From monthly archives: November 2019

We are pleased to present below all posts archived in 'November 2019'. If you still can't find what you are looking for, try using the search box.

The Role of your Local Utility During Extreme Weather Events

Ontario’s local hydro utilities know that with climate change comes extreme weather events. Whether they are tornados, floods, or ice storms, utilities are on the front lines to deal with power outages and anxious customers. The good news is local hydro utilities put their customers first. Through any weather or disaster, they are there to make sure that customers’ don’t stay in the dark long. They are there to work with the first responders to ensure that communities are safe and have electricity. Utility crews are often among the first on the scene of a disaster. Their hard work and commitment to safety make it possible for other first responders to do their job. Utilities also play a significant role in the recovery process too. They are safeguarding basic needs, such as drinking water, by maintaining or restoring power to crucial infrastructure. There are a lot of logistics involved in a significant power outage event. For example, during the 2013 Ice Storm, decisions had to be ...

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EDA Releases: “Connecting Devices: A Best Practice Guide for Standardized Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Connections”

The Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) release our latest policy paper, “Connecting Devices: A Best Practice Guide for Standardized Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Connections”. This guide is an example of member driven policy development and is intended to continue the leadership path we have taken in support for our vision on the LDC of the future. LDCs have been relying on individualized processes or the process established in the Distribution System Code that was developed to support connecting Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) and microFIT generators. As a result, customers have experienced inconsistent approaches and levels of customer care. This paper, and the adoption of its best practices, are designed to set the record straight – that when it comes to DERs, utilities are enablers, integrators, and orchestrators of the true potential of these assets. The guide proposes that LDCs holistically modernize their connection processes. It proposes that Connection Streams be devel ...

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How LDCs can foster internal control effectiveness and risk awareness

In recent years, a spate of mergers across Canada has allowed Local Distribution Companies (LDC) to cut costs, improve service to local communities and drive operational efficiencies. To unlock the full value of a merger, however, the merging companies need to integrate their processes—and that starts by standardizing their internal controls. Without a streamlined internal controls environment, employees may struggle to understand which processes to follow, which can heighten enterprise risk—especially if key activities fall through the cracks. To mitigate these risks, LDCs may want to begin by automating their controls. In addition to reducing the errors associated with manual processes, automation typically delivers significant efficiencies, including speeding up routine processes while minimizing the unsanctioned workarounds that sometimes lead to fraud. At the same time, it’s important to recognize that this isn’t a “once and done” exercise. To keep pace in a ...

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Overcoming ‘Goldfish’ Attention Spans: For Utilities

According to a recent study done by Nielsen, it was determined that, since 2000, the attention span of humans has dropped from 12 seconds to eight seconds, putting us below the attention span of goldfish! This downward trend presents a new challenge for utilities as they aim to stay relevant and make a lasting impression on their customers – not only do we need to compete for attention in a crowded digital landscape, we need to maintain it. In the energy sector, ideas for interesting content isn’t usually the problem as there are plenty of fascinating trends emerging all the time. So, what’s the answer? How can utilities evolve to produce content that both captures and captivates their audiences? At Hydro Ottawa, we believe the answer is seeking out content mediums that build brand personality, foster two-way engagement, and tell a story. These days, consumers want to know brands are real, human and relatable. This can be achieved through a consistent style and message and through bra ...

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Scams and Fraudulent activities: Local Hydro Utilities Tell Customers What to Watch For and What To DO

Technology is great, it makes our lives easier but sometimes it can also make us vulnerable to individuals who take advantage of the information available to them. Across the province local hydro utilities are warning their customers about scammers who are trying to take advantage and extort money from both residential customers and small businesses. Residential customers and small businesses are receiving calls from people claiming to be their utility. One scam is that customers will get a call and, customers are threatened with service disconnection if they do not make an immediate payment at cryptocurrency machines, typically located inside convenience stores, cafes, or in malls. Cryptocurrency is not an accepted form of payment for local hydro utilities. Customers should not share any account information or attempt payments – they should simply hang up. Individuals posing as representatives of the utility are also contacting customers by phone and threatening to disconnect their power i ...

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