Energy & Power
Transmission & Distribution
Community-owned PowerStream celebrating 10th anniversary
By Anthony Capkun
May 27, 2014 – Jointly owned by the Ontario cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan, power and related services provider PowerStream is celebrating its 10th anniversary on June 1, 2014. Congratulations!
“PowerStream was created to provide customers with better pricing and more reliable electricity,” said PowerStream board chair and City of Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. “In 10 short years, it has not only proven that utility consolidation works, but it has also become an industry leader with a focus on innovation and energy conservation.”
PowerStream’s consolidation of municipally owned utilities included the original merger of Markham Hydro, Richmond Hill Hydro and Hydro Vaughan in 2004, the acquisition of Aurora Hydro Connections in 2005 and a merger with Barrie Hydro in 2009. In 2012, the company formed a strategic partnership with the Town of Collingwood in the ownership of Collus PowerStream.
Since 2004, PowerStream has grown from serving just under 200,000 customers residing or owning a business in three municipalities to providing service to more than 365,000 customers located in 15 communities.
The company’s growth through the consolidation of municipally owned utilities has created economies of scale and operational efficiencies that have enabled PowerStream to not only provide its customers with additional service offerings, such as conservation programs, but has also helped to reduce distribution rates, insists the utility.
Achieving scale through consolidation has also provided PowerStream with the size required as a utility to test and implement technologies to benefit its customers, adds the company, including smart grid technologies that aim to enhance reliability and facilitate quicker responses to power outages; using solar generation to provide power through renewable sources; investing in electric vehicle charging research; and building a micro grid.