2009 Sustainable Electricity Annual Report: Canadian Electric Utilities
Improve Overall Sustainability Performance Despite the Economic Downturn in
2009

OTTAWA, June 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Today, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) and its member utilities released the second Sustainable Electricity Annual Report, outlining the industry's overall sustainability performance in 2009. Despite the economic downturn in 2009, CEA member companies showed their determination to improve their sustainability performance and deliver positive environmental, social and economic outcomes for stakeholders in communities they serve across the country. "This year's report demonstrates our members' commitment to innovation and continuous improvement," said Pierre Guimond, President and CEO of the Canadian Electricity Association. "The electricity industry will continue to move forward on sustainable development, but it is also imperative that government creates the right policy conditions to enable our truly sustainable electricity future," he added.

"CEA members play an important role in the Canadian economy and we're determined to ensure that our business practices are sustainable, and that we deliver safe and reliable power to consumers," said Will Bridge, Executive Chair of the CEA Sustainable Electricity program and Chief Technology Officer at TransAlta Corporation.

Launched in February 2009, Sustainable Electricity is an industry-wide sustainability initiative developed and implemented by the electric utility members of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA). By focusing on a three-pronged vision of sustainability - environment, society, and economy - the electricity industry is committing to managing its impacts and reducing its footprint. The program is built on the foundation of a thorough and rigorous process involving all utility members, as well as insight and leadership from a Public Advisory Panel. The Public Advisory Panel, comprised of distinguished Canadians, each of whom has demonstrated leadership and presence in the sustainable development community, was also impressed with the electricity industry's results.

2009 Highlights

Across the country, the industry saw a significant decline in electricity generation as customers reduced their demand in response to a challenging economic backdrop. However, CEA members recognize the important role electricity plays in the Canadian economy and the need to ensure positive environmental, social and economic outcomes for stakeholders. Key performance highlights include:

    
    -  10.5 percent reduction of Carbon Dioxide (CO2 e) emissions
    -  36 percent increase in priority spills
    -  25 percent reduction in injury/illness frequency rate
    -  32 percent increase in investments in generation, transmission and
       distribution infrastructure
    -  33 percent reduction in average electricity interruption duration
    

Challenges ahead

While the economic downturn is behind us, the electricity industry is planning ahead to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Some of these challenges include:

    
    1. Meeting anticipated long-term growth in electricity demand;
    2. Investing in new infrastructure to renew aging capital stock;
    3. Attracting and retaining qualified workers;
    4. Addressing climate change mitigation and adaptation.
    

About the CEA

Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) members generate, transmit and distribute electrical energy to industrial, commercial, residential and institutional customers across Canada every day. From vertically integrated electric utilities, to power marketers, to the manufacturers and suppliers of materials, technology and services that keep the industry running smoothly -- all are represented by this national industry association. Participation in Sustainable Electricity is a condition of CEA membership.

For more information, please visit: www.electricity.ca

MEDIA BACKGROUNDER

2009 Sustainable Electricity Annual Report

Program Overview

Launched in February 2009, Sustainable Electricity is an industry-wide sustainability program developed and implemented by the electric utility members of the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA). Participation in Sustainable Electricity is a condition of CEA membership.

By focusing on a three-pronged vision of sustainability - environment, society and the economy - the electricity industry takes a holistic approach to managing its impacts and securing our collective future. The program is built on the foundation of a thorough and rigorous process involving all utility members, as well as insight and leadership from a Public Advisory Panel. Since the launch of the program, CEA members have adopted measures to improve their sustainable development performance. Much more needs to be done, but the process has begun.

Sustainable Electricity comprises the following four elements:

    
    1. A Policy for Sustainable Development - Corporate Responsibility - CEA
       member utilities have committed to implementing the program's policy
       according to key guiding principles which form the basis of the
       program.

    2. Performance Indicators and Reporting - Each of the guiding principles
       is supported by specific indicators and metrics that will be used to
       track overall industry sustainable development performance. Utilities
       will report on these key indicators and overall industry results on
       sustainable development will be published in an annual report to
       stakeholders.

    3. Public Advisory Panel - A Public Advisory Panel, made up of
       distinguished and qualified Canadians, will provide independent
       opinion and advice to the CEA Board of Directors on the implementation
       of and improvements to Sustainable Electricity.

    4. External Verification - Implementation of Sustainable Electricity will
       be verified by an independent external verifier.
    

The CEA Sustainable Electricity Executive Council Chair is accountable for monitoring and reporting on the progress in implementing this policy on behalf of the CEA Board of Directors. CEA member utilities are accountable for implementing this policy within their organizations.

2009 Sustainable Development Performance

Despite a significant decline in electricity generation due to the economic downturn, the overall sustainable development performance of CEA members continued to improve in 2009. Key highlights include:

    
    Environmental Performance
    -  10.5 percent reduction of Carbon Dioxide (CO2e) emissions
    -  10.6 percent reduction of Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) emissions
    -  10.1 percent reduction of Nitrogen Oxide (NO(X)) emissions
    -  36 percent increase in priority spills

    Social Performance
    -  25 percent reduction in injury/illness frequency rate
    -  25 percent reduction in lost time injury severity rate
    -  5 percent reduction in lost time injury frequency rate

    Economic Performance
    -  32 percent increase in capital expenditures
    -  33 percent reduction in average electricity interruption duration
    -  14 percent reduction in average interruption frequency
    

Challenges ahead

With the economic downturn behind us, the electricity industry is planning ahead to meet the growth challenges of tomorrow. While the industry remains committed to providing positive environmental, social and economic outcomes for stakeholders, it foresees four significant challenges ahead:

    
    1. Demand Growth: Meeting anticipated growth in electricity demand
       (8.5 percent for the next decade(i)) will require significant new
       investments and enhanced conservation efforts.

    2. Infrastructure Investments: Investment in new infrastructure is
       necessary in order to renew aging capital stock to maintain system
       reliability and meet rising demand.

    3. Human Resources: Given the rise of retirement and attrition of
       experienced personnel, attracting and keeping qualified workers will
       be crucial for CEA members.

    4. Climate Change: Despite the uncertainty surrounding the federal
       government regulatory framework for mitigating climate change, CEA
       members continue to invest in clean energy sources. However, there
       must be a balance between reducing carbon emissions and providing
       safe, reliable, and cost-effective electricity to consumers.
    

CEA members are committed to continuously improving their sustainable development performance. To learn more about the Sustainable Electricity program and CEA member performance, please visit www.SustainableElectricity.ca

    
    ---------------------------------------
    (i) Source: National Energy Board (NEB)
    

For more information, please visit: www.electricity.ca

SOURCE Canadian Electricity Association

For further information: For further information: Francis Bradley, Vice President, tel: 613-230-5027, cel: 613-218-6548, email: bradley@electricity.ca; Louisa Hood, Director, Communications, tel: 613-688-2954, cel: 613-513-6990, email: hood@electricity.ca

Organization Profile

Canadian Electricity Association

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