Posted on 6/25/2020 12:07 PM By Emily Kirk
It takes a certain kind of person to embrace front-line work for an electrical utility. And you don’t always know in advance if you’re going to be that person.
Destiny spoke to Tim Stratichuk on his 63rd day at ENWIN. Working as an electrician/journeyman, he knew very little about the company or the sector when a catastrophic ice storm hit Windsor, toppling trees and powerlines, and damaging infrastructure on a broad scale.
Within hours, Tim was part of a crew – on the job for days – with no thought of going home until the work was complete and the power restored. Tim describes those days as pandemonium. For him, they were a game changer.
“Boy, did I learn fast,” he acknowledges. “You can’t teach that – It’s something you have to live through to understand. The storm happened, and boom, I wanted to stay…. It made my career.”
Before the storm, Tim considered ENWIN just a brief stop in his life. He remembers betting some of ...
Posted on 6/19/2020 2:03 PM By Emily Kirk
This week the EDA was excited to release the digital version of the latest issue of The Distributor magazine. It includes feature articles on each of this year’s EDA award winners, who were honoured at the February gala.
This year the EDA Local Distribution Company Performance Excellence Award, was awarded to Essex Powerlines for accomplishments that included prioritization of the necessary conversion work to simplify its distribution system, reduce inventory, and more.
The Communications Excellence Award was presented to Halton Hills Hydro for engaging customers from the outset in its latest Cost of Service rate application, using an innovative approach. It launched an interactive customer engagement website, to inform and collaborate with customers in preparation for the filing.
The Customer Service Excellence award was presented to PUC Distribution (Sault Ste. Marie). PUC identified the Ontario government’s AffordAbility Fund Trust program as an effective way to support its custome ...
Posted on 5/22/2020 1:26 PM By Emily Kirk
Even in 2020, the electricity sector is still seen by many as male dominated. The current edition of The Distributor magazine includes an article looking at this perception – and at current reality – based on interviews with women in a variety of leadership roles across EDA member companies. Each of them have long track records in electricity, and they reflect on the progress towards gender equity to date.
At one interviewee’s utility, for example, women represent more than a third of the management team and more than half the board. And our own president and CEO here at EDA is among the growing number of female senior executives in electricity.
When discussing the barriers that have been broken down, the interviewees credit the many women who came before them for clearing the path forward. As in other industries, one can imagine it was not always an easy task.
But even with the progress that has been made there is still some ways to go and some gaps to fill. We need to continue ...
Posted on 5/15/2020 1:50 PM By Emily Kirk
As Powerline Safety Week comes to an end we’d like to recognize and reflect on the good work our utility members and their affiliates do across the province, in reminding people of how dangerous powerlines can be and of why it is so important for people to stay away from them.
As the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) has underscored this week, even the most seasoned of operators must be careful of powerlines. For example, dump truck drivers should always check for powerlines before they raise their load box, and if they do see a powerline, they should stay three meters away.
The ESA would also like to remind people that even downed powerlines could have electricity running through them; and that as the warmer weather comes around, and many of us are pruning trees or cleaning our eavesdrops, we also need to keep a three meter distance from all powerlines.
With so many people staying home during the current pandemic, a lot of outdoor improvement projects are no doubt underway and this require ...
Posted on 5/1/2020 2:13 PM By Emily Kirk
Keeping up with COVID-19: The need for digital resilience
Our world is evolving at a rapid pace, and organizations who fail to remain agile, or embrace an agile work environment, will no doubt be left behind. At the core of an organization lies a need for digital resiliency.
Digital resilience is a fundamental understanding of your core technology combined with cyber risk management in order to adapt for long term success of the organization. While your strategy may be built and managed at the top, it is important that everyone understands the role they play and the risks that come with poor execution.
It’s important to consider the following:
What technology is essential to retain the day-to-day operations of your organization?
What technology do you rely upon to maintain business?
What technology will you require in the future to increase business?
Have you completed a detailed risk assessment of potential threats against your company?
Do you regularly rev ...
Posted on 4/24/2020 3:13 PM By Emily Kirk
As National Volunteer Week comes to a close, we wanted to take a moment to recognize EDA’s outstanding members and all the volunteer work they do.
We now live in a new normal, but that new normal has not stopped the good work that our members do in their communities. Consider these examples:
Alectra Utilities has donated to several foodbanks across the GTHA. It also provided 16,800 N95 particulate-respirator masks to hospitals across its service territory to help address shortages resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bluewater Power is in the process of creating two new Facebook sites called: Bluewater Power’s “The Power of Positivity” and Bluewater Power’s “The Power of Compassion”. These sites are intended to be a way for people to help people. Bluewater Power also hopes that they may help to spread some happiness in these uncertain times.
Brantford Power donated 500 surgical masks and 260 N95 masks for healthcare workers in Brantford.
Posted on 4/3/2020 12:44 PM By Emily Kirk
Across the province local hydro utilities are doing everything in their power to help customers through the difficult circumstances that the ongoing pandemic has created for so many.
In particular, utilities are making it easier for those who have lost their jobs, or are struggling to keep up with their bills. Flexible payment arrangements are being made, the regular seasonal moratorium on service disconnections has been extended, and off-peak pricing is being provided around-the-clock. Utilities are also keeping customers informed of available relief measures, via their social media and other channels.
EDA member utilities are also reaching out to help their communities more broadly. This week we highlight just a few examples:
Last week London Hydro donated 3,000 N95 masks to London’s Emergency Control Group to be distributed to frontline health care workers. The utility also provided $250,000 to the provincial Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) to help customers struggling to pay ...
Posted on 3/27/2020 12:52 PM By Emily Kirk
Working from home: Securing your new workplace
Working from home is the “new normal” for many businesses and their employees. These arrangements may have been put together quickly and can often involve the use of unsecured devices and remote connections, but there are certain steps you can take to protect your employees and business. We’ve assembled an essential guide for you.
Recoginize all the devices used by your employees
If you have employees working remotely, you should identify what kind of devices they’re using: company-provided PCs, laptops, tablets, smart phones and perhaps all of the above. Some of these devices may not be configured securely, either because they were used as a stopgap measure due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, or maybe you never got around to doing it. Due to the lack of opportunity to plan and coordinate alternate work arrangements, there’s a good chance many of the current touchpoints with your business may be unsecu ...
Posted on 2/27/2020 8:58 PM By Emily Kirk
This year’s EDA Excellence Award winners were announced last night. The recipients were once again exceptional examples of innovation, communications and customer service excellence,
to name just a few of the categories. These awards are an opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of the LDC sector, and their presentation is a highlight of each year’s AGM.
Over 300 guests were on-hand at last night’s gala event at the Royal York in Toronto as the EDA’s new Chair Ysni Semsedini, President & CEO of Festival Hydro, unveiled the winners and
presented the awards.
Essex Powerlines took home top honours with this year’s EDA Local Distribution Company Performance Excellence Award, recognizing outstanding achievement across a range of key performance categories. Its accomplishments included prioritization of the necessary conversion work to simplify its distribution system, reduce inventory, shrink maintenance costs, and reduce its distribution losses.
Last nig ...
Posted on 2/21/2020 4:04 PM By Emily Kirk
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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