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What to Expect in the Upcoming Legislative Session

The mid-way point in any government’s mandate is an interesting point in time. It usually means beginning the transition of focus from strictly governing to thinking strategically about the next election. However, before they can switch to election mode entirely, this provincial government has a number of challenges to address before facing voters in June 2022. MPPs are returning to the Legislature following their winter break. While this gives the government the chance to propose new legislation, it also gives the opposition parties the chance to challenge the Premier and his Ministers in question period. Dominating the conversations in and around Queen’s Park are labour unrest in education, license plate issues, blockades, and COVID-19 to name a few. The government for its part has offered a bill to aid in delivering on a key priority investment in mass transit in the City of Toronto by streamlining planning processes – including those that involve utilities. They have a chance t ...

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ENERCOM Speaker Profile: Hannah Parish General Manager-Head of Ontario Operations, for Lyft

This week’s blog is a speaker profile on Hannah Parish, the General Manager for Lyft, responsible for operations in Ontario. She will be at ENERCOM on Thursday, February 27 talking about The Impacts of Densification on Transportation & Culture. Hannah is a 17+ year business and marketing veteran specializing in developing and rebuilding brands through consumer-focused new product innovation. Her previous accomplishments include launching the ARIV brand and eBikes in Europe for General Motors and launching Voltaren in Canada. She has held various other business and marketing leadership positions in the CPG and Bicycle industries. Her talk will focus on how as our cities densify, and our public and private spaces combine, how transportation fits into our lives must change. From new vehicle types to how we power those commutes, travel will look very different in the next 15 years than it has in the last 5. With our audience she will closely examine the increasing interconnectedness of tr ...

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Humans of Hydro One - Midhula De Gannes

Midhula De Gannes has made it her career goal to make positive change in peoples’ lives. As a network management specialist at Hydro One, she is focused on finding innovative ways to modernize the grid and meet the energy needs of Ontarians.  Having seen firsthand how electricity can empower people in rural areas of our province, the young electrical engineer recently took a volunteer position in Kenya to help provide off-the-grid communities with low-cost and sustainable solar-power kits. “The kits made a huge difference in their lives - more than I could ever imagine,” says Midhula. “Many people in these areas had been relying on Kerosene lamps, which are both toxic and a fire hazard. With solar light that’s renewable, clean and cost-effective, children in the community can now do their homework and education really has an opportunity to flourish.” Being a first-generation Canadian, Midhula says she feels a strong sense of responsibility to the commun ...

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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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