This week, the Electricity Distributors Association was excited to release the digital version of the latest issue of The Distributor magazine. The theme for this issue is local hydro needs modern and flexible regulation and in it we explore whether regulation will enable or inhibit electrification as well as the value versus cost in getting the regulatory balance right.
The issue’s feature articles include Hydro One looking behind the meter for reliability improvement; London Hydro & Sidewalk Labs’ energy management solution where customers get a home scheduler, new hourly rate plan, predictable bill, and access to clean energy; plus, a summary of an EDIST session on integrated voltage management and conservation benefits from Jacob Weninger of Entegrus Powerlines.
Modern and Flexible Utility Regulation Benefits Everyone
Local utility companies in Ontario – like all energy distribution companies across the country – are tightly regulated businesses. This simply comes with the territory of being stewards of important public infrastructure and of having exclusive responsibility to provide one of society’s most essential services.
But as with all things, balance is crucial. So, increasingly, is innovation. As we explore in this issue of The Distributor, the current regulatory framework for local distribution companies (LDCs) is not achieving what it needs to in either of these respects. LDCs are increasingly confronted with the challenge of regulatory processes that do not effectively enable innovation; and of regulation that is out of step with the realities of an industry and a broader energy system that is rapidly transforming.
Features in this edition suggest some of the ways we can achieve a better regulatory balance for our sector – ones that effectively safeguards customer interests, while at the same time prioritizing regulatory efficiency, flexibility, and innovation. The Distributor sat down virtually with the chairs of the EDA’s Regulatory, Finance & Corporate Issues, and Operations & Engineering Councils for a conversation on the state of LDC regulation in Ontario and opportunities for customer-benefitting improvements. Our panellists were Indy Butany-DeSouza, Vice President Regulatory Affairs & Privacy at Alectra Utilities; Alyson Conrad, Manager of Finance & Regulatory Affairs at Waterloo North Hydro; and Falguni Shah, Vice President of Technology & Innovation at Elexicon Energy.
The EDA has also mapped out more detailed solutions, through our regulatory reform white paper and our ongoing advocacy efforts, and we have been encouraged by recent signals from the new OEB leadership.
In addition, the magazine includes a welcome to incoming EDA Chair, Chris White, ERTH Corporation; our regular scan of sectoral developments; updates on the EDA’s Advocacy in Action; and more on our upcoming 2021 CON::NECT event series. Don’t forget to check our Q&As with Jessy Richard, Directeur Général/General Manager, Hearst Power Distribution, and Barb Cesarin, Manager, Human Capital & Innovation & Board Secretary, Innpower; a discussion with Marica Marcura, the EDA’s Director of Member Relations & Events, on holding audience interest in a virtual world; plus expert insights from EDA sponsor, Grant Thornton, this time on distribution utility consolidation in Ontario.
The EDA’s interactive digital edition gives you all the content plus direct links to contributors, advertisers and more.