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PowerStream announces decrease

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) has approved an application by PowerStream to significantly lower its distribution rates for residential and small business customers in Barrie and Simcoe County.

Effective Jan. 1, 2013, a typical PowerStream residential customer who uses 800 kilowatt-hours per month, will see a 16.2% or $4.56 per month decrease in distribution charges and an overall bill savings of 6.9% or $7.98 per month.

A typical small business customer in Barrie and Simcoe County which consumes, on average, 2,000 kWhs of electricity per month will see a total bill reduction of 2.7% or $7.72 per month.

“This significant drop in power bills for Barrie residents is a direct result of the merger of Barrie Hydro and PowerStream,” said Barrie Mayor Jeff Lehman, who also is a member of PowerStream’s board of directors. “In addition to providing tens of millions towards the expansion of RVH through the merger savings, PowerStream continues to be a big part of our community through its sponsorship of many local non-profits and charities.”

Distribution rates, which are reviewed and approved by the OEB through an application process, are a component of the ‘Delivery’ charges found on an electricity bill.

It is the only area of the bill that PowerStream can directly control.

“By continually working to find ways to reduce costs, PowerStream has been able to either lower or at least reduce the upward pressure on customer distribution rates,” said Frank Scarpitti, PowerStream board chairman and Markham mayor. “It is through innovation, strong project management and streamlining our core business processes that PowerStream has been able to provide optimal service to all of its customers.”

Electricity and other charges found on customer bills are collected by PowerStream on behalf of other electricity market participants — including generators, transmitters, retailers and regulators.

PowerStream was formed through the consolidation of several utilities, including the merger of Markham Hydro, Hydro Vaughan and Richmond Hill Hydro in 2004, the acquisition of Aurora Hydro in 2005 and the merger with Barrie Hydro in 2009.

Barrie Hydro was also involved in consolidation prior to its merger with PowerStream including acquisition of utility assets from Alliston, Beeton, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Penetanguishene, Tottenham and Thornton.

PowerStream is a community-owned energy company providing power and related services to more than 355,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario.

It is jointly owned by the municipalities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.

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