers and the constituents,” said Waterloo councilor Jeff Henry.

The proposal would create a larger local and publically-owned power utility, with the combined company serving the municipalities of Kitchener, Waterloo, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich.

Company officials say the size of the merger would help keep rates competitive and stable.

It is also projected that municipalities will receive an increase in dividends and interest on their investment in the ten-year period following the merger.

“You hear stories about electrical grid problems elsewhere in the world, and this will help us strengthen and sustain our electrical grid as we grow,” said Kitchener councilor Scott Davey.

After a memorandum of understanding for the merger is approved by all five councils, including the three Waterloo Region townships, they’ll collect public input before seeking final approval from the Ontario Energy Board.

The goal is to get the deal done sometime in 2022.