May 13, 2009 / 6:22 PM / 9 years ago

Hydro One earnings up on higher tariffs, lower tax

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 13 (Reuters) - Hydro One, Ontario’s government-owned power transmission company, said on Wednesday its net income rose 13 percent in the first quarter on the back of higher customer tariffs and a lower tax bill.

Hydro One said net income rose by C$20 million ($17 million) to C$177 million in the first three months of the year as its tax bill dropped because of tax deductions it was able to make for investments in smart meters and its information system.

The utility said it has now installed 895,000 smart meters in homes and businesses. These devices record how much electricity is used as well as when it is used and communicate this information back to Hydro One.

The Ontario government has mandated that everyone in the province must have a smart meter by 2010.

Hydro One said its capital spending rose 59 percent in the first quarter to C$336 million on the back of a number of network upgrade projects.

Total revenues were 7 percent higher at C$1.3 billion, helped by an increase in tariffs.

Hydro One transmits and distributes power to about 1.3 million customers in Ontario.

$1=$1.17 Canadian Reporting by Nicole Mordant; editing by Peter Galloway

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