By Sarah Klein
Manitoba Hydro is shutting down 24 of its rural offices over the next four years as part of cost-cutting measures throughout the Crown corporation.
Hydro says it will close 12 district offices by the end of March 2014 and 12 more by March 2017 as it consolidates its regional staff in southern Manitoba. Staff will be relocated to Hydro’s customer services centres.
Manitoba Hydro expects to reduce costs by approximately $2 million annually once the change is completed in March 2017. The corporation will also avoid another $50 million in future costs associated with needed facility upgrades to the 24 affected offices.
“Manitobans are changing the way they do business with us. With fewer and fewer customers using local offices to make bill payments or access other services, the time was right for us to take the next steps in streamlining our district office model,” said Scott Thomson, president and CEO of Manitoba Hydro. “Moving to a modern, central hub customer service model will allow us to be more efficient, providing more consistent service at a reduced cost and ultimately passing those savings on to customers.”
The first round of closures will occur in January 2014.