For a second year, Holdco delivered a report on their activities to Cobourg Council – and it was public. When former MPP and Baltimore resident David Tsubouchi was appointed Chair of HOLDCO in May 2021 he said he wanted to improve transparency and he has delivered. In July 2022, Holdco and its subsidiaries gave their first report/ presentation to Council in a public meeting (see link in resources below) and on 15 June, 2023, they once again reported on their performance. There were reports by David – an opening overview and to close, a look to the future – Lakefront Utility Services Inc. (LUSI) Chair Robert Bell reviewed performance, Lakefront Utilities President Dereck Paul (standing in for Chair Gil Brocanier) reviewed organization and gave more details on performance and Adam Giddings talked about Finance and Customer Service.
For all the details see the full presentation available in Resources below – but here are the interesting bits.
- David Tsubouchi made a point of emphasizing that Holdco embraced ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance). One of the 2023 initiatives is that stakeholders have been engaged to create an ESG action plan. However, it seems to be primarily concerned with “environmental” since it will help with “Green House Gas reduction & drive to Net-Zero”.
- Governance is also an issue – David said that Holdco is “way ahead of the Regulator on Governance”
- Although reliability has improved, they are working to improve even more.
- Holdco has two subsidiaries: 1. Lakefront Utilities Services Inc (LUSI) which is not regulated and provides water services, Fibre Optic services, Generation Services (more on this below) and Human Resources since all employees work for LUSI. 2. Lakefront Utilities Inc (LUI) which is regulated and provides distribution of Electricity provided via Ontario Hydro.
- Generation Services manages solar panel projects, Electric Vehicle Charger residential installation and rental and may add additional services in future.
- Water rates are low compared to Port Hope and many other places. Cobourg average annual water bill is $473 and Port Hope’s is $857
- A report about the December storm said that power was fully restored after 34 hours; four linemen and three management staff worked on repairs and there were 3300 phone calls answered. (See Cobourg News Blog report on storm here).
- Financial Statements from 2015 to 2022 are available on LUSI’s website – see Resources below.
- Some of the low admin costs are because there were staff shortages and not paying their salaries reduced cost.
- Although LUSI provides billing for electricity, water and sewer, there was no mention of the plan to also bill stormwater fees on behalf of the Town. Although planned for 2023, it has not yet happened.
- Reliability is measured with two indices: SAIFI and SAIDI. The graph below shows LUI’s performance for the period 2011 to Q1 2023. Note that this excludes the loss of Hydro 1 supply and major events so the December storm is excluded.
SAIFI (System Average Interruption Frequency Index) is the average number of interruptions that a customer experiences.
SAIDI (System Average Interruption Duration Index) is the average outage duration for each customer served.
Cobourg News Blog Reports
- Holdco and Lakefront Utilities Report – 2022 – 26 July 2022