A Brief History of Electricity Distribution in Veridian’s Communities
Through our predecessor utilities, we have a long history of service to our communities:
Uxbridge Hydro was formed in 1922 to provide residents of the rural Town of Uxbridge with electricity from the provincial system. In its first year the utility purchased power originating from the Severn River near Washago, and delivered it to 147 domestic and about 80 commercial and industrial customers. By the year 2000, Uxbridge Hydro served more than 1,650 customers.
The Hydro Electric Power Commission of Belleville was formed in 1929 when the citizens of Belleville purchased the electricity distribution system from the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario. In 1937, Belleville Utilities was formed to manage and operate the municipal electricity and water infrastructure, as well as its gas distribution system. At the time of its merger with Veridian, Belleville Utilities served more than 16,000 electricity customers.
Port Hope Hydro was created in 1930 when the Town of Port Hope purchased the electricity distribution system within the town’s boundaries from the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario. Port Hope Hydro had just over 4,800 customers when it was sold to Veridian.
Ajax Hydro was established in 1956 following a plebiscite approving of the purchase of the electricity distribution system from Ontario Hydro. The new utility became operational in 1957 and grew to serve more than 20,000 customers by 1999.
Brock Hydro was formed in 1974 under the province’s Regional Municipality of Durham Region Act. It combined the operations of Beaverton Hydro (est. 1913), Cannington Hydro (est. 1918) and Sunderland Hydro (est. 1918). By 2001, Brock Hydro distributed electricity to more than 2,300 customers.
Pickering Hydro was formed to replace Ontario Hydro as the municipal electricity distributor. This took place in 1979 and in its 20-year existence the utility grew from 11,000 customers to well more than 28,000.Clarington Hydro was itself the product of a merger. In 1979 Orono Hydro, the Newcastle Public Utilities Commission and the Bowmanville Public Utilities Commission merged to improve service to their 5,500 customers. The utility was initially known as Newcastle Hydro, but changed its name to Clarington Hydro in 1993. The utility brought almost 11,000 customers to Veridian.
In the belief that a larger company would be better positioned to meet the challenges of a deregulated electricity market and to deliver enhanced value to customers, the municipalities of Ajax, Clarington and Pickering created Veridian in July 1999 through the merger of their respective electricity utilities. The new company became operational on November 1, 1999, and quickly established a reputation as a leader in Ontario’s electricity industry.
2000 – 2005
This success prompted continued growth. Veridian rapidly expanded during the two years following its formation. Uxbridge Hydro was purchased on June 1, 2000, Port Hope Hydro on May 1, 2001 and Brock Hydro on July 1, 2001. Then, on October 1st 2001, a new equity partner in Veridian was added through a merger with the electricity operations of Belleville Utilities. More recently Veridian acquired Gravenhurst Hydro Electric Inc. and Scugog Hydro Energy Corporation, expanding its service area to include the Town of Gravenhurst and the community of Port Perry.
Veridian became operational on November 1, 1999 but the values of our predecessors continue to drive us. After all, we are the same people who have served our communities for decades, delivering what our customers value – reliable electricity supply, competitive prices and excellent service.
Veridian continues to seek out opportunities to expand its business to bring the benefits of economies of scale to its customers