TORONTO, Oct. 6, 2020 /CNW/ - Yesterday, the Ontario Energy Association (OEA) virtually hosted the 2020 OEA ENERGYAWARDS to celebrate and profile the accomplishments of Ontario's energy sector over the past year. Keynote speaker, the Hon. Bill Walker, and OEA Chair, Mike Crawley, provided opening remarks.
The award recipients for 2020 are:
Best Customer Service PROJECT: CUSTOMER SERVICE DESK, HYDRO OTTAWA
As a company that provides an essential service to the public, nothing is more critical to Hydro Ottawa's success than the ability to deliver customer value. Hydro Ottawa recognizes that customers are no longer just consumers of electricity, but also generators, sellers and managers of energy, equipped with unprecedented digital tools and an expanding list of energy options. As a result, distributed energy generation and storage is expected to grow. Hydro Ottawa is poised to serve customers well in this emerging competitive landscape by embracing new possibilities for customer choice, control and convenience.
The introduction of Salesforce as Hydro Ottawa's cloud-based CRM System has automated Service Desk processes, and provided a solid system foundation that can be scaled in the future to meet customers' growing needs and expectations. Through the early adoption of a future-proof, cloud-based CRM system, Hydro Ottawa is at the vanguard of this next wave of technology. As such, they are becoming ideally positioned to capture all the promise the future holds in store for customers.
Innovation of the Year PROJECT: SPATIALLY ENABLING ASSET MANAGEMENT INSIGHTS, OAKVILLE HYDRO.
In 2019, Oakville Hydro conducted a pilot project to investigate the potential for integrating geospatial systems, cloud-based technology and business intelligence within asset data management workflows. Immediate data quality improvements and project efficiencies supported the decision to proceed with operationalizing this process in 2020. In addition to third-party contract savings; internal labor savings provided the asset management team time to generate insights and make more informed decisions (rather than in processing data).
This project provided the opportunity for additional skills development in data science and detailed planning to accommodate next-generation capabilities (predictive analytics and artificial intelligence). Building capabilities in-house allows the Oakville Hydro team to be agile and accommodate changes in customer expectations, regulatory requirements, technology capabilities and financial conditions. Oakville Hydro's innovative mindset to leverage and adopt new technologies is a proven success for all its stakeholders and is the way of the future.
Outstanding Employee of the Year MIKE SCARLAND, ENBRIDGE GAS INC.
Mike Scarland, Manager of Emergency Management at Enbridge Gas, has played a key role in the company's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mike was a member of the utility's two emergency response teams, as well as acting as Emergency Management Coordinator for the business unit and representing it on the Enbridge Inc. Public Health Emergency Support Team. His leadership and proactive initiative during this challenging time helped Enbridge Gas get timely, effective information out to 3,400 field and office employees about how the company was responding to keep them safe, and ensuring they could continue to safely and reliably deliver energy to 3.8 million customers across Ontario and beyond.
His emergency management experience and depth of utility knowledge, as well as his calm, collected, confident approach, dedication and willingness to take full ownership of complex issues made him pivotal to the success of the utility's response.
Contributor of the Year INDY BUTANY-DESOUZA, ALECTRA UTILITIES CORPORATION
Since 2010, Indy has been serving as the Vice President of Regulatory Affairs and Privacy Officer for Alectra Utilities, strategizing and developing policy positions for emerging issues from the Ontario Energy Board, Ministry of Energy and Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO).
With her extensive operational experience in varied positions of increased responsibility in strategy, rates, regulatory affairs, government relations, privacy, compliance, strategic business development, energy-related application projects, asset management, corporate planning, finance, and customer service. Indy has provided valuable leadership of Alectra Utilities' Regulatory Affairs strategy and execution of over 30 applications before the provincial regulatory board. Indy has also successfully developed and led the project team for the first Custom Incentive Rate Plan regulatory model and application for electricity distributors in Ontario. She is a leader in the policy and advocacy work of the OEA. These efforts, along with her commitment to volunteering in her communities, make Indy a valued and respected contributor in Ontario's energy sector.
Company of the Year TORONTO HYDRO
Toronto Hydro recognizes that customers expect service providers to deliver an experience that's easy, fast and convenient, and their utility company is no exception. Over the last several years, Toronto Hydro has taken steps to ensure they're listening to customers to help meet the varying needs of their diverse population. Regular post-contact feedback surveys, broader brand and reputation surveys, and the creation of a customer feedback advisory group, have all allowed Toronto Hydro to gather real, actionable feedback from customers and make changes ranging from extending call centre hours to improving online services, including a complete redesign of their website.
Through these unprecedented times, Toronto Hydro focused on providing customers with affordable, reliable and safe electricity, while also continuing to make critical investments in its distribution system to secure the current and future needs of Canada's largest city. Toronto Hydro has provided thought leadership in both the setting and execution of provincial energy policy to support helping people, including ensuring utilities and their suppliers were included on the Province's list of essential services so that customers would continue to have safe and reliable electricity in their homes, grocery stores, and hospitals.
Leader of the Year MARK POWESKA, CEO, HYDRO ONE
In May 2019, Mark took the helm to lead Hydro One, coming from the position of Chief Operating Officer of BC Hydro. Within a year of Mark's leadership Hydro One has made incredible strides. These include securing an executive team, restoring employee confidence, improving relationships with the provincial government, and a renewed strategy that focuses on investment and growth in Ontario. In Fall 2019, under Mark's leadership, Hydro One launched their corporate strategy, focused on being customer-driven, sustainable, safe and efficient.
Mark is a proven leader with a reputation for prioritizing safety, exceeding customer expectations, cutting costs and improving operational performance. With a team of approximately 8,600 skilled and dedicated employees, Mark works to proudly build and maintain a safe and reliable electricity system to support strong and growing communities across Ontario.
A Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by CEO and President of Alectra Utilities, Brian Bentz, was awarded to Max Cananzi, in recognition of his many and valued contributions to Ontario's energy sector.
As noted by Bentz, "Max played a major role in the creation of Alectra of course, and he has been a driving force in helping us to achieve operating synergies while maintaining strong levels of reliability and customer service. As a member of our senior leadership Executive Committee, his perspectives and influence have been significant. And while Max worked tirelessly to ensure we achieved our commitments and the success of Alectra, he also made significant contributions to our industry."
Throughout his career, Cananzi has negotiated some of the largest energy retail contracts in Canada. Under his leadership at Horizons Utilities Corp., the organization became the first utility in Ontario to publicly report its sustainability performance through the Global Reporting Initiative, and the first to publish a sustainability-based Annual Report.
Cananzi has also been an early and strong advocate of diversity and inclusion in the energy sector. He has also been deeply committed to the health and safety of employees. During his career, Cananzi has focused on expanding the principles and concepts of creating a safety culture into the areas of wellness and employee health.
The OEA would like to congratulate all of this year's recipients and thank them for their contributions to Ontario's energy sector.
About the Ontario Energy Association: The Ontario Energy Association (OEA) is the credible and trusted voice of the energy sector. We earn our reputation by being an integral and influential part of energy policy development and decision-making in Ontario. We represent Ontario's energy leaders that span the full diversity of the energy industry. Learn more at www.energyontario.ca.
SOURCE Ontario Energy Association (OEA)
For further information: Media Contact: Irisa Chan, 647.989.3298, [email protected]; Vince Brescia, President & CEO, Ontario Energy Association, 416.961.8874, [email protected]