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Emily Kirk's Articles

EDA releases Connecting Devices: A Best Practice Guide for Standardized DER Connections Version 2.

Earlier this month the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) was pleased to release Connecting Devices: A Best Practice Guide for Standardized DER Connections Version 2. The experience of DER proponents and utility experts alike were tapped to inform this guide. This guide builds on the recommendations contained in the first version that we released last year, and you can access it here: https://bit.ly/3n6IusP. The new version of the guide reviews current practices of local hydro utilities/LDCs when connecting distributed energy resources (DERs). The recommendations within the guide deal with: - Enhancing communication with DER proponents and customers - the need for clear documentation, and - regular conferences that will promote information sharing. The recommendations are aimed at improving both customers’ and proponents’ experiences; they are practical, timely, and are readily implementable. We anticipate that operationalizing the guide's recommendations will supp ...

Utilities Show the Power of Local Hydro in their Communities

The EDA is pleased to recognize the community support and contributions made to their customers by our members. Ontario’s local hydro utilities are keeping customers first in all corners of the province and continue to demonstrate the Power of Local Hydro. Here are just a few examples for October: Hydro One partnered to award one coach with the Hydro One Safe Play Award and provide all award recipients with $500 to purchase sporting goods from local Canadian retailers of their choice. Hydro One also alongside the City of Hamilton, Dundas Turtle Watch, and the Royal Botanical Gardens, reaffirmed its commitment to sustainability through the completion of nearly 800 feet of turtle barrier fencing near Cootes Paradise to protect turtle populations. North Bay Hydro participated in the Hospital Walk/Run that raised over $84,000 was raised for the North Bay Regional Health Centre Foundation at the 14th annual event bringing the total from 2006 to $1.4 million. PUC Services Inc. Who donated t ...

Strong Participation and Discussion at EDA Mergers & Acquisitions Forum

The Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) held a successful virtual Forum on October 22 focused on Mergers and Acquisitions. This event saw strong participation from utility executives and board members, government and agency representatives, and commercial entities. The EDA has a long-standing policy that supports LDC consolidation when it is voluntary between two or more willing participants.  “It is our belief that voluntary consolidation considers the best interests of the shareholders, the customers the utilities serve, and the communities in which they operate,” said Teresa Sarkesian, EDA President and CEO. Mergers and acquisitions take place for many strategic business reasons, but most reasons are economic at the core. Whether a transaction involves a utility or a non-regulated entity, the forum provided participants with insights that can be applied to overall business strategies on transactions. Topics covered included: View of a possible future: a renewable opp ...

EDA Industry Excellence Awards 2020 – Acknowledgment, Inspiration, Celebration

In a year unlike any other, demonstrations of excellence abound in the distribution sector. And now is the time to ensure that your utility and staff are recognized for their exceptional efforts and outcomes during 2020. The EDA’s annual industry excellence awards program is open for submissions from now until Monday, January 18, 2021, at 5:00 pm. The categories encompass your utility’s work across various core functions, for the benefit of customers, shareholders and others, and you can submit in more than one. Award winners will be announced at an event in 2021 (details to be confirmed) – where EDA members and senior representatives of our regulators and other key stakeholders will participate. No other awards program more meaningfully or prominently showcases distribution sector’s accomplishments and the Power of Local Hydro. We look forward to seeing your submissions.    Award Categories Corporate/LDC Awards LDC Performance Excellence Award Pub ...

Virtual EDA District Meetings Show the Strength of the LDC Community

This week marked the end of the EDA’s District Annual Meetings where a virtual experience did not diminish the spirits of our LDC members, or the value delivered by these strong regional organizations. The EDA's LDC member companies are divided into six regional districts with each operating under its own constitution and bylaws. The Upper Canada, Niagara Grand, Georgian Bay, Western, Northeastern, and Northwestern Districts each elect a director to the EDA board of directors to represent their diverse needs and industry views. The EDA used the opportunity to report on association activities and on the political and regulatory landscape. Our President and CEO appreciated that many LDCs invited their board members and other key staff to participate to foster greater awareness of the EDA and its community of LDC members. “Digital formats never quite fully replicate the value of face-to-face gatherings, but I have enjoyed providing my report and having the opportunity for virtual mem ...

Utilities Stepped Up During a Summer of Support!

With fall on the horizon, the EDA wanted to take this opportunity to recognize all the work that our members did throughout the summer to support their customers and the communities they serve. Our members are always stepping up to the plate to help their communities even in these unprecedented times. Here are just a few examples: Energy+ donated $20,000 to the Brant United Way and the Waterloo United Way’s COVID-19 community response fund. The company matched donations made by employees and board members. North Bay Hydro funded the plating of 37 large tree species in three locations across their city. Hydro One donated $25,000 to the Markham Stouffville Hospital for ventilators and in partnership with GlobalMedic delivered 575 critical aid kits to the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. Elexicon Energy donated $5,000 to four food banks to help support the community agencies amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. Alectra’s employees and customers stepped up for their communitie ...

New Distributor details our sector’s embrace of innovation

Efficient, Resilient and Essential: LDCs are and intend to remain all three. And in the just-released issue of The Distributor magazine, we focus on the crucial importance of innovation in this regard, particularly as the electricity system continues to transform. This issue’s features include: Hydro One is helping to launch the Ivy Charging Network and to make range anxiety a thing of the past for EV drivers in the province. Essex Powerlines is going completely digitalized so that it can better leverage data and become even more customer centric. Halton Hydro, which was awarded the EDA Communication Excellence Award earlier this year, found an efficient and effective way to engage employees during COVID-19. Kitchener Wilmot Hydro has addressed concerns around safe underground-vault entry and exit. Utilities Kingston, which provides five core service under one roof, is delivering yet more value to customers with a smart thermostat program. Oakville Hydro was inspired by Google Map ...

Scammers continue to target hydro customers during pandemic

Throughout the summer many utilities across Ontario have been reporting fraudsters trying to scam their customers. This has included threatening customers with disconnection, both via text and directly at the door, and offering purported ‘assistance’ on energy savings. Utilities such as Orangeville Hydro are reminding their customers that they do not accept payments with Bitcoin or cryptocurrency.  “If you receive a call or email demanding payment by BitCoin, it’s a scam!” Orangeville Hydro warns. “Hang up the call or delete the email immediately.” When a utility account is in arrears, customers will be sent multiple bills. They will then receive a call from a utility employee, followed by a written notice. Another scam that Festival Hydro has become aware of involves fraudsters calling and claiming to be offering assistance on energy savings. North Bay Hydro was similarly made aware that some of its customers were receiving emails and texts with fak ...

EDA’s Frontline Campaign Shines in International Competitions

Local hydro is not only powerful, it’s positively golden. That according to the judges in two international marketing and digital-communication awards programs. This week EDA was very pleased to be notified of gold-level recognition for the current version of its Power of Local Hydro (PoLH) awareness and advocacy campaign. The campaign was refreshed last year and focuses on the crucial role of EDA members “On the Frontlines of Power”. The Hermes Creative Awards is an international competition for creative professionals involved in the concept, writing, and design of traditional and emerging media. The gold-level designation for the EDA campaign is in the category of “Strategic Programs – Public Relations Campaign”, and acknowledges the success of PoLH’s overall strategic purpose, objectives, and implementation. The dotCOMM Awards is an international competition honouring excellence in web creativity and digital communication. The gold-level designation ...

ENWIN - Front-Line Worker Profile

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 ...

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