Hydro One To Acquire Assets Of Peterborough Distribution Inc. From City Of Peterborough

The City of Peterborough and Hydro One have reached an agreement for Hydro One’s acquisition of Peterborough Distribution Inc. (PDI) from the City for $105 million plus terms that include distribution rate guarantees for customers as well as a separate agreement for the construction of a new regional operations centre in Peterborough.

The agreements comprising the transaction meet the terms and conditions approved by Council, including:

- A 1% distribution rate reduction and a five-year freeze in distribution rates for customers
- 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
- Protections for PDI employees with employees receiving employment offers to move to Hydro One
- A sale price of $105 million
- An agreement to develop a regional operations centre and new fleet maintenance facility in Peterborough on specified pieces of land to be acquired concurrently with the closing of the acquisition of the assets of PDI following regulatory approvals

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The agreements are subject to Ontario Energy Board (OEB) approval. The OEB regulates the province’s energy sector, including setting rules for electricity companies and establishing rates that energy utilities are permitted to charge.

PDI is one part of the Peterborough Utilities group of companies. PDI includes the “poles and wires” business of Peterborough Utilities. City of Peterborough Holdings Inc. retains ownership of the rest of the group of companies, including its water utility, the Riverview Park and Zoo, metering services, and its power generation business.

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Your Guide To How Peterborough Utilities Group Responds To Watermain Breaks

Curious about how the Peterborough Utilities Commission (PUC) responds to watermain breaks and leaks? Want to know why some outages are short and some outages take longer to repair?

Below is key information about watermain breaks in this special guest post provided to PTBOCanada by the Water Utility VP, Patrick Devlin, written in collaboration with his team...

WATERMAIN BREAKS: WHAT THEY ARE AND HOW THEY HAPPEN

Watermains are underground pipes that distribute water from reservoirs, pumping stations and the water treatment plant to the homes and businesses of Peterborough.

Watermain breaks in Peterborough are most common within the winter months, primarily due to the low temperature conditions which cause the water within the soil to freeze and expand. This freezing activity can result in increased stress to be placed on the pipe, which can cause cracks and or breaks in the watermain that tend to occur at weak points along the pipe.

Weak points within a watermain can arise for a variety of reasons:

-> External Corrosion (pipe age, pipe material, soil conditions)

-> Improper Installation (bedding material, fitting/valve installations)

-> Differential Ground Settlement (nearby construction)

Peterborough benefits from good soil conditions that do not actively promote external pipe corrosion. The PUC also works to minimize the above conditions through redundant construction inspection processes as well as active monitoring and liaison of construction activities within the Peterborough area.

However, watermain breaks still occur due to underground excavations associated with construction activities. For that reason, Ontario One Call (1-800-400-2255) must be notified prior to any ground excavation activities taking place within your property.

NOTIFICATION TO RESIDENTS

There isn’t always time to inform residents of an outage. Once the break has been controlled, there will be a written or verbal notice given to residents informing them of the predicted timelines for repairing and reinstating their water.

Some breaks may cause longer outages than others.

There are two classifications of water main breaks: Category 1 and Category 2. Category 1 breaks are low risk breaks that maintain positive flow during excavation and have no evidence of contamination of the watermain. Generally, Category 1 breaks can be repaired quickly with limited implications to the customer.

Category 2 breaks pose a potential risk of contamination and are usually more severe breaks. These breaks are reported to the Ministry of Health (MOH) as well as the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s Spills Action Center (SAC). If this type of break occurs, the outage will be longer due to the increased repair and testing procedures required.

There are also a number of other factors that can impact the duration of water service outages due to a watermain break:

-> Size and material (concrete, PVC, cast iron)

-> Location (limited access, high density)

-> Traffic

Overall, the City of Peterborough’s water distribution system is built of varying pipe sizes. If a break occurs on a large diameter trunk main, it may require heavy machinery onsite, as well as larger scale cleanup and traffic control efforts. Access to the watermain can be difficult in some locations which may also lead to increased outage times.

WATER MAIN BREAKS CAN BE DANGEROUS: SAFETY IS THE FIRST PRIORITY

There may be instances when you see and are near a possible water main break. It is important that you keep your distance to ensure your safety. Water from the break may have washed away subsurface soil under paved areas or saturated the soil causing unstable conditions to occur.

If you see a potential hazard, be sure to contact the PUC at (705)-748-9300.

HOW WATERMAIN BREAKS ARE REPAIRED

-> Determine and locate the problem.

-> Control the leak to reduce the risk to public safety and property damages by closing valves and isolating the damaged length of pipe.

-> Contact emergency locate services to ensure no other utilities will be hit while the excavation for repair of the watermain occurs.

-> Once locates have been received, pinpoint and excavate for repair taking all precautionary measures to minimize trench material entering the watermain.

HOW SCHEDULED OUTAGES WORK

Some outages are planned in advance to allow us to repair, replace, and make improvements to our water system. Some outages may be individual residences so that staff can perform work requested by customers such as replacing water services or installing meters.

Each year the PUC repair watermains through the process of cement mortar lining, structural lining and complete replacement.

We make every effort to schedule these outages to be as short as possible and to affect the least amount of customers.

Affected customers are contacted over the phone or by hand delivered notice in advance of scheduled outages. We can have problems notifying people if their contact information is out of date. If you haven’t already done so, please contact us with any updates to your contact information. You can email your updated information to info@peterboroughutilities.ca.

Our staff is dedicated to responding to outages quickly. Your call will be answered 24/7 and Peterborough Utilities staff will work together to get your water back on as quickly as possible, while remaining safe. We understand that outages can be a major inconvenience and we work hard to minimize these disruptions to you. —guest post by PUC

[Related: Guide To How Peterborough Utilities Group Responds To Power Outages]

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PUC Warning Public About Aggressive Person Going Door To Door Claiming To Be Affiliated With City

Peterborough Utilities is warning the public about an aggressive person going door to door who is not affiliated with the City of Peterborough. Please be advised and spread the word.

See their tweets below...

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PTBOCanada Featured Post: The Amazing SaveOnEnergy Home Assistance Program

When it comes to energy bills, absolutely no one likes to pay more than they have to. Unplugging appliances, lowering or raising the temperature depending on the season, and even turning off the lights are all small tricks that can definitely help in both the short and longterm.

But when it comes to really making a change, sometimes the initial investment of buying Energy Efficient products like fridges and stoves can be quite costly. To provide MAJOR assistance with this, Peterborough Distribution Inc. (with assistance from GreenUP) is running a program funded by the Ontario Power Authority to help make a change in the way we consume energy, by helping us use less!

The SaveOnEnergy Home Assistance Program is designed to help “Income Qualified Participants” such as students, seniors and lower income families to reduce their electricity bill so that their expenses are more manageable. As much as some of these potentially eligible people would love to save money on utilities, the upgrade costs can sometimes be too much to take on. This program is here to help out bigtime with those upgrade costs.

Getting started is quite simple. Peter Goering from GreenUP is a Certified Energy Advisor and can be reached at 705.745.3238, ext. 200. He will determine whether or not you qualify and then arrange to do an initial assessment of your home providing low wattage light bulbs where possible and determine if any of four eligible appliances (refrigerator, window A/C, chest freezer and dehumidifier) exceed established thresholds and criteria. Then he will let you know if you are eligible to receive any appliance upgrades.

Peter also lets you know approximately how much electricity is being wasted with your current devices—which can be quite an education in itself. The entire audit/assessment, including eligible appliance upgrades, is completely free of charge!

Funding for the program is set to finish at the end of 2014 so time is of the essence! Ontario, as a whole, needs to reduce its electricity consumption. This is due to both aging infrastructure and increasing awareness around global warming and other environmental issues. This program is part of the Ministry of Energy's goal to create a “culture of conservation”. The Ministry estimates that with every $1 invested in energy efficiency, the province avoids paying $2 in costs to the electricity system in the end.

The benefits to taking part in the program seem quite obvious: updated, ENERGY Star appliances and reduced energy bills for starters. Another huge benefit is that energy conservation helps eliminate greenhouse gases and have a healthier environment. Best of all, the program is completely FREE to participate in!

Your only investment is time (you have to actually be there when they assess and install!). As mentioned, the program is open to “Income Qualified Participants” students, seniors, and low income families. The income cutoffs are listed on GreenUP's website, and it does depend on the number of adults living in the household. For specific details and to find out if you are eligible, click here!

For eligibility details and more info, go to Greenup.on.ca or call Peter Goering from GreenUP at 705.745.3238, ext. 200

**If your business/organization is interested in a PTBOCanada Featured Post Advertorial, email our Sales Director Aaron Elliott at aaron@ptbocanada.com for info!

PTBOCanada Featured Post: Peterborough Utilities Peaksaver Plus Program

As we enter the warmer months of the year in Central Ontario, the desire to crank up the Air Conditioning becomes almost impossible to ignore. For those who are fortunate enough to have Central Air, the thought of wasting energy and an increased utility bill can be a major stumbling block. If only there was a way around this issue! Luckily for us, Peterborough Utilities is thinking green and is running saveONenergy programs to help alleviate the stress. The programs are designed to help conserve electricity and there are a whole host of free gadgets that you can get for participating.

One of the main programs is peaksaver PLUS®. People who decide to participate in the program receive a FREE programmable thermostat. This incredible device allows you to control and monitor your home’s temperature through your smart phone or computer. You can turn up your thermostat on your way home from work, or check on your house while you are away travelling. Take a minute to imagine the freedom! The times are certainly changing!

Now it might seem a bit strange that an electricity company is asking you to conserve electricity (and giving you free items for doing so). Well, when too much electricity is used at once, it can be a double-whammy to the electricity grid. Not only do non-renewable sources of energy (i.e. gas plants) need to be fired-up to meet the demand, but it can also result in brown outs which are times when electricity in your home or business does not work optimally. This in turn also costs a whole bunch of money to utility companies to keep up with the demand.

Happy family using the  peaksaver  PLUS program

Happy family using the peaksaver PLUS program

Those who decide to participate in the peaksaver PLUS program have the option of participating in peaksaver events. These events happen when everyone is using electricity at the same time. During this time, if you decide to take part in the program your central air will be cycled down by a few degrees to take pressure off the grid. (However, you have the option to “opt-out” or choose not to participate two times during the year.) These peaksaver events can happen between May 1st and September 30th between 12:00 pm and 7:00 pm. They never last more than 4 hours and there is a maximum of 10 events per year. Events only happen during the week, not on weekends or holidays so you likely won’t notice them at all!

Not only are you helping to conserve electricity and getting an awesome programmable thermostat, but you also receive 100 AIR MILES reward miles for participating in the program. For more information on Peterborough Utilities programs, click on this informative website.

For more information on PDI's Peaksaver PLUS program, go to:

Website: Pdipeaksaverplus.ca/
Twitter: @ptbo_utilities
Facebook: Peterborough Utilities Group
Phone: 705.748.6900

**If your business/organization is interested in a PTBOCanada Featured Post Advertorial, email our Sales Director Aaron Elliott at aaron@ptbocanada.com for info!