December 16, 2016
Orangeville Hydro Celebrates 100 Years of Serving our Community
November 21, 2016 Orangeville, ON Orangeville Hydro celebrated its 100th Anniversary on November 21 with a large crowd of current and former employees, Board members, shareholders and community members.
We had a great show of support from the people who have contributed to the success of Orangeville Hydro, said President George Dick. That support, along with a great staff and Board of Directors is what allows us to continue to be a strong, viable part of our community.
Mayor Jeremy Williams was on hand for the event and reinforced George Dick’s comments during his speech to the crowd of close to 60 people. Orangeville Hydro has had a proud and rich history of serving our community. It shows not just the power of the electricity we now control, but also the power of what we can do, working together.
That history includes a number of significant milestones for the utility. Electricity was first delivered to the community from a power plant at the corner of Mill and Church Streets in 1885. In 1916, the Pine River Light and Power Company (that would later be purchased by the town and become Orangeville Hydro) signed its first contract with Ontario Hydro and the company started business with 114 customers.
The utility has been recognized multiple times for their attention to safety and reliability. They received the President’s Award from the Electrical and Utility Safety Association (EUSA) in 1999 in recognition of 250,000 hours without a lost time injury. In 2002 and 2003, they received the EUSA Achievement Awards.
The Town of Orangeville has grown significantly over the last century. In 1990, the first 27.6kV feeder was installed to meet growing electricity demand. A second feeder was added in 2003 and a third is currently being constructed.
The Town of Orangeville has continued to grow and thrive and we have grown along with it, said George Dick. The need for the latest feeder speaks to the success of our community.
As a guest at the celebration, Mayor Williams indicated he had brought a birthday present for the local distribution company (LDC). He had recently met with the Minister of Energy, Glen Thibeault, whose government is currently encouraging Ontario’s LDCs to merge or amalgamate. After affirming with the Minister that the government would not be forcing utilities to merge, Williams said that knowing the community’s desire to continue having a strong, safe, local supplier of electricity that this anniversary marked not just the 100th anniversary of Orangeville Hydro but rather the beginning of the next 100 years.
MP David Tilson and a representative of MPP Sylvia Jones presented Orangeville Hydro with a plaque commemorating the 100th anniversary.
One of the benefits of having a municipally owned utility is that the utility provides annual dividends to its shareholders. Since incorporating in 2001, Orangeville Hydro has delivered over $18 million to the Town of Orangeville and since merging with Grand Valley Energy in 2009 has delivered $350,000 to the Town of Grand Valley.
There are a lot of good reasons to have a locally run utility, said Williams. Firstly, a company that is based and run locally is able to look after the needs of customers so much better. Plus, the money that comes into the LDC goes back into our community.
President George Dick unveiled Orangeville Hydro’s new website, logo and slogan, which can be seen at www.orangevillehydro.on.ca .
Orangeville Hydro distributes safe, reliable electricity to close to 12,000 customers in the Towns of Orangeville and Grand Valley. Its mission is to provide efficient delivery of electricity to its customers, maximum value to its shareholders the Towns of Orangeville and Grand Valley, and to be one of Ontario’s top performing distribution companies in customer service and reliability. The local utility is a member of Cornerstone Hydro Electric Concepts (CHEC), an association of 15 Ontario LDCs that share resources and best practices to provide efficient and cost-effective electricity to their customers.