PowerStream Inc.

PowerStream Inc.

October 18, 2006 10:08 ET

PowerStream Endorses Ontario's Lifting of Transfer Tax

Municipalities and consumers will benefit from more efficient electricity distribution

YORK REGION, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Oct. 18, 2006) - PowerStream gave its endorsement today of the Ontario government's announcement on Wednesday of a key policy change that will encourage further consolidation within the electricity distribution sector and provide further benefit to electricity consumers.

"The announcement by the Ministers of Finance and Energy that publicly owned utilities will be exempt from paying the electricity transfer tax when they sell electricity assets to other public utilities in Ontario is good news for municipalities and consumers," said Brian Bentz, President and CEO of PowerStream Inc. "The efficiencies that the consolidation of local utilities can generate if done right will further strengthen the distribution sector both financially and operationally, from which all stakeholders can benefit".

PowerStream's own history provides proof that utility consolidation can lead to efficiencies which can help to reduce the upward pressure on distribution rates. Since the 2004 amalgamation of three local electricity utilities which created PowerStream, the company has been able to lower the distribution rates charged to its customers.

"The electricity distribution industry proposed this policy change to the Province, for the benefit of consumers and shareholders of local distribution companies," Bentz said. "Today's announcement is proof the government listened, and for that they deserve credit".

PowerStream Inc. is one of the largest local electricity distribution companies in Ontario, providing service to more than 225,000 residential and business customers in the municipalities of Aurora, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan. It is an incorporated entity, jointly owned by the City of Vaughan and the Town of Markham.

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