Putting The ‘G’ In Environmental, Social and Governance Planning Electricity Distributors Association
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Putting The ‘G’ In Environmental, Social and Governance Planning

ERTH Power

  • 7 July 2023
  • Author: Sari Maritzer
  • Number of views: 159
  • 0 Comments
Putting The ‘G’ In Environmental, Social and Governance Planning

Climate change is the most significant challenge of our time and has far-reaching environmental, social, and economic implications. The solution involves coordinated planning for a sustainable, net-zero carbon economy and shifting end uses that traditionally rely on fossil fuels, such as transportation, heating and cooling, and industrial processes, to electricity from renewable sources.

An important player in this fight against climate change is municipally-owned utilities, as they are uniquely positioned to work closely with local governments and communities to advance clean energy solutions and sustainability planning. With their close ties to local communities and governments, municipally owned local distribution companies (LDCs) are well-placed to develop and implement sustainable energy solutions that are tailored to the unique needs of their customers. These can include investing in renewable distributed energy resources (DERs), implementing conservation and energy efficiency programs, and exploring new technologies such as electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. Moreover, as municipally owned entities, these LDCs have a vested interest in the long-term health and sustainability of their communities. This makes them well-suited to work collaboratively with local stakeholders in sustainability planning and implementing clean energy solutions.

ERTH’s successful history of deploying sustainable energy solutions in the communities of its nine municipal shareholders and the broader municipal customer base is representative of its unique position to enable climate action. Since 2015, ERTH has developed 850 kW of community solar generation offsetting 20 million tonnes of CO2 annually, delivered conservation and demand management solutions to its customers resulting in 24 GHh in persistent energy savings, and completed LED street lighting retrofits for over 60 municipalities saving them over 15,330 MWh/year. These climate actions were recognized when ERTH’s President and CEO, Chris White, was named to Canada’s 2021 Clean50 list for his activities in embracing renewable DERs and evolving the traditional utility business model.

 In recent years, ERTH deployed the ERTH Energy Community EV Network, a charging network of 29 chargers spanning ERTH’s service territory of 15 shareholder communities from Lake Erie to Lake Huron. ERTH also developed the ERTH EV Readiness Checklist designed to help municipalities prepare for the expected increase in EVs, charging stations, and potential funding for electrification. This checklist was developed to provide ideas related to transportation electrification over the range of activities that municipalities regularly consider, such as permitting, planning, zoning, codes, inspection, parking policy, and more. Moving forward, ERTH wants to magnify the scale and scope of its climate action by developing a formal environmental, social, and governance (ESG) planning and reporting framework, and embedding ESG performance into ERTH’s business and strategic plans.

Click here to read more about ERTH Power's Energy Community EV Network, a charging network of 29 chargers spanning ERTH’s service territory of 15 shareholder communities from Lake Erie to Lake Huron, in the summer issue of The Distributor.

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