Hydro Ottawa Update to City Council


EDA Proposes Changes for Ontario’s Electricity Distribution Sector

The Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) met with the Ontario Distribution Sector Review Panel to outline a six-point plan for saving Ontario electricity consumers more than $540-million annually.  Hydro Ottawa is a member of the EDA, which represents Ontario’s Local Distribution Companies (LDCs).

“Our submission details how, with the right changes, the government could reduce customer bills by close to five per cent and improve the distribution system in Ontario at the same time,” said Max Cananzi, Chair of the EDA, in a news release accompanying the submission. “LDCs can deliver more than just electricity – by growing and delivering more services to their communities, they can be even more efficient which will lead to savings for customers.”

The EDA’s six-point plan focuses on operations, ownership, regulation and new and emerging technologies.  The six recommendations, with estimated savings, are:

  1. Allow LDCs to manage water and waste-water services − $180 million.
  2. Permit LDCs to carry out street light maintenance work in their communities − $15 million.
  3. Let LDCs take the lead in designing and developing conservation and demand management programs that make sense for their customers and communities − $20 million.
  4. Improve industry regulations − $15 million.
  5. Curtail energy retailers in the residential sector − $260 million.
  6. Promote the voluntary mergers of LDCs − $50 million.

The Ontario Distribution Sector Review Panel was announced in April 2012 by the Ontario Government.  Its mandate is to provide advice and make recommendations to the Minister of Energy regarding issues related to Ontario’s electricity distribution sector and distribution models, including opportunities for consolidating distributors.  Panel members are Murray Elston (Chair) and Floyd Laughren, both former Ontario Cabinet Ministers, and David McFadden, a partner at Gowling Lafleur Henderson.

CEA Releases White Paper and Environmental Results

The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) has released a white paper urging decision makers to ensure electricity forms the backbone of a pan-Canadian energy strategy. The white paper was distributed to Premiers at the Council of the Federation Summer Meeting on July 25 to 27 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

“Canada needs to invest significantly in refurbished and new electricity infrastructure in order to maintain system reliability,” said Jim Burpee, President and CEO of the CEA. “A pan-Canadian approach on energy would support harmonized standards for energy efficiency, the progress of the smart grid, and the development of electric vehicle infrastructure.”

The white paper calls on the Premiers to work towards a pan-Canadian energy strategy that is sensitive to jurisdiction but that also understands that investing in Canada’s electricity system for the next generation creates the backbone for economic growth and prosperity across the country.

In 2011, Canada’s electricity sector made a total capital investment of $20 billion, according to the CEA.  Hydro Ottawa’s capital investment of $99.7 million in 2011 was the highest in the company’s history, and capital investments are forecast to average just over $100 million for the next five years.

The CEA has also released its fourth annual Sustainable Electricity Report, outlining the environmental, social and economic performance of its corporate utility members in 2011. Hydro Ottawa was featured in this report for its work with Hire Immigrants Ottawa and other initiatives to support a more diversified workforce. 

Among the improvements in environmental performance, CEA member utilities achieved a:

  • 16.7 percent reduction in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions;
  • 16.2 percent reduction in sulphur dioxide emissions;
  • 15.1 percent reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions; and a
  • 9.4 percent reduction in priority spills.

The reductions in emissions, which help to reduce the effects of climate change and smog, were driven primarily by the decline of coal-based generation and greater use of more efficient generation technologies across Canada, the CEA said.

Ontario’s Electricity System Takes the Heat

During a summer of record-setting temperatures in July – the hottest month on record – Ontario’s electricity system has continued to meet demand and keep the lights on in homes and businesses across the province. 

In July, Ontario’s electricity system experienced the highest monthly summer demand since August 2007, as well as a peak demand of 24,600 megawatts.  There was ample generation available to meet this peak, with installed generation capacity in Ontario now surpassing 32,000 megawatts.

Hydro Ottawa’s system has been robust this summer, able to handle the hot weather while maintaining reliability.  As a prudent measure, we delayed a number of planned outages until cooler weather, to ensure continued power supply through the heat waves.

Since 2003, Ontario has brought more than 10,000 megawatts of new and refurbished energy online from sources like natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar and bio-energy. That’s enough power capacity to meet the needs of more than 2 million homes.

The ninth anniversary of 2003 blackout that affected 50 million people across north-eastern North America was also marked this summer, on August 14.  Independent Electricity System Operator President and CEO Paul Murphy, whose organization is responsible for the day-to-day operation of Ontario’s electrical system, said several checks and balances are in place today that weren’t around nine years ago.  These include mandatory guidelines for grid operators to manage vegetation under transmission lines, improved system control tools, and upgraded operator training, all contributing to a more reliable system, he said.


Expanding Generating Capacity at Trail Road Landfill

Energy Ottawa has increased its generating capacity at the Trail Road Landfill. The newly operational sixth generator increases the capacity of the landfill gas-to-energy facility to 6 MW. The expansion will produce an additional 6,000 MWh – enough power to meet the annual needs of another 600 homes.

The Trail Road landfill gas-to-energy plant, a joint venture 60 percent owned by Energy Ottawa, converts millions of tonnes of previously flared-off methane gas into renewable energy.

Energy Ottawa is Ottawa’s largest producer of green power. Our generation plants produced approximately 142,000 MWh of renewable energy in 2011 – enough to meet the annual needs of approximately 17,000 homes. We are currently pursuing several projects to increase our generating capacity.


Hydro Ottawa launches 2012 United Way campaign

Full of community spirit, a group of Hydro Ottawa employees ran a 10 km relay run on August 21. The run marked the official beginning of Hydro Ottawa’s 2012 United Way workplace campaign.

Through employee donations and corporate matching dollars, Hydro Ottawa’s campaigns have raised more than $1 million over the past 11 years. This year, Hydro Ottawa aims to surpass its 2011 campaign total of $187,932.

In 2011, Hydro Ottawa’s campaign committee was honoured with a United Way Community Builder Award. Thanks to the leadership of these volunteers and with the support of employees across the company, Hydro Ottawa’s workplace campaign is now the largest donor among the more than 100 companies in the Construction, Manufacturing and Services sector.

The company’s matching dollars are allocated to the Brighter Tomorrows Fund, a community investment program designed to support frontline agencies that serve people who are homeless or at risk of being homeless to invest in energy-efficient technologies or products. Over the past two years more than $219,000 has been allocated by the Brighter Tomorrows Fund to help agencies implement capital projects to reduce their energy costs. The recipients of the 2012 grants will be announced on September 7.

Supporting United Way Ottawa is just one way Hydro Ottawa is contributing to the well-being of our community. Whether it is maintaining one of the safest, most reliable electricity distribution systems in Ontario, helping our customers manage their energy consumption or educating children and youth about electricity safety, Hydro Ottawa is a community builder and a responsible, engaged corporate citizen.

Hydro Ottawa, Crime Stoppers join forces

Hydro Ottawa is proud to support Crime Stoppers, a locally run program that provides cash rewards and confidentiality to those who have anonymous information that helps the police solve crimes. Together we are keeping our community safe by teaming up to ensure those individuals who engage in illegal activities, including stealing electricity to power illegal grow houses, are reported.

Hydro Ottawa has presented National Capital Area Crime Stoppers with a cheque for $3,040. This represents the rewards paid since 2009 for tips that have helped shutdown marijuana grow operations.

Many grow houses tamper with electricity wiring, which can be very dangerous for the occupants of the home, the public and Hydro Ottawa employees.

Approximately 100 Hydro Ottawa pick-up trucks and vans will also display a Crime Stoppers decal.

To report a tip anonymously and earn a reward of up to $2,000, call Crime Stoppers at 613-233-TIPS (8477) or toll free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). National Capital Area Crime Stoppers is also active online at www.crimestoppers.ca, Facebook, and on Twitter @CrimeStoppersOttawa or text to CRIMES with the keyword ‘tip252.’


Brookstreet Hotel diverts Hydro Ottawa rent to charity

A strong communications network is an integral element of the smart electricity grid that Hydro Ottawa is building throughout its service territory.


As part of its network, Hydro Ottawa has an antenna atop the Brookstreet Hotel in Kanata. With an excellent location, height and clear line of sight, the Brookstreet Hotel’s 18-storey rooftop is sought after for communications equipment installation by local companies. Hydro Ottawa is one of five commercial tenants on the rooftop of the hotel.


Renting its rooftop to other companies is more than a commercial venture for Brookstreet – it is also an opportunity to contribute to the community. Brookstreet is allocating $5,000 of its annual rooftop rent to support the hotel’s 10th Anniversary Lumière Charity Gala.


The Lumière Charity Gala will be held at Brookstreet on September 12. Over the last nine years, Brookstreet has distributed more than $300,000 to local charities through Lumière and more than $160,000 for cancer research.


peaksaver now offers in-home energy display

With the new peaksaver PLUS program, Ottawa residents can get a free professionally-installed programmable thermostat and an in-home energy display to help them track and manage their electricity use.


The saveONenergy peaksaver PLUS program is a provincial program funded by the Ontario Power Authority that helps Ontario manage electricity use during those hot and humid summer days when the electricity system is stretched to its limit. Customers can enroll their central air conditioning, swimming pool pump and/or electric water heater in the peaksaver PLUS program to help reduce the amount of electricity being consumed during these times of critical peak demand.


Hydro Ottawa has launched a marketing campaign to create awareness and encourage participation in the peaksaver PLUS campaign, part of our conservation and demand management initiative which contributes to our provincial targets to reduce electricity consumption by 2014.


For complete program details and to enrol, customers may call 1-866-813-2226 or go to www.peaksaverplus.net.


Condo buildings switch to suite metering

Residents in multi-residential buildings usually pay an equal but estimated share of electricity through their condominium fees. Hydro Ottawa’s suite metering – the measurement of electrical consumption in each individual suite – gives more people in Ottawa the tools to monitor and control their electricity consumption.


Over the coming months, Hydro Ottawa will be converting more than 800 units in four condominium buildings to suite metering. This involves installing Measurement Canada approved meters in the electrical distribution rooms of the condominium buildings.


Once suite metering is implemented, condominium fees are reduced and each suite owner becomes a Hydro Ottawa customer. They directly receive a bill from us and pay only for the electricity that they use


With suite metering, each condominium owner can monitor, manage and make informed decisions about their electricity usage, and see the results on their energy bill. Studies have shown that it reduces energy consumption in condominiums by 15 to 30 percent.


Hydro Ottawa sees the value in giving customers the ability to manage their electricity consumption and costs. We also see the importance of investing in programs and initiatives that promote conservation and a more sustainable future. Suite metering achieves both of these objectives – saving money and energy!


For more information, contact our Suite Metering representative at condosuite@hydroottawa.com.


Switch to paperless and win

In early September, Hydro Ottawa will be launching a marketing campaign to increase customer awareness of self-serve options MyHydroLink, E-Billing and pre-authorized payment plans.

Customers who have registered for these services or sign up before midnight, November 23, 2012 have the opportunity to enter into a draw to win a suite of energy-efficient, stainless-steel appliances or one of five tablet computers. Each online service a customer signs up for gives them another chance to win.

  • MyHydroLink, Hydro Ottawa’s self-service customer portal,  allows customers to check out electricity consumption data by the hour, day, month, and billing period; view current account balances and payment history; register for a pre-authorized payment plan and E-Billing; submit a move request online; and make a credit card payment.
  • E-Billing is a convenient, environmentally-friendly and secure way to view your electricity bill online. Instead of receiving a paper bill by mail, we’ll send an email notification when your next bill is ready.  Then you can go online and get all the information you want about your bill, electricity usage history or bill payments.
  • With pre-authorized payment, you will never have to remember to make another payment again.  Simply enter your banking information and we will withdraw the amount on the due date of your bill. 

Visit www.hydroottawa.com/contest for details and complete contest rules.


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