Management of Utilities in Ontario and Cobourg
- Natural gas distribution is provided by several private sector for profit companies including Enbridge. Rates are regulated by the OEB, Cobourg’s Gas is supplied by Enbridge.
- Electricity distribution is provided by a variety of companies, both private sector and government/municipally owned. All are for profit companies. Rates are regulated by the OEB. Most Cobourg residents get their Electricity from LUI. (Lakefront Utilities Inc).
- Water supply and distribution (excluding private wells) is a municipal responsibility requiring quality and financial reporting to the province. In Cobourg, Waterworks is the “entity” responsible for water supply and distribution. Waterworks is a business unit (department) of the Town. Management and operation of the water system is contracted (outsourced) to LUSI (a for profit company). Waterworks operates on a self-sufficient basis (provincially mandated). Waterworks is a not-for-profit “entity” It earns profits which are retained by Waterworks and used to fund debt re-payment and capital repairs/additions, instead of being distributed to the “owner” (Town).
- Waste water (sewer) collection and treatment is handled by the Public Works department. It is also operated for the most part, as a self sufficient (not-for-profit) business unit of the Town. Similar to Waterworks, the WW department retains the profits to fund debt re-payment and capital repairs/additions
- The Storm Water department is also a Public Works department (Town business unit) that in theory is supposed to operate on a self-sufficient basis (not-for-profit) similar to Waterworks. SW charges a user fee based on property area and classification. This is new in 2023 and SW has not rendered any billing as of May 2023.
Author Bryan Lambert