Energy & Power
Transmission & Distribution
Top-performing Ontario utilities recognized at EDA awards gala
By Renée Francoeur
March 10, 2015 – Ontario’s top-performing electrical utilities were honoured last night at the industry’s awards gala, part of the Electricity Distributors Association‘s (EDA) annual general meeting.
The winner of this year’s overall Performance Excellence Award, sponsored by Ontario Power Generation, is Enersource—the local distribution company serving Mississauga. Enersource staff reached a milestone of two million employee hours worked without a lost-time injury, and the utility is ranked by the Ontario Energy Board as one of the most efficient in its size category.
Its 200,000 customers have given Enersource “exceptional” satisfaction marks, including a 96% approval rating from its large commercial and industrial customers, said the EDA. Enersource has also been recognized by local conservationists for its campaign to help restore Mississauga’s tree canopy after the 2014 ice storm.
“Our members’ customers expect them to continually innovate and improve services, while also delivering sound value-for-money,” said EDA president and CEO Charlie Macaluso. “The award submissions we receive demonstrate some of the most compelling ways in which that’s being done – in relation to environmental practices, communications, customer service and overall performance excellence. We’re very pleased to announce and celebrate the winners.”
Additionally, the Environmental Excellence Award went to Waterloo North Hydro for its Pledge to Reduce Carbon Footprint initiative, involving reduced energy usage at its LEED-silver offices and operations centre; extensive use of hybrid-electric and dual fuel vehicles, and first use in the province of electric tension stringing machines; as well as employee-driven green team initiatives including a carbon-cutting commuter challenge.
Cambridge and North Dumfries Hydro took home the Conservation Leadership Excellence Award for its embrace of new, innovative technologies, including being the first utility in Canada to offer a Nest Learning Thermostat and Rush Hour Rewards program to customers; innovative marketing that drove up program participation in a business lighting program; and partnership on a large-scale combined heat and power customer generation project.
The Customer Service Excellence Award was awarded to Entegrus (Chatham-Kent/Southwestern Ontario) for its Year of Digital Excellence initiative, which involved improved customer service via its web site, introduction of new two-way communication channels via social media, and improved usability on its online self-service portal.
The Communications Excellence Award went to Toronto Hydro for Team up for Green, a fundraising initiative with the Toronto District School Board, designed to support acquisition of new bike racks for schools across the city.
Lastly, Haldimand County Hydro received the Public Relations Excellence Award for its Grade Nine Bill Challenge, through which local students were invited to re-design an electricity bill, while at the same time gaining improved energy literacy.