Electricity Distributors Association Honours Outstanding Local Hydro Achievements in Ontario

March 26, 2024

Top-performing distribution utilities from across Ontario were honoured Monday evening at the Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) Awards Gala. This annual celebration acknowledges a spectrum of key accomplishments, outstanding customer service and sustainability programs, innovations, and best practices on the part of the companies that deliver the Power of Local Hydro across Ontario. 

“Ontario’s local hydro utilities are on the front lines of power, working hard to deliver safe and reliable electricity, along with enhanced services and innovative solutions our customers expect,” said Teresa Sarkesian, EDA President and CEO. “EDA member electricity utilities achieved significant success in providing value added services and experiences to their customers in communities across Ontario.”

With over 500 guests on hand for the gala celebration at the Fairmont Royal York, the EDA’s Board Chair Indrani Butany, President and CEO of Elexicon Energy, recognized the accomplishments of all the deserving nominees and announced the winners.

“This past year we witnessed an abundance of excellence within Ontario’s electricity distribution sector,” added Butany. “As always, the EDA takes great pride in spotlighting the remarkable achievements of our members and the innovative approaches they employ to serve their customers with utmost dedication and effectiveness.”

The Local Distribution Company (LDC) Performance Excellence Award, sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP, recognizes outstanding performance in occupational health and safety, operations, finance, conservation, and community engagement. This year, the prestigious honour was awarded to GrandBridge Energy for their exceptional strides in integrating crucial information systems, thereby streamlining operational costs. Furthermore, their commitment to offering customers a plethora of conservation projects has significantly enhanced their service offerings. Continuing to support their philanthropy, with contributions exceeding $100,000 to community organizations, and their continued dedication to community assistance.

The Public Electrical Safety Excellence Award, sponsored by the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), was awarded to SYNERGY NORTH for its informative video campaign that targeted contractors and homeowners to inform them about the safety precautions around “digging safely is just more than a call or click” focused on educating customers on all aspects of digging safely beyond the call or click to Ontario One Call.

The Communications Excellence Award was presented to Essex Powerlines Corporation for its informational communication campaign on their CHARGE UP initiative. Since its inception, CHARGE UP has contributed to the installation of 114 electric vehicle charging stations within the municipalities this LDC serves. The program has successfully reduced barriers to EV adoption by providing financial support for qualified infrastructure, and increased accessibility and convenience for electric vehicle users, promoting more sustainable transportation choices.

The Customer Service Excellence Award was presented to Burlington Hydro for its new and improved MyAccount customer online portal. The web-based system enhances the customer experience, providing updated alerts, eBilling, customer communication, outages are many of its capabilities to help keep their customers informed.

The Sustainability Excellence Award was presented to Elexicon Energy for embarking on a transformative journey towards sustainability in embracing the challenge of developing a robust ESG (environmental, social, and governance criteria) Framework. By setting ambitious goals, including ISO 14001 compliance by 2025.

The Innovation Excellence Award, sponsored by the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO), was presented to PUC Distribution in recognition of their development of its Smart Grid solution. This project represents a groundbreaking solution for sustainable energy, pioneering Canada’s first community-wide smart grid system.

The Public Relations Excellence Award was presented to Hydro One, Bluewater Power Distribution and London Hydro in recognition of their acclaimed “Labatt Project” demonstrated remarkable expertise and coordination in successfully transferring three of Labatt’s four large beer tanks from Sarnia Harbour to Labatt Brewery in London, Ontario, all without incident. The journey through Southwestern Ontario garnered substantial media attention, underscoring the high-profile nature of the operation. This achievement stands as a testament to the exceptional teamwork and dedication of these utility professionals.

The EDA’s Volunteer Excellence Award is presented to an individual in recognition of their outstanding support and perseverance in advancing the Association’s policy positions. This year’s award was presented to two worthy recipients: Wilf Meston, Vice President, Operations at Enova Power and Jane Hale-McDonald, retired from GrandBridge Energy. Wilf has volunteered on the EDA’s Niagara Grand District as an Executive Officer for six years. He also served on the EDA’s Board of Directors for two years and has Chaired the EDA’s EDIST Planning Committee since 2019. Jane is a champion of Human Resources, having served on the EDA’s Human Resource Council for fourteen years since its inauguration in 2010.

A Chair’s Citation, in Memory of Robert H. Hay, for individual achievement was presented to three worth individuals: Vinay SharmaPresident and CEO of London Hydro, Jerry Van Ooteghem former President and CEO of Enova Power and Tim Wilson, President and CEO of SYNERGY NORTH. Vinay has accomplished an unwavering commitment to Ontario’s electrical utility industry with over 26 years of extensive experience where he has influenced the strategic evolution in the industry. Jerry has over four decades in the electricity distribution sector, offering invaluable leadership and expertise. Tim has held various leadership roles in the electricity sector, while demonstrating exceptional industry knowledge and wisdom.


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