Horizon Utilities Named Company of the Year by the Ontario Energy Association

    
    Horizon Utilities recognized for helping to create sustainable
    communities
    

HAMILTON/ST. CATHARINES, ON, Sept. 18 /CNW/ - Horizon Utilities Corporation has been honoured with the prestigious Company of the Year Award by the Ontario Energy Association (OEA) for taking the ground-breaking step of being the first electricity distribution company in Ontario to publish a Sustainability-Based Annual Report (available at www.horizonutilities.com). This report focuses on the social, environmental and economic dimensions of the company's business and benchmarks its performance against the rigorous Global Reporting Initiative(TM) (GRI), an international standard for sustainability.

"By publishing a Sustainability-Based Annual Report, Horizon Utilities is blazing a path to become a sector leader in sustainable development and in the pursuit of the "green" economy," said Paul McMillan, Interim President and CEO of the OEA, in presenting the award at the Ontario Energy Association's Annual Conference in Niagara Falls. "Taking this bold action speaks volumes about Horizon Utilities' values and sets a new bar in terms of best practices in the electrical industry in Ontario."

As one of Ontario's largest and best-performing electricity distribution companies, Horizon Utilities is committed to building a utility that contributes to the sustainability of the communities it serves, helping to create a culture of conservation in Ontario, and providing added value to its customers and stakeholders.

Horizon Utilities' goal in publishing its first Sustainability-Based Annual Report was to establish the company's vision of sustainability and, using the international GRI standard as a base, to begin to integrate social, environmental and economic concerns - sustainability - into company values, culture, decision-making, strategies and day-to-day operations.

"We believe that embedding sustainable practices into our normal business practices will not only benefit our customers, the communities we serve, the environment, and our employees, but will also improve the company's economic performance and long-term prospects for success," says Max Cananzi, President & CEO of Horizon Utilities Corporation.

In addition to strong corporate governance policies and exceptional financial performance that saw Horizon Utilities generate $104 million in direct economic value for Hamilton and St. Catharines, reduce rates by one per cent and invest $86 million in operations and capital improvements in 2008, Horizon Utilities has a well-established reputation for promoting energy conservation programs to benefit its customers.

Over the past three years, Horizon Utilities' energy conservation programs have saved customers 41 million kilowatt-hours of electricity - equivalent to the energy used annually by 4,500 homes or the greenhouse gas emissions produced by 19,000 cars in one year. Energy conservation programs offered in 2009 include:

    
    -   a secondary refrigerator recycling program
    -   distributing free compact fluorescent light bulbs at community events
    -   a $1,000 subsidy program for small businesses rolled out through
        local Business Improvement Associations
    -   an incentive program to help mid-sized and large businesses upgrade
        old lighting, ventilation, heating and cooling systems
    -   Generation Conservation, an educational energy conservation program
        sponsored for Grade 5 students in Hamilton and St. Catharines.
    -   Information about Horizon Utilities' energy conservation programs and
        the company's Sustainability-Based Annual Report are available at
        www.horizonutilities.com.
    

About Horizon Utilities Corporation

Horizon Utilities is one of the largest municipally owned electricity distribution companies in Ontario, providing electricity and related utility services to more than 230,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Hamilton and St. Catharines. Horizon Utilities' employees are committed to delivering a safe and reliable supply of electricity, providing unparalleled customer value, and helping to create a culture of energy conservation in Ontario.

SOURCE HORIZON UTILITIES CORPORATION

For further information: For further information: Sandy Manners, Director, Corporate Communications, Horizon Utilities Corporation, Tel: (905) 317-4707, Cell: (905) 308-1473, Email: sandy.manners@horizonutilities.com, Website: www.horizonutilities.com

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HORIZON UTILITIES CORPORATION

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