Flexibility and Efficiency in Local Hydro: How do (and Could) Customers Benefit?

  • 26 July 2022
  • Author: Sari Maritzer
  • Number of views: 125
Flexibility and Efficiency in Local Hydro:  How do (and Could) Customers Benefit?

In the most recent edition of The Distributor, we summarized key 2022/23 priorities for the EDA’s seven standing councils, which play an instrumental role in association policy development. We also invited this year’s chairs to comment on a key theme relevant to all council mandates:  How customers benefit from flexibility and efficiency in local hydro. A selection of their responses appears below.

“Covid-19 caused financial uncertainty for customers and LDCs. The CEAP [COVID-19 Energy Assistance Program] allowed for an effective allocation of funds to those who needed it most. The OEB provided centralized funding, LDCs requested funding based on need (and size) and the funds were efficiently distributed through local LDC customer service departments. This was a quick and easy way for customers to see financial relief during the pandemic. This model should be used again in the future and demonstrated a real partnership between stakeholders in the electricity industry.” – Alyson Conrad, Finance and Corporate Issues

“Every day we open our ears and roll up our sleeves to find ways to serve our customers’ increasingly complex personal and business lives.  Without question, our locally informed perspective of the customers we serve, and their needs and opportunities, is critical support for getting them to their Net Zero goals quickly and efficiently.” – Jeffrey Floyd, Conservation and Sustainability Issues

“Customers benefit from the LDC commitment to innovative approaches to current labour challenges. We are establishing and growing relationships with local educational institutions to create a talent pipeline through co-ops, Engineer-in-Training roles, and participation on program advisory committees; while also engaging with students on career discussions and mentoring young professionals. This is a proactive strategy to address shifting demographics and recruitment needs.” – Nancy Brandon, Human Resources

“As the energy system in Ontario evolves with more customer choice, LDCs will actively evolve their systems to enable and accommodate incorporation of new technology and distributed energy resources while maintaining safety and reliability.  Local distribution companies are best situated to work with and assist their customers in successfully implementing changes to their energy profile.” – Shanon Wilson, Operations and Engineering

“Flexibility and efficiency allows LDCs to deliver on their customers’ top priorities: Increased grid reliability and resiliency via various forms of distribution automation; lower electricity bills via means such as sale of surplus generation and effective price signals; and reduced greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy use, electrification and other means. Operating in a highly regulated industry, it’s imperative that unnecessary impediments to flexibility and efficiency be removed so that customers can continue to reap the benefits as the energy industry rapidly evolves.” – Steve Zebrowski, Regulatory


For more information on the mandate of each council, and full membership lists, please visit:  www.eda-on.ca/About-US/Councils