Transparency and public oversight of London Hydro

Most of us are focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and are worried about our families, friends and neighbours. Thank you for everything you are doing to help stop the spread of this virus.

Other issues need our attention as well. Two days from now, city council will consider a report from city staff about the corporate structure of London Hydro. Sounds a bit boring, right? But it’s important.

London Hydro has the wonderful “problem” of having created a new and successful business line, focused on the Green Button standard and data analytics. The staff team at London Hydro, and its board, deserve huge kudos for driving this kind of innovation.

However, since this new line of business is not the regulated distribution of power, London Hydro needs to separate it from its main business of distributing power to residents, businesses and organizations in London.

The city staff report has a lot of the details. But here’s what’s essential: city council is considering two options. What they differ on is how much transparency and public oversight there will be on London Hydro in the future.

  • Option 1: city council maintains direct oversight of London Hydro (and on a new company focused on data).
  • Option 2: city council loses direct oversight of London Hydro, as there would be a holding company between city council and London Hydro (three companies in total).

Option 2 is what London Hydro’s board of directors prefers. It’s what Councillor van Holst, who is the councillor appointed to London Hydro’s board, is strongly advocating for.

Option 1 maintains transparency and direct council oversight of London Hydro and still allows the new data business to flourish, also under direct council oversight. It allows for innovation and oversight.

If you support transparency and public oversight of London Hydro, please sign this petition, share it and write a short, polite note to your councillor to let them know you support Option 1.

Will you sign?