TORONTO, Feb. 28, 2020 /CNW/ - Top-performing electricity utilities from across Ontario were honoured last night at the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) Awards Gala in Toronto. This annual program acknowledges a diversity of key accomplishments, landmark customer programs, innovations and best practices on the part of the companies that deliver The Power of Local Hydro across Ontario.
"Ontario's local hydro utilities work hard each day to deliver reliable electricity and expanded and innovative services," said Ysni Semsedini, President and CEO of Festival Hydro and newly appointed Chair of the EDA. "We're pleased each year to highlight some of the most noteworthy and inspiring achievements that they are delivering on for the benefit of their customers."
- The most prestigious award, the EDA Local Distribution Company Performance Excellence Award, recognizes outstanding performance in occupational health and safety, operations, finance and conservation; and contributions to the local community. This year it was awarded to Essex Powerlines for accomplishments that included prioritization of the necessary conversion work to simplify its distribution system, reduce inventory, shrink maintenance costs, and reduce its distribution losses for the benefit of customers. Essex Powerlines also donated over $8,000 to local charities through paperless billing campaigns, invested in youth and education programs, and volunteered staff time and resources at various local events.
- The Communications Excellence Award was presented to Halton Hills Hydro. Halton Hills Hydro engaged customers from the outset in its latest Cost of Service rate application, using an innovative approach. It launched an interactive customer engagement website, to inform and collaborate with customers in preparation for the filing. The result was a high rate of customer awareness at less than 10 per cent of the cost of conventional customer engagement methods.
- The Customer Service Excellence award was presented to PUC Distribution (Sault Ste. Marie). PUC identified the Ontario government's AffordAbility Fund Trust program as an effective way to support its customers. The utility was a leader in helping customers take advantage of this program by utilizing traditional and social media channels to share stories of customers who had already benefited, as well as by attending trade shows and community events.
- The Environmental Excellence Award was presented to Alectra Utilities for its AlectraCARES One Planet Program. This program entails pursuit of both GHG and waste reduction targets, through a focus on employee and customer education, stewardship, corporate action, volunteer involvement, and broader stakeholder engagement. Results to-date include an ahead-of-target 15 per cent reduction in GHGs from 2016, and various savings and other economic benefits.
- The Innovation Excellence Award, sponsored by the Independent Electricity System Operator, was presented to Hydro One for its Aroland Battery Energy Storage System. This initiative is designed to improve reliability in a remote First Nations community, though the use of non-wires distributed energy solutions. It has been commended by the regulator and represents a potential path forward for communities facing similar reliability challenges.
- The Public Electrical Safety Excellence Award, sponsored by the Electrical Safety Authority, was presented to ENWIN Utilities (Windsor). ENWIN created a safety campaign that harnessed the power of sports marketing through broadcast and social media to inspire positive associations that help customers internalize safety-related messages. It strove for the greatest possible reach and emotional impact at the lowest possible cost, with more than 65 million impressions in six months.
- The Public Relations Excellence Award, was presented to Niagara Peninsula Energy. Niagara Peninsula was the first in Ontario to participate in a Utility Box Artwork Program and is an industry leader in reimagining how its customers view its equipment, both literally and figuratively. The program allows the utility to expand and grow local partnerships, while at the same time helping to beautify the communities it serves.
- Two Chair's Citations for individual achievement and service were also presented. Ruth Tyrrell, Chief Corporate Officer at Orangeville Hydro, was recognized for more than two decades of service within and ambassadorship on behalf of the distribution sector. Ron Stewart was recognized for accomplishments over the course of his multi-decade service in the sector, including leading the merger through which Hydro Ottawa was formed, and a post-retirement focus on advancing connection initiatives for remote and First Nations communities.
The EDA proudly congratulates all award winners and nominees.
About the EDA
The Electricity Distributors Association is the trusted and vital source for advocacy, insight and information for Ontario's local electricity distributors, the municipally- and privately-owned companies that deliver essential electricity services to 5.2 million homes, businesses and public institutions across the province. Learn more at www.eda-on.ca.
SOURCE Electricity Distributors Association
For further information: Emily Kirk, Communications Specialist, Tel: 647.332.8957, Email: [email protected]