Horizon Utilities launches smart growth customer connection policy

HAMILTON, ON -- - Recently, Horizon Utilities Corporation officially launched its innovative Smart Growth-inspired customer connection policy.

Developed in support of local economic development, Horizon’s new connection policy and infill development database provides incentives for companies to choose repurposed, existing commercial and industrial buildings.

Horizon’s new policy reduces connection charges and start-up costs for companies that choose infill properties over greenfield developments in Hamilton.

Companies locating where Horizon’s electrical equipment and capacity are already in place will no longer be required to pay a system charge, as is currently the case with other utilities.

Tying customer connection fees to a Smart Growth-inspired development strategy means businesses pay only the direct costs associated with their move to an infill property.

Horizon has also created an infill database for vacant buildings and properties to help companies identify locations with low start-up costs. It includes the critical cost elements of its utility assets at the street, valuable customer electric assets left behind in the plant and transmission station capacities serving the business park.

Horizon is also able to bring its conservation incentives to assist with retrofit costs.

"This is great news for the region and a shining example of Smart Growth development," said Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "Encouraging urban intensification in the commercial and industrial sectors is an added benefit to the local infrastructure investments our government is making."

“Horizon Utilities’ innovative infill connection policy will help City of Hamilton Economic Development attract businesses from across the province looking to reduce their relocation or development costs as they evaluate potential sites,” said Bob Bratina, Mayor, City of Hamilton. “Companies now have a greater incentive to choose serviced, infill locations in Hamilton rather than anywhere else.”

“Our new approach to customer connection costs provides significant benefits for companies that locate in repurposed buildings because there are little or no direct startup costs. No other local distribution company in Ontario is offering this kind of program to their municipalities in support of economic development and community sustainability,” said Max Cananzi, President and CEO, Horizon Utilities.



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