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Hydro Utilities Consistently Recognized as Top Employers

Whether it is local or on the national stage – Ontario’s hydro utilities are consistently ranked or recognized as top employers.  There are many reasons why a company can be credited as a top employer. Characteristics include culture, integrity, credibility, flexibility, and core values. Whatever the criteria, Ontario’s hydro utilities are making and sustaining themselves as career destinations for an ever-increasing diversity of potential employees who have unique skills sets to offer an industry that has a bright future. Across the province and much of Canada, utilities are investing in employee potential. They are focused on professional and skills and trades development by engaging with post-secondary institutions, industry partners, and government to expand their own talent pools. Utilities continue to appeal to potential employees who are naturally community-focused and motivated to help keep the lights on in their cities and towns. However, utilities are also appeali ...

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Thank you to the People of Local Hydro!

As 2019 comes to an end, we reflect on all the good work our local hydro utility members and volunteers do in the communities they serve all year round. You are great ambassadors for our industry and truly demonstrate the Power of Local Hydro. You are there when help is needed most: Hydro Ottawa sent frontline workers to Maine and Manitoba to help restore power when they were hit with extreme weather. You are constantly innovating: Energy+ was recognized for their outstanding communications effectiveness, design and e-publishing excellence with an international 2019 APEX Grand Award. Waterloo North Hydro won a Gold Award in the Psychological Safety category and a Silver Award in the Utilities category from Canada’s Safest Employers during a special award ceremony on October 22. And Oshawa PUC Energy Services completed the final milestone of the Toronto Zoo Biogas Project. You are putting customers first: Enwin warned customers about a new scam targeting customers with attempts to extor ...

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Why work in the electricity sector?

Working in the electricity sector has many benefits, including playing a key role in keeping the lights on in our communities. Did you know that during a crisis utility workers are among first responders? Utility crews are often among the first on the scene of a disaster. Their hard work and commitment to safety make it possible for other first responders to do their job. They are on the frontlines of power and are responsible for delivering safe, reliable electricity across the province – they help power homes, businesses and industry. From Ottawa to Windsor – Kenora to the GTHA, local hydro utilities put our customers first, making sure they keep your lights on. They plug their customers into a modern, reliable hydro system that works for them. Utility crews are supported by dedicated energy sector professionals in many business functions and units including customer service, operations & engineering, finance & administration, policy & regulatory, safety, environmental s ...

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EDA signs MOU with NYPA

  Since extreme weather events are becoming an increasingly common occurrence, the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) and the New York Power Authority (NYPA) have formalized arrangements for mutual assistance to restore power after outages, through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU). With tornadoes, flooding and ice storms all causing power outages in recent years within the service territories served by our local hydro utility members the effort needed to get the lights back on quickly can sometimes be massive. Our members, and their counterparts in neighbouring states, have a long-standing practice of sending lineworkers and trucks from un-impacted areas to help. For our part at the EDA, we’re always pleased to help facilitate that. And we’re glad to formalize that commitment to mutual assistance with the NYPA through this MOU. When a utility is running full-out on restoration efforts, having some extra horsepower from outside its service territory can m ...

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The Role of your Local Utility During Extreme Weather Events

Ontario’s local hydro utilities know that with climate change comes extreme weather events. Whether they are tornados, floods, or ice storms, utilities are on the front lines to deal with power outages and anxious customers. The good news is local hydro utilities put their customers first. Through any weather or disaster, they are there to make sure that customers’ don’t stay in the dark long. They are there to work with the first responders to ensure that communities are safe and have electricity. Utility crews are often among the first on the scene of a disaster. Their hard work and commitment to safety make it possible for other first responders to do their job. Utilities also play a significant role in the recovery process too. They are safeguarding basic needs, such as drinking water, by maintaining or restoring power to crucial infrastructure. There are a lot of logistics involved in a significant power outage event. For example, during the 2013 Ice Storm, decisions had to be ...

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EDA Releases: “Connecting Devices: A Best Practice Guide for Standardized Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Connections”

The Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) release our latest policy paper, “Connecting Devices: A Best Practice Guide for Standardized Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Connections”. This guide is an example of member driven policy development and is intended to continue the leadership path we have taken in support for our vision on the LDC of the future. LDCs have been relying on individualized processes or the process established in the Distribution System Code that was developed to support connecting Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) and microFIT generators. As a result, customers have experienced inconsistent approaches and levels of customer care. This paper, and the adoption of its best practices, are designed to set the record straight – that when it comes to DERs, utilities are enablers, integrators, and orchestrators of the true potential of these assets. The guide proposes that LDCs holistically modernize their connection processes. It proposes that Connection Streams be devel ...

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How LDCs can foster internal control effectiveness and risk awareness

In recent years, a spate of mergers across Canada has allowed Local Distribution Companies (LDC) to cut costs, improve service to local communities and drive operational efficiencies. To unlock the full value of a merger, however, the merging companies need to integrate their processes—and that starts by standardizing their internal controls. Without a streamlined internal controls environment, employees may struggle to understand which processes to follow, which can heighten enterprise risk—especially if key activities fall through the cracks. To mitigate these risks, LDCs may want to begin by automating their controls. In addition to reducing the errors associated with manual processes, automation typically delivers significant efficiencies, including speeding up routine processes while minimizing the unsanctioned workarounds that sometimes lead to fraud. At the same time, it’s important to recognize that this isn’t a “once and done” exercise. To keep pace in a ...

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Overcoming ‘Goldfish’ Attention Spans: For Utilities

According to a recent study done by Nielsen, it was determined that, since 2000, the attention span of humans has dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds, putting us below the attention span of goldfish! This downward trend presents a new challenge for utilities as they aim to stay relevant and make a lasting impression on their customers – not only do we need to compete for attention in a crowded digital landscape, we need to maintain it. In the energy sector, ideas for interesting content isn’t usually the problem as there are plenty of fascinating trends emerging all the time. So, what’s the answer? How can utilities evolve to produce content that both captures and captivates their audiences? At Hydro Ottawa, we believe the answer is seeking out content mediums that build brand personality, foster two-way engagement, and tell a story. These days, consumers want to know brands are real, human and relatable. This can be achieved through a consistent style and message and through bra ...

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Scams and Fraudulent activities: Local Hydro Utilities Tell Customers What to Watch For and What To DO

Technology is great, it makes our lives easier but sometimes it can also make us vulnerable to individuals who take advantage of the information available to them. Across the province local hydro utilities are warning their customers about scammers who are trying to take advantage and extort money from both residential customers and small businesses. Residential customers and small businesses are receiving calls from people claiming to be their utility. One scam is that customers will get a call and, customers are threatened with service disconnection if they do not make an immediate payment at cryptocurrency machines, typically located inside convenience stores, cafes, or in malls. Cryptocurrency is not an accepted form of payment for local hydro utilities. Customers should not share any account information or attempt payments – they should simply hang up. Individuals posing as representatives of the utility are also contacting customers by phone and threatening to disconnect their power i ...

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Canada’s Federal Election: Notes for Ontario’s Local Hydro Utilities

The result of the October 21st Federal Election was a minority government with the Liberals winning 157 seats; Conservatives 121; Bloc Quebecois 32; New Democratic Party 24; and Green Party 3. All party platforms made significant policy commitments related to energy, environment, and climate change. In a minority government, the Liberals may work together with other parties on specific commitments to ensure support of their own initiatives. With the necessity of working with at least one other party to pass legislation, the EDA has provided a summary of the party platforms of interest to local hydro utilities in Ontario. Liberals Interest free loans for home retrofits Retrofit 1.5 million homes, over the next five years, by giving interested homeowners and landlords a free energy audit and then providing interest-free loans of up to $40,000 through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Create a Net Zero Homes Grant of up to $5,000 to help buyers of newly built homes that are cer ...

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