In the early 1960s on the Niagara Peninsula seven companies in the chemical, pulp and paper, and abrasives industries formed a coalition to deal with rapidly escalating electricity rates. They called themselves the Niagara Basic Power Users' Association.
During the early 1970s, against a backdrop of global inflation, a recession and an energy crisis, Ontario Hydro proposed record rate increases of over 30 per cent, doubling rates by the end of the decade. This drove the Niagara Basic Power Users’ Association to expand and in 1974 they became the Association of Direct Customers of Ontario.
In 1975, the 30 founding companies, employing over 140,000 people at 200 locations, formed the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario, AMPCO.
AMPCO’s membership increased substantially in the 1980s. By 1987, AMPCO had 54 members. This membership employed over 350,000 Ontarians directly and indirectly.
Since its establishment, AMPCO’s goal has been industrial electricity rates that are competitive, fair and efficient, and a reliable supply of electrical energy across Ontario.
Today, AMPCO represents Ontario's largest industrial companies in forestry, pulp and paper, chemical, mining and minerals, steel, petroleum products, cement, automotive and manufacturing. It provides members with advocacy on key public policy issues as well as information, analysis and other tools to help them manage their electricity costs.