Top Performing Utilities Recognized at Electricity Industry Awards Gala

TORONTO, March 10, 2015 /CNW/ - Top-performing electrical 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.

"Our members' customers expect them to continually innovate and improve services, while also delivering sound value-for-money," notes EDA President and CEO Charlie Macaluso. "The award submissions we receive demonstrate some of the most compelling ways in which that's being done – in relation to environmental practices, communications, customer service and overall performance excellence. We're very pleased to announce and celebrate the winners."

The winner of this year's overall Performance Excellence Award, sponsored by Ontario Power Generation, is Enersource – the local distribution company serving Mississauga. Enersource staff reached an impressive milestone of two million employee hours worked without a lost-time injury, and the utility is ranked by the Ontario Energy Board as one of the most efficient in its size category.

Its 200,000 customers have the benefit of exceptional reliability performance, in relation to both duration and frequency of outages. In turn, customers have given Enersource exceptional satisfaction marks, including a 96 per cent approval rating from its large commercial and industrial customers. Enersource has also been recognized by local conservationists for its innovative campaign to help restore Mississauga's tree canopy after the 2014 ice storm.

Winners in the other categories were as follows:

Environmental Excellence Award – Waterloo North Hydro for its Pledge to Reduce Carbon Footprint initiative, involving reduced energy usage at its LEED-silver offices and operations centre; extensive use of hybrid-electric and dual fuel vehicles, and first use in the province of electric tension stringing machines; and employee-driven green team initiatives including a carbon-cutting commuter challenge.

Conservation Leadership Excellence Award, sponsored by the Ontario Power Authority (Independent Electricity System Operator) – Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro for its embrace of new, innovative technologies, including being the first utility in Canada to offer a Nest Learning Thermostat and Rush Hour Rewards program to customers; innovative marketing that drove up program participation in a business lighting program; and partnership on a large-scale combined heat and power customer generation project.

Customer Service Excellence Award – Entegrus (Chatham-Kent/Southwestern Ontario) for its Year of Digital Excellence initiative, which encompassed improved customer service via its web site, introduction of new two-way communication channels via social media, and improved usability on its online self-service portal – all of which was promoted to customers via the utility's Centennial Celebration.

Communications Excellence Award – Toronto Hydro for Team up for Green, an innovative fundraising initiative with the Toronto District School Board, designed to support acquisition of new bike racks for schools across the city, while also supporting energy conservation and healthy living. Customer sign-ups for green programs and services resulted in a direct benefit to students, families and schools.

Public Relations Excellence Award – Haldimand County Hydro for its Grade Nine Bill Challenge, through which local students were invited to re-design an electricity bill, while at the same time gaining improved energy literacy. The outcomes of the work of two teams of students have been widely shared with energy-sector stakeholders to potentially inform future bill design.

About the EDA

The Electricity Distributors Association is the voice of Ontario's local electricity distribution sector, which consists primarily of municipally and privately owned local distribution companies. The distribution sector delivers power to Ontarians through 4.9 million residential, commercial and institutional customer accounts. The sector employs 10,000 people directly and makes hundreds of millions in direct contributions to both municipal and provincial revenues.

SOURCE Electricity Distributors Association

Image with caption: "Electricity Distributors Association (CNW Group/Electricity Distributors Association)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20150310_C6897_PHOTO_EN_13007.jpg

For further information: Kevin Hanson, Director, Corporate Affairs & Communications, 905-265-5337 / 647-627-1826, khanson@eda-on.ca

RELATED LINKS
http://www.eda-on.ca

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