10/01/2013 03:03 EDT | Updated 12/01/2013 05:12 EST

Manitoba Hydro plans to close 24 rural offices, says no layoffs will occur

WINNIPEG - Manitoba Hydro plans to close 24 rural district offices, but says the move will not result in any layoffs.

The Crown-owned utility says 12 offices will close next year — in Carberry, Morris, Niverville and other areas.

Another 12 offices will close in 2017 — in communities such as Altona, Minnedosa and Souris.

Manitoba Hydro says all 94 affected workers will be consolidated into regional customer service centres.

The corporation says more people are paying their bills online or by phone, and closing the district offices will save about $2 million a year.

Thirteen other district offices in southern Manitoba will remain open.