TORONTO, April 1, 2014 /CNW/ - Top-performing electric utilities from
across Ontario were honoured last night at the industry's awards gala,
which took place as part of the Electricity Distributors Association's
(EDA) annual general meeting.
"We're consistently impressed with the scope of achievement and
innovation shown by each year's award submissions," says EDA President
and CEO Charlie Macaluso. "It's one of the clearest demonstrations of
our sector's commitment to efficiency, customer value, and continuous
improvement, and we're pleased to announce and celebrate the winners."
Halton Hills Hydro won this year's overall Performance Excellence Award sponsored by Ontario Power Generation. Halton Hills Hydro engages its
entire staff in continuous efficiency improvement, and has launched a
leading edge corporate health and safety model, which is expected to
eventually become part of a cooperative regional initiative. A focus on
partnership is further reflected in a unique collaboration, through
which Halton Hills has implemented 24/7 monitoring of its distribution
system by leveraging the control room of a neighbouring utility.
Halton Hills reaches customers across multiple channels, and is a
top-ranked utility in social media engagement as a per cent of customer
base. It was among the first to provide online and mobile access to
detailed customer energy data. The utility has launched a unique solar
generation pilot project, involving pole-mounted panels throughout its
service area. Halton Hills also maintains a strong community presence,
including collaboration with the Town of Halton Hills on energy
"This winter's ice storm brought home to all of us the value of
electricity. It also showed that our industry was prepared to meet the
challenge the storm presented," says Tom Mitchell, President and CEO of
Ontario Power Generation. "This only happens through a strong
commitment to performance excellence all year long, and we congratulate
Halton Hills Hydro on its true commitment to operational excellence,
safety and customer service throughout 2013."
The other award winners were as follows:
PowerStream Inc. - Environmental Excellence Award for "Go Green With PowerStream"
This employee-engagement program includes a smart commute program, with
van/car pooling and support for electric vehicle use; "beyond blue box"
recycling; and educational programs. Vanpooling alone takes nearly 50
vehicles off rush-hour roads, reducing carbon and congestion, while 85
per cent of employees report feeling engaged in company environmental
Kingston Hydro - Conservation Leadership Excellence Award Sponsored by Ontario Power
Leveraging a multi-utility structure - including unique linkages between
water and electricity conservation programs - supports cost-effective
results for this utility. Other strategies include ground-breaking
distributed generation connection policies, and in-home display
research. Its customers invest more in conservation initiatives each
year than the combined value of capital upgrades to Kingston Hydro
London Hydro - Customer Service Excellence for "Property Management Portal"
This unique portal gives property owners and managers immediate and 24/7
access to data that in the past required hours on the phone - saving
time for both them and staff. Almost a third of those eligible are
registered for the service, which gives them single-window and
self-serve access to information such as occupancy and connection
status at their rental properties.
Hydro Ottawa - Communications Excellence for "Go Paperless E-Billing Campaign"
A new approach to e-billing promotion centered on the offer to plant a
tree on behalf of every new sign-up. Done in partnership with Trees
Ontario, the campaign accelerated e-billing adoption and resulted in
achievement of 90 per cent of the annual target within less than four
months. Separate incentives also encouraged employees to personally
Entegrus Inc. - Public Relations Excellence for "Taking Charge of Your Energy Costs"
A growing number of inquiries from commercial and industrial customers
regarding billing, and specifically the global adjustment charge, were
the impetus for a customer outreach event. The opportunity for
face-to-face conversation with the utility and provincial energy
agencies was well-received by customers and has helped foster a more
collaborative approach to energy-cost control.
The EDA also recognized long-standing individual contributions to the
electricity distribution sector with an Honourary Member Award for Keith Mathews, a former chair of Lakefront Utilities in Cobourg; and with a Chair's
Citation for Brian Bentz, current President and CEO of PowerStream in Vaughan. Toronto Hydro
President and CEO Anthony Haines also received a Chair's Citation, in recognition of his highly
effective public communication leadership during the December ice
The Electricity Distributors Association is the voice of Ontario's local
electricity distributors, the publicly and privately owned companies
that safely and reliably deliver electricity to nearly five million
Ontario homes, businesses and public institutions.
Image with caption: "Electricity Distributors Association (CNW Group/Electricity Distributors Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140401_C7632_PHOTO_EN_38469.jpg
SOURCE: Electricity Distributors Association
For further information:
Director, Corporate Affairs and Communications
905-265-5337 / 647-627-1826