By Anthony Capkun
March 19, 2013 – Ontario’s Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) announced the winners of its annual industry awards, and among the chosen few were: Burlington Hydro, Toronto Hydro, PowerStream, Niagara Peninsula Energy and Horizon Utilities. Congratulations to all.
“Ontario’s local electricity distribution companies are always looking to improve their programs and performance level,” said Charlie Macaluso, EDA president and CEO. “Ontario’s electricity utilities have a long and proud history of outstanding service to communities across this province.”
Sponsored by Ontario Power Generation (OPG), EDA’s Local Distribution Company (LDC) Performance Excellence Award was presented to Burlington Hydro, which distinguished itself in overall performance excellence in the following areas: occupational health & safety; operational excellence; financial operations; retail strategies for conservation & demand management; and for contributions to the community.
EDA’s Innovation Award-Communications went to Toronto Hydro-Electric System Ltd., which developed a communications strategy to raise awareness about its corporate responsibility initiatives. The utility leveraged extensive stakeholdering, traditional media, direct-to-customer newsletters and social media to help raise awareness and support for its efforts.
EDA’s Innovation Award-Public Relations went to PowerStream Inc. The “Follow the Smart Grid to Win” campaign included a contest requiring customers to follow PowerStream on Twitter to learn about the benefits of the smart grid, and the number of followers more than doubled during the campaign. The campaign came in under budget and went from concept to completion in just six weeks.
EDA’s Innovation Award-Customer Service went to Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. The “Go Paperless” program successfully used a multi-channel communication strategy that reached out to all customers to make them aware of options for paperless billing and pre-authorized payments. Strategies included community outreach at local events, bill inserts, in-office banners and both social and traditional media. The initiative increased pre-authorized payment customers by 45% and e-bill registration by 31% while decreasing call centre volume.
Finally, EDA’s Environmental Excellence Award went to Horizon Utilities, whose “Energy Density Mapping Project” was designed to identify which customers will benefit the most from conservation & demand management initiatives. The project correlated individual customer electricity use with building attributes such as square footage, building age, heating and A/C, as well as demographic data. The project is expected to assist the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) and other LDCs in achieving conservation and demand targets.