EDA recognizes top-performing local distribution companies, 2021
By Anthony Capkun
April 6, 2022 – Several distribution utilities from across Ontario were recently recognized at the Electricity Distributors Association’s (EDA) Awards Gala.
“EDA members have demonstrated a relentless commitment to their customers and the communities in which they operate over the last year, and their efforts have been exceptional,” said Teresa Sarkesian, EDA president & CEO.
The Local Distribution Company (LDC) Performance Excellence Award was awarded to London Hydro for developing an employee program to help improve the health and wellness of employees and their families; maintaining reliability by regulating the downtown core’s distribution system and introducing powerline carrier technology to enhance grid visibility and control; demonstrating conservation excellence by achieving outstanding results in 2021; and donating over $14,000 to local charities that support Indigenous programs, local food banks and holiday giving programs.
Sponsored by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), the Public Electrical Safety Excellence Award was awarded to Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro for revamping its electrical safety program for Grade 5 and 6 schoolteachers to create awareness on the importance of electrical safety, and to encourage students to also share this information with their families.
The Communications Excellence Award was presented jointly to Brantford Power and Energy+ for engaging customers with an informational campaign about a potential merger between these two local hydro utilities. The campaign included a custom website, bill inserts for customers, stakeholder resources, e-blasts, social media messaging, and eight different media releases within the local communities.
The Customer Service Excellence Award was presented to Hydro Ottawa for its battery loan program, which helped reduce the inconvenience of extended planned outages impacting customers—emulating a “concierge experience” by offering customers a portable battery pack drop-off and pick-up service directly to their homes.
The Environmental Excellence Award was presented to Oakville Hydro for helping customers reduce their carbon footprint through partnerships and programming. This LDC constructed a mobile battery energy storage system that provides reactive power when local generation is needed. It also converted almost 2000 customers to paperless billing and launched a remote work program.
The Innovation Excellence Award was presented to Lakeland Power Distribution Inc. for developing solutions to modernize the electricity grid using advanced grid modelling, system planning and distributed energy resources (DERs) management systems to increase visibility and control.
The Public Relations Excellence Award was presented to Hydro One for its new awareness program that supports charities and local community organizations. It launched a multi-channel campaign including customer communications, community events, media outreach, social media contest, social and digital advertising, as well as employee engagement and communications.
The Volunteer Excellence Award (new!) was presented to Falguni Shah, vice-president, Technology & Innovation, at Elexicon Energy Inc. in recognition of outstanding support and perseverance in advancing the association’s policy positions.
A Chair’s Citation—in Memory of Robert H. Hay—for individual achievement was presented to Robert Mace, formerly of Synergy North, for outstanding service to the EDA and the electricity distribution sector over a long period.
“Excellence abounded throughout the electricity distribution sector in Ontario in 2021,” said Bryce Conrad, EDA chair, and president & CEO of Hydro Ottawa. “We are pleased each year to highlight some of the most noteworthy and inspiring achievements that they are delivering on for the benefit of their customers.”