LATEST EDA POLICY PAPER: A ROADMAP FOR SYSTEM TRANSFORMATION 21
EDA UPDATES ON THE IESO’S MRP 23
Hydro Ottawa: Training the Next Generation /// 8
Agreement #: 43526108
Ontario’s hydro utilities recognized for excellence and innovation 10
EDA Chair Brian Wilkie; Oakville Hydro CEO Rob Lister; OPG CEO Jeffrey Lyash
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CONTENTS SECTOR SCAN 6
N ews from the electricity distribution industry 8 Hydro Ottawa and Algonquin College: Training the next generation
COVER 10 T his year’s outstanding award winners 14 Spotlight on Oakville Hydro 16 H ighlights from the 2018 AGM 18 ENERCOM 2018
ADVOCACY IN ACTION 20 21 22 23
The new government: what’s next The Power to Connect OEB Modernization Review New Market Renewal Update for LDCs
LDC INNOVATORS 24 Innovation is efficiency: Digital Grid 2.0 25 A new space for bold ideas 26 A small LDC goes big on modernization
CONNECT EVENTS 28 Women Connected 28 Directors Summit 29 CUEE 2018 29 EBIC 2018 30 Connect Events Calendar
MESSAGE FROM THE CHAIR SUMMER 2018
The Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) publishes The Distributor for its members and stakeholders. All rights to editorial content are reserved by the EDA. No article can be reproduced in whole or in part without the permission of the EDA.
PUBLISHED SUMMER 2018 FOR: Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) 3700 Steeles Avenue West, Suite 1100 Vaughan, ON L4L 8K8 www.eda-on.ca
EDA STAFF CEO’S OFFICE Teresa Sarkesian, President and CEO Natasha Galati, Executive and Administrative Assistant
POLICY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS Justin Rangooni, Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs Kathi Farmer, Senior Regulatory Affairs Advisor Jesse Kulendran, Policy Advisor Joyce Mankarios, Policy Advisor Derek Nardone, Manager, Corporate and Government Affairs
CORPORATE AND MEMBER AFFAIRS Ted Wigdor, Vice President, Corporate and Member Affairs Marica Macura, Director, Member Relations and Events Andrea Ritter, Manager, Communications and Media Relations Sari Maritzer, Coordinator, Communications Dianna Merlocco, Events Specialist Kathryn Segal, Coordinator, Marketing and Member Affairs
FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION Tamara Orlova, Director, Finance and Administration Arlene Klemmer, Accounting Clerk Paul Matthews, Senior IT Analyst Lina Parisi, Receptionist Chrissan Pascal, Office Services Assistant
DOVETAIL Communications 30 East Beaver Creek, Suite 202 Richmond Hill, ON L4B 1J2 Tel. 905.886.6640 | www.dvtail.com Advertising inquiries, Beth Kukkonen, email@example.com Editorial inquiries, Andrea Ritter, firstname.lastname@example.org Please return undeliverable copies to: Electricity Distributors Association (EDA) 3700 Steeles Avenue West, Suite 1100, Vaughan, ON L4L 8K8 PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 43526108
For many businesses, the summer season signals a somewhat more relaxed pace. Not so for LDCs. For us, now is the time when electricity usage tends to surge, placing greater pressure on the grid. On the heels of an election, the staff at the EDA is also hard at work gearing up to work with a new government. More than any other in recent memory, the 2018 provincial election featured vigorous debate around hydro, primarily rates, ownership and salaries. The EDA congratulates Premier Doug Ford and his team. It was a hard-fought campaign that seemed to be driven by personalities as much as policies. Right to the end, the outcome was by no means certain. In the leadup to the election, the EDA’s Power of Local Hydro campaign was in full swing. EDA staff met with all three major parties to discuss LDC sector priorities such as regulation, innovation and local decisionmaking. The team aimed to secure neutral to favourable positions on energy-related issues in each party platform, and this goal was achieved. With the election now behind us, our Power of Local Hydro campaign remains a priority. As we set meetings with newly elected MPPs, ministers and Queen’s Park staff, we are continuing to leverage the campaign and its five key messages to inform positions and policy decisions: 1. Keep the customer first 2. Drive innovation forward 3. Cut red tape 4. Respect community decision-making 5. Expand local energy conservation This campaign will also fuel discussions with local council candidates, in anticipation of municipal elections across the province this fall. This issue of The Distributor may look slightly different than what you have seen over the last few years. The EDA staff has made significant updates to provide a fresher look, along with more robust news and information about EDA members and activities. Inside you will find updates on the EDA’s latest advocacy and policy analysis, details about recent and upcoming EDA events, and news from members across the province. I hope you will enjoy these changes and I look forward to your feedback. I am especially pleased to see this year’s EDA Award winners and their outstanding initiatives featured prominently in this issue. The quality of the work submitted for consideration this year shows that Ontario’s LDCs are proactive, innovative and consistently working hard for their customers and the sector. On behalf of the EDA, especially our Membership and Awards Committee, I thank all the LDCs that submitted nominations to this year’s program and encourage more submissions for 2019. With a new government now in place, new opportunities to consider and new policy decisions to be made, the collective efforts of all EDA members are more important than ever. We are not sitting back and watching the sector evolve around us. Instead, we are placing LDCs at the forefront of Ontario’s energy future. Sincerely, Brian Wilkie
Alectra’s Cable Rejuvenation Garners Environmental Award
For the second consecutive year, Alectra Utilities was honoured with an Environmental Stewardship Award from Novinium, a provider of electrical cable rejuvenation for electric utilities. In 2017, Alectra rejuvenated more than 76,000 metres of underground power cables, mitigating 968 metric tonnes of CO2 that would otherwise have been released into the environment. “Our commitment to sustainable initiatives is a cornerstone of the values we adhere to at Alectra,” says Alectra’s President and CEO, Brian Bentz. Well done, Alectra.
High Public Trust in Local Utilities: Customer Panel
Your Campaign User Guide: Share the Power of Local Hydro
The EDA’s Power of Local Hydro campaign has gained excellent traction with LDCs, decision-makers and the public. To help LDC members get involved, the EDA has created a Campaign User Guide that includes campaign graphics, links, sample messages and detailed instructions members can use to engage their customers and communities about the power and importance of their local hydro utility. Learn more about the campaign and access the user guide by visiting poweroflocalhydro.ca.
Last fall, the EDA formed a Customer Panel, inviting electricity customers from across the province to share their thoughts and opinions on their local hydro utilities, customer service, conservation, innovation, and more. The EDA has conducted three “Your Voice Has Power” surveys to date. Customers have told us they have a high level of trust in their LDC and appreciate local decisionmaking. They are very positive about conservation, provided it does not require substantial investments on their part. Keeping costs down is their major priority. The EDA is looking for more voices to join the Customer Panel. Direct your customers to eda-on.ca to learn how they can have a voice on electricity distribution in their community.
Veridian Celebrates 2 Million Hours without Lost-time Injury In May, Veridian Connections Inc. proudly celebrated more than two million hours without a lost-time injury. The milestone was reached after more than five years of work among its 220plus employees without a single work-related lost-time injury. “The health, safety and well-being of our employees and the public is a key foundation of our business,” says Veridian President and CEO Michael Angemeer. “A healthy and safe work environment is a requirement for a productive, engaged and innovative workforce, which in turn, provides better value for our customers and shareholders.” Congratulations to the Veridian team.
EDA Members Make Canada’s Greenest Employers List
Now in its 11th year, Canada’s Greenest Employers is an editorial competition organized by the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. Hydro Ottawa and Veridian Corporation both made the 2018 list for promoting corporate programs that support green initiatives in their workplaces. EV charging options, carpool programs, hybrid vehicles, and battery storage projects are among the many programs these two companies have made available within their organizations. Congratulations!
EDA CEO Teresa Sarkesian Is on the Move!
The EDA’s President and CEO, Teresa Sarkesian, has been on the road, speaking to LDCs and stakeholders about electricity issues, as well as the latest EDA activities and successes. In the last two months alone, Teresa has spoken at the Ontario Power Symposium, the EDA’s Women Connected Conference, the EDA Niagara Grand District Spring Technical Meeting, the Energy Transformation Network of Ontario, the Energy Plus AGM, the IESO Electricity Summit, and the EDA’s 2018 Directors Summit. If you would like to have Teresa speak at an energy-related event, please forward your request, including date, time and topic, to Executive Assistant Natasha Galati: email@example.com.
Orangeville Hydro Bids Farewell to George Dick
After nearly four decades in the utility industry, George Dick is retiring from his post as President of Orangeville Hydro. George first joined Orangeville Hydro as a meter reader. After 10 years, he worked his way up to the position of engineer technician and eventually took on the company’s top leadership role. A celebration honouring George’s years of dedicated service was held on May 10. He now has big plans to finish a sequel to his novel and play more golf. The EDA wishes George the very best.
EDA Provides Updates, Analysis on IESO’s Market Renewal Program The IESO’s Market Renewal Program (MRP) is intended to improve the way electricity is priced, scheduled and procured, in order to effectively meet Ontario’s current and future energy needs. The EDA is pleased to provide a series of biweekly briefings on the MRP, developed in collaboration with Power Advisory LLC. These briefings are offered to the EDA’s LDC members exclusively, as part of the full suite of policy and government relations expertise we provide. Learn more on Page 22 in this issue and at eda-on.ca.
Don’t Miss a Thing! Follow the EDA The EDA is always sharing updates on our Power of Local Hydro campaign and our latest advocacy activities, events and member news. Be sure to follow us on Twitter (@EDA_ON), check us out on LinkedIn (electricitydistributors-association) and stay tuned to our YouTube channel to learn the latest on what’s happening at the EDA.
HYDRO OTTAWA AND ALGONQUIN COLLEGE:
TRAINING FOR THE NEXT GENERATION New partnership brings vital training and certification to eastern Ontario By Daniel Séguin
or the first time ever, eastern Ontario is home to Powerline Technician Apprenticeship training and certification. In partnership with Hydro Ottawa, Algonquin College has received Training Delivery Agent (TDA) status from the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development. This designation allows Algonquin College and Hydro Ottawa to provide training and certification to Hydro Ottawa apprentice Powerline Technicians, as well as to other apprentices such as those from other LDCs and contractors. The TDA partnership complements Hydro Ottawa’s existing partnership with Algonquin College in the design and delivery of the two-year Powerline Technician Diploma Program, a program that has proven to be extremely successful, with 191 graduates to date. Hydro Ottawa’s own apprentice Powerline Technicians have already been trained and certified, with five apprentices receiving their Level One certification in 2017. As of June 2018, Algonquin College and Hydro Ottawa will officially be accepting external apprentices for Level One Powerline Technician Apprenticeship training and certification, with subsequent levels to follow each year. With this phased-in approach, a new level of training and certification will be added from 2018 through 2021. By 2021, all four levels of training and certification will be available in eastern Ontario through this partnership. This is an important development for the entire industry. In the past, utilities in eastern Ontario have had to send apprentices for training and certification to other areas of the province. Now, for the first time, they can be trained locally. This change will provide more LDCs and contractors with increased accessibility to the training and certification of apprentice Powerline Technicians. “We are incredibly proud to be contributing significantly to
the Powerline Technician trade in Ontario through our expanded partnership with Algonquin College,” says Lyne Parent-Garvey, Chief Human Resources Officer at Hydro Ottawa. “This program enables apprentice Powerline Technicians in Ontario to benefit from Hydro Ottawa’s high standard of apprenticeship training.” Over the last decade, Hydro Ottawa has seen a quarter of its employees retire, while another 35 per cent are eligible to retire over the next 10 years. This situation is not unique to Hydro Ottawa; it is the reality throughout the industry. With TDA status, the existing partnership with Algonquin College in the design and delivery of the two-year Powerline Technician Diploma Program is now further enhanced with apprenticeship training and certification and will help replenish ranks in the field. This innovative partnership with Algonquin College makes Hydro Ottawa a leader in training the next generation of Powerline Technicians. By the year 2021, when all four levels of training and certification are available, Algonquin College and Hydro Ottawa will be able to provide the industry with a talent pool of highly skilled Powerline Technicians who are ready to meet the demands of an evolving industry. As more and more experienced tradespeople retire and the need for new technicians increases, this partnership has the potential to have great impact on the industry. Hydro Ottawa has taken a proactive approach to ensure that it and other LDCs and contractors have access to the best trained people for the job. Daniel Séguin is the Manager, Media and Public Affairs at Hydro Ottawa, eastern Ontario’s largest LDC. If you would like to learn more about Hydro Ottawa and its partnership with Algonquin College, Daniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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ONTARIO’S HYDRO UTILITIES RECOGNIZED FOR EXCELLENCE, INNOVATION Three individual and eight LDC awards presented at annual EDA Gala
op-performing electricity utilities from across Ontario were honoured in March at the EDA Awards Gala in Toronto. The annual program provides an unparalleled opportunity for the EDA to showcase key LDC accomplishments, programs and best practices to electricity sector peers and stakeholders. More than 400 guests were on hand to celebrate LDC innovation, service excellence and commitment to local communities. “Ontario’s local electricity utilities have pushed forward on many gamechanging initiatives that are delivering more choice, improved services and enhanced community relations, in addition to the safe, reliable power customers rely on for their homes and businesses,” said Brian Wilkie, President and CEO of Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. and Chair of the EDA, who hosted the ceremony. “The quality of the work submitted this year is a sign that utilities are proactive, innovative and consistently working hard for their customers and the sector.”
This year, awards were presented in two individual and eight corporate categories: The Chair’s Citation Award, in memory of Robert H. Hay, went to Jim Keech, President and CEO, Utilities Kingston, and Todd Wilcox, former President and COO, North Bay Hydro, for outstanding long-time service to the EDA and the electricity industry.
The Foreign Study Tour Award, in memory of W.R Mathieson, was presented to Sue Forcier, Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs, at Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc., in recognition of her contributions to the industry through volunteer participation on EDA Councils, Committees and Working Groups, as well as other energy industry boards and associations. The Conservation Leadership Excellence Award, sponsored by the IESO, was awarded to Burlington Hydro for its robust conservation marketing and outreach campaign, which raised awareness and dramatically increased uptake of customer conservation programs and incentives.
Award nominations are open to all LDC members in the fall each year. The EDA Membership and Awards Committee reviews all submissions and recommends one winner in each category from what is, invariably, an outstanding pool of nominees. Awards are presented at a gala event at the Royal York Hotel, coinciding with the EDA’s annual general meeting. Stay tuned to www.eda-on.ca this fall for the call for nominations for the 2019 EDA Awards.
COVER EDA’s new Board members and head table guests honouring this year’s award winners.
Stratford’s Festival Hydro received the Public Electrical Safety Excellence Award, sponsored by the Electrical Safety Authority, for developing an effective multimedia program to inform elementary school students and the general community about the importance of electrical safety awareness. Halton Hills Hydro took home the Innovation Excellence Award for its impressive four-month leadership training program, aimed at improving and fostering creative, critical thinking in order to prepare for change and the technology evolution of its service offerings. Oshawa PUC Networks Inc. earned the Environmental Excellence Award for piloting a solar project designed to benefit consumers and the utility by helping customers reduce and manage their own electricity usage, while improving the customer experience. The award for Customer Service Excellence went to London Hydro for creating an online portal that manages residential service connection requests. The new process helped to improve communications, reduce paper and slash service delivery time by 74 per cent, while increasing residential service connections by 50 per cent. Alectra Utilities was recognized with a Communications Excellence Award for improvements to its advocacy approach within six municipalities, which resulted in new and enhanced relationships, increased communication and greater presence and awareness in the communities the company serves. The Public Relations Excellence Award went to Burlington Hydro for its unique engagement campaign, encouraging customers to become more environmentally responsible by registering for e-billing. The initiative included informing customers that $5 would be donated to purchase trees for local community woodlots and parks. Sponsored by Ontario Power Generation, the evening’s most prestigious award, the EDA LDC Performance Excellence Award, went to Oakville Hydro, recognizing outstanding overall performance excellence in a number of operational categories. The EDA proudly congratulates all of this year’s nominees and award winners. Stay tuned to www.eda-on.ca this fall for the call for nominations for the 2019 EDA Awards.
ENERGY MINISTER APPLAUDS LDCS IN KEYNOTE ADDRESS The EDA welcomed then-Minister of Energy, the Hon. Glenn Thibeault, as our Awards Gala keynote speaker. More than 400 guests heard the minister laud the hard work the EDA has done to develop strategic relationships with government stakeholders on behalf of members. Minister Thibault also highlighted the innovative products and services LDCs are implementing for their customers, providing greater choice and convenience for consumers, while also leveraging new technologies that are streamlining operations and enhancing efficiencies.
Ysni Semsedini, CEO of Festival Hydro, poses with his team at the Awards Gala photo booth, celebrating Festival’s Public Electrical Safety Excellence Award.
Commercial Plus Members Neil Freeman and Peter Routliff from Blue Box Technology at the Awards Gala cocktail reception.
Members and guests celebrate this year’s winners and overall LDC excellence at the historic Royal York Hotel in Toronto.
Members of the IESO team, sponsors of the Conservation Leadership Excellence Award, celebrate this year’s winner, Burlington Hydro.
Members kick off the 2018 Awards Gala, recognizing LDC members for their contributions in the electricity sector.
Oakville Hydro Wins LDC Performance Excellence Award
This year, the EDA’s most prestigious award, the LDC Performance Excellence Award, went to Oakville Hydro. Generously sponsored by Ontario Power Generation, this signature award recognizes a local distribution company whose results throughout the year reflect excellence across a range of important performance outcomes, including: • Occupational Health and Safety • Operations • Finance • C onservation and Demand Management • Contributions to the Community In 2017, Oakville Hydro introduced an award-winning corporate strategic safety plan aimed at improving safety in all business
areas. After implementing its “Stayin’ Alive” safety program, Oakville Hydro reported no lost time injuries throughout that year. The company also recorded excellent reliability and first-rate customer service scores and made tremendous contributions to its community by supporting local charities and community events. “This award is a tribute to the dedication of our staff,” said Rob Lister, President and CEO of Oakville Hydro. “Our employees strive every day to bring the best solutions to our customers, while keeping each other and our public safe through a reliable and efficient distribution system. I am proud of our team and their accomplishments.” Oakville Hydro delivers reliable
and safe electricity to more than 70,000 individuals, families and businesses in Oakville. The company maintains an active commitment to conservation, safety, and is strongly invested in the social and economic well-being of the Oakville community. Oakville Hydro is a past recipient of a Performance Excellence Award from the Electricity Distributors Association and a Silver Canada’s Safest Employers Award, recognizing the organization as an exceptional leader in the industry.
Learn more about Oakville Hydro’s outstanding services and achievements at www.OakvilleHydro.com.
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ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING Members connect, celebrate at EDA AGM 2018
Members listened to a lunchtime keynote address from IESO President and CEO Peter Gregg.
n March, EDA members from communities across Ontario came together in Toronto for the association’s AGM. More than a business meeting alone, the two-day event included an opening night reception, meetings for MEARIE subscribers and EDA members, engaging speakers and panel discussions. The event concluded with the highly anticipated EDA Awards Gala. During the LDC member business meeting, outgoing EDA Chair Vinay Sharma, CEO of London Hydro, delivered a report outlining the association’s key accomplishments for the year, including the release of Power to Connect - A Roadmap to a Brighter Ontario, the EDA’s newest policy paper (see Page 21 in this issue for more details), and Shape the Future, the EDA’s 2018-2020 Strategic Plan. The 2018 AGM also marked the official launch of the Power of Local Hydro, an innovative government and public relations campaign designed to promote, position and protect the LDC sector before, during and after the provincial election. Chair Sharma gave members a first look at a new campaign video highlighting the invaluable contributions LDCs make to Ontario. The video, which can be seen anytime at the campaign’s online hub, poweroflocalhydro. ca, has since garnered more than 175,000 views on social media. Chair Sharma encouraged all members to get involved in the campaign. “Whether you choose to submit an innovation story, tweet about us, add a link to your email signature or your website, I challenge every LDC to take at least one action to ensure that your company is a part of this proactive campaign.” Members also heard a detailed update on the EDA’s latest policy work and advocacy activities from CEO Teresa Sarkesian. Teresa touched on the Power to Connect policy paper, the EDA’s participation in the OEB Modernization Review Panel, the outstanding performance in meeting conservation targets imposed by the Province’s Conservation First Framework, and key insights from the EDA’s Customer Panel. Both Chair Sharma and Teresa Sarkesian thanked the EDA Board, Councils, members and staff for their ongoing support in moving electricity issues forward. The business meeting was followed by a lunchtime keynote address from the IESO’s President and CEO, Peter Gregg, as well as several panel discussions and political speakers. Members and guests rounded out the event with an evening of networking and celebration at the EDA Awards Gala. Many stayed on the following day to take part in the EDA’s annual ENERCOM conference. While LDC members attended the EDA Business Meeting, Commercial Members heard from keynote speaker Michel Falcon, entrepreneur and founder of People First Culture, who delivered an informative presentation on “Creating Experience Your Customers Have Never Seen Before.” Mr. Falcon discussed leveraging customers, employee engagement and company culture strategies to help grow businesses.
While LDC members attended the EDA Business Meeting, Commercial Members heard from keynote speaker Michel Falcon, entrepreneur and founder of People First Culture, who delivered an informative presentation on “Creating Experience Your Customers Have Never Seen Before.” Mr. Falcon discussed leveraging customers, employee engagement and company culture strategies to help grow businesses.
Jane Taber, VP Public Affairs at NATIONAL Public Relations, moderated a lively panel discussion on “What to Watch for in the Upcoming Election,” featuring: Chris Benedetti, Principal at Sussex Strategy Group; Will Stewart, Principal at Navigator; and Kim Wright, VP Municipal Public Affairs at Hill + Knowlton.
Then-energy critic Todd Smith, PC MPP for Bay of Quinte, discussed the party’s new leader and his potential impact on future energy policies in Ontario.
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Energy industry professionals enjoyed discussions, demos and networking at annual conference
ENERCOM Chair Ron Clark, Partner with Aird & Berlis’s Energy Practice, opened this year’s conference and exhibition.
Nuvoxx and Star Telecom experts presented their customer service strategy, “Utility Specific Practice” – High Capacity Inbound/ Outbound IVR, Voice/SMS Blast Notifications, CSAT Surveys, Queue Call Back, Hosted Contact Centre (NC3) and SIP Services.
ENERCOM 2018 kicked off with a cocktail reception, an excellent networking opportunity for attendees.
For the 19th consecutive year, the EDA’s ENERCOM Conference and Exhibition brought together senior executives and professionals from the energy sector in Ontario and across North America for a full day of networking, learning and boutique exhibits. Attendees from all areas and levels within the sector benefited from valuable information sharing and ideas exchange in a variety of keynotes and sessions themed around “Breaking
Barriers.” Topics covered transformative technologies, distributed energy resources, the Canadian energy market, customer service excellence and case studies from multiple jurisdictions. Exhibitors connected with prospects and demonstrated ground-breaking products and services. Held annually, immediately following the EDA AGM, ENERCOM is of special interest to:
Arcadian Projects booth showcased tailored energy solutions that help customers meet their energy generation and conservation goals.
•D istributors, generators and transmitters • Suppliers • Commercial, industrial and institutional energy managers •O fficials from local, provincial and federal governments • I nvestment, financial and risk management service companies •L egal, regulatory and energy consultants • Energy asset managers
After unveiling the EDA’s innovative Power of Local Hydro campaign, the association’s policy experts discussed the campaign and its objectives with ENERCOM participants.
CDM SERVICES PROGRAM DELIVERY PROGRAM EVALUATION ESA AUDITING CDM/DSM PLAN MANAGEMENT REGULATORY SUPPORT STRATEGIC PLANNING STAKEHOLDER ENGAGEMENT DISTRIBUTION ENGINEERING &PLANNING Rene Gatien, President and CEO of Waterloo North Hydro; Zoran Stojanovic, Director of Product Development at London Hydro; and Ysni Semsedini, President and CEO of Festival Hydro discussed how Ontario’s LDCs are advancing customer-driven electricity solutions with innovative initiatives.
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EDA THANKS ITS 2018 SPONSOR: BURMAN ENERGY
ADVOCACY IN ACTION
A NEW PC GOVERNMENT: WHAT’S NEXT?
Promoting the LDC sector as a valued partner in affordability, reliability
Following a hard-fought campaign and the tightest race in recent memory, Ontario voters opted decidedly for change, after 15 years of Liberal government. With what some analysts have called “the magic of a simple message,” Doug Ford and the PC Party successfully appealed to a large portion of the electorate looking for a significant shift in direction on several provincial issues, including energy. According to pre-election polls by Ipsos Reid, energy costs stood out as the fourth most important issue for Ontarians, behind healthcare, the economy and taxes. Immediately following the election, the EDA hosted a member webinar to review the results in detail, what they mean for the electricity sector, and key advocacy issues moving forward. More than 125 participants joined EDA Chair Brian Wilkie, EDA President and CEO Teresa Sarkesian, and the EDA Policy and Government Affairs team to hear an analysis of election issues, risks and opportunities for LDCs, and next steps for the EDA and LDCs. Regarding electricity, the PC platform focused squarely on affordability and reliability. The new government is now committed to reducing customers’ bills by another 12 per cent, over and above the 25 per cent already promised by the Fair Hydro Plan, by: • returning the Hydro One dividend, which now goes to the government, back into the hands of customers • transferring partial costs of conservation programs from the rate base to the tax base; • placing a moratorium on all new energy contracts and seeking exit clauses and savings where possible within existing contracts; • removing the Smart Meter Charge from customer bills; • reviewing executive compensation at Hydro One and OPG; • stabilizing industrial hydro rates through a series of “aggressive reforms.” The premier quickly made good on his promise to scrap
cap-and-trade and halt GreenOn programs. The government is now getting down to the business of delivering the additional 12 per cent bill reduction. Members can expect the government to move quickly, with an early summer legislative session that will include introduction of key pieces of legislation to deliver on platform commitments. “With direction from our Board, the EDA is already providing input to ensure the sector is kept whole,” said Teresa Sarkesian. “As we set meetings with Energy Minister Greg Rickford, Queen’s Park staff and new MPPs in all of our districts, we are leveraging our positive relationships with previously serving and incoming PC staffers and ministers, along with our Power of Local Hydro campaign.” The Power of Local Hydro campaign, aimed at promoting and protecting the LDC sector, remains a priority. The EDA is continuing to leverage key campaign messages, shifting the emphasis and language to capitalize on areas of alignment with the new government’s “Plan for the People” priorities: • keeping the customer first — a message that figured prominently in Premier Ford’s campaign promises on electricity; • cutting red tape – continuing to advocate for regulatory reform, emphasizing the need to modernize and to remove cumbersome business barriers for LDCs; • expanding local energy conservation – positioning conservation as an important cost-cutting mechanism for customers and advocating for a continued leadership role for LDCs in CDM delivery; • driving innovation forward — positioning LDC innovation as a cost containment strategy for the electricity system; • respecting community decision-making – making sure the government understands that customers have a great deal of trust in their LDC to deliver choice, convenience and control over their energy use. Members can access the complete post-election webinar presentation by logging in at www.eda-on.ca. The EDA will continue to provide members with regular updates and analysis on key developments during the important first 100 days of the new government’s mandate, along with updates on ongoing EDA advocacy activities at Queen’s Park. For more information on the EDA’s advocacy and government relations strategy and how LDCs can get involved, please contact Derek Nardone, the EDA’s Manager, Corporate & Government Affairs: dnardone@ eda-on.ca or (905) 265-5348.
ADVOCACY IN ACTION
THE POWER TO CONNECT: A ROADMAP
Latest EDA paper presents a roadmap for LDCs to become FINOs
n February, the EDA released its second vision paper, Power to Connect: A Roadmap to a Brighter Ontario. Building upon the EDA’s 2017 paper, Power to Connect: Advancing Customer-Driven Electricity Solutions for Ontario, this new report identifies challenges and barriers to the evolution of Ontario’s LDCs through an assessment of current policy, legislation and regulations. It also outlines concrete steps Ontario’s policymakers can take in the near, medium and long term to best serve the interests of our evolving industry. The EDA believes LDCs of the future will assume a critical function in Ontario’s energy transition as Fully Integrated Network Orchestrators (FINOs). The need for this transformation is heightening, given increased demand for the integration of distributed energy resources (DERs), including solar, storage, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and fuel cells. The Roadmap identifies five key issues that stand to hinder LDCs from transforming into FINOs: 1. the need for updated rules and provisions that will allow LDCs to pursue new lines of business 2. a ugmented distribution planning to reflect the complexity of DERs 3. u ncoordinated centralized procurement of electricity resources 4. the misperception that LDCs lack the capabilities to innovate 5. pricing and rate design – current wholesale prices do not allow the full benefits of DERs to be realized At the same time, the paper does not simply identify the problems; rather, it provides an actual real roadmap, with nine high-level solutions and a 15-year implementation plan that will allow LDCs to become FINOs or mini-IESOs:
1. Level the playing field for DERs 2. Improve the definition of DERs and potential services 3. Improve distributed system platforms though investments in grid visibility 4. Remove restrictions on LDC ownership of resources 5. Guidelines for rate-basing of DERs and DER-enabling assets consistent with distribution system plans 6. Coordinate and decentralize procurement of resources and DERs 7. Allow LDCs to control and operate DER assets 8. Shared services of LDCs with respect to control and operations 9. Eventual development of locational marginal pricing + distribution value (LMP+D) The Roadmap paper cements the EDA’s position as the champion of DERs in Ontario. Its solutions are designed to facilitate LDC leadership in enabling, integrating, owning and operating DERs to better meet customer needs. These solutions also align with Ontario’s Long-Term Energy Plan, which focuses on customers, cost-effective electricity, emissions-reduction targets, and the evolving role of LDCs. They are closely mapped to Ontario’s goals of prioritizing conservation, fostering innovation and creating a more flexible regulatory framework. The Roadmap also aligns with the EDA’s Power of Local Hydro campaign, which highlights LDCs as key influencers and change agents. The paper formed the foundation of the EDA’s submissions to the OEB Modernization Review Panel, and it will be used to guide discussions with our new government and all stakeholders who need to hear the LDC voice. The paper was developed with input from the EDA Board and membership and the expertise of Power Advisory LLC, a leading North American management consulting firm that specializes in electricity sector issues and solutions. All EDA members are encouraged to review the Roadmap and to share with Board members, shareholders and community leaders. Download your copy any time at poweroflocalhydro.ca.
ADVOCACY IN ACTION
OEB MODERNIZATION REVIEW PANEL EDA calls for a more modern, streamlined regulatory framework, less red tape
n May 7, the EDA delivered its formal submission to the OEB Modernization Review Panel. Developed with input from the EDA Board and the Regulatory Council, the submission included substantive recommendations on the OEB’s mandate, structure and priorities to ensure LDCs are empowered to deliver on ever-growing customer demands in a rapidly changing economy. Over the past several years, members have consistently pointed to current legislation and regulations as their biggest barriers to business success. For this reason, the EDA has made it a priority to lobby on behalf of Ontario LDCs for regulatory streamlining. The EDA’s voice was heard last year when the government directed the OEB to work with the LDC sector on regulatory streamlining. To realize that objective, the government launched the OEB Modernization Review Panel, the advisory body charged with exploring the appropriate mandate, role and structure of a modern energy regulator. “This panel offers us a once-in-a-generation opportunity to review the mandate, objectives and rules of the OEB to ensure that LDCs can invest in capital and enabling technologies to deliver on ever-growing customer demands in a rapidly changing economy,” says Teresa Sarkesian, President and CEO of the EDA. “LDCs can play a pivotal role
in the new decentralized energy market, assuming we get the regulatory framework right.” The EDA believes the right framework will be flexible, responsive and offer greater certainty to permit key investments in data communications and other enabling technologies. It will ensure grid reliability and optimization of assets, as members roll out new energy solutions to customers, including DERs and electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The EDA’s specific recommendations to the panel include: • Modernize the regulator • Provide regulatory certainty that fosters innovation • Enhance accountability and transparency • Streamline and improve regulatory requirements The OEB Modernization Review Panel is chaired by Richard Dicerni, a former public servant with more than 30 years of public policy experience. The panel also includes Plug’n Drive CEO Cara Clairman and IESO past President and CEO Bruce Campbell. Panel consultations were held from March 26 to May 7, 2018. With a new provincial government now in place, the EDA is advocating for the continuation of the panel’s work. In letters to Energy Minister Greg Rickford and Deputy Minister Stephen Rhodes, the EDA emphasized that the recommended regulatory changes could go a long way to cutting through red tape, removing business barriers for LDCs and, ultimately, benefitting customers. LDC members can view the EDA’s full submission to the OEB Modernization Review panel by logging in at www.eda-on.ca.
ADVOCACY IN ACTION
NEW MARKET RENEWAL UPDATE TO LDC MEMBERS
n the spring, the EDA launched a new series of bi-weekly briefings by Power Advisory LLC on the Independent Electricity System Operator’s (IESO’s) Market Renewal Program (MRP). The EDA’s MRP Updates are prepared exclusively for LDC members, keeping them apprised of the latest developments and offering insights and analysis of changes that could have a significant impact on their business. At its core, the IESO’s MRP involves changes to Ontario’s wholesale electricity market with respect to energy and capacity. Aimed at addressing known issues with market design, the MRP represents the most ambitious enhancements to the IESO-Administered Market (IAM) design since the wholesale and retail markets opened in May 2002. Several elements that comprise the MRP are also reflected within the EDA’s policy paper, Power to Connect: A Roadmap to a Brighter Ontario, with respect to the transition of LDCs to Fully Integrated Network Orchestrators (FINOs). According to the IESO, the MRP is designed to deliver changes that will send transparent price signals to meet different system needs by: • improving utilization, scheduling and dispatch of existing resources in day-ahead and real-time; • increasing competition among resources, with the goal of delivering greater efficiency and flexibility; and • achieving resource adequacy in a more cost-effective and transparent manner, reducing and/or deferring the need to build new resources. The IESO is aiming to map its program design to Ontario’s current policy framework, while also preparing for further changes in the sector, such as evolving climate change policy or an increase in distributed energy resources. The IESO has identified the following outcomes that need to be considered while redesigning the IAM: • MRP should lead to a system with transparent revenue streams for needed services and provide opportunities to re-align risk sharing; • the market should provide incentives for existing and new resources rather than one single mechanism or program; • all resources should have opportunities to compete and will earn higher or lower revenue, depending upon how they can meet system needs; • innovation and competition should drive cost-effective outcomes; and • other foundational elements will likely need to evolve to appropriately support the future market. The MRP will drive transformation of the IAM and Ontario’s electricity sector at large. Key issues and components that need to evolve alongside the MRP include: • integration and operation of non-emitting resources and emerging technologies; • meeting power system operability/flexibility needs; • policy choices and frameworks; • interoperability of wholesale market and distribution systems; • short- and long-term planning; and • governance relating to decision-making around IAM design changes and future amendments to the IESO Market Rules and Market Manuals.
Updates to the IAM will fundamentally change the way wholesale market participants, including LDCs, interact with the IESO. Changes to the IAM will also impact LDCs’ customers, as costs will ultimately be passed onto ratepayers. These changes will also have some impact on the billing and settlement procedures of LDCs on behalf of their customers. Input from the EDA and LDCs to the MRP consultation process is essential, both from an administrative and regulatory perspective. The MRP will not only impact existing operations of LDCs, but the transition of LDCs towards enabling, integrating, and operating distributed energy resources.
All LDC members currently receive a summary of the latest MRP Update every other week via email. The complete updates, which delve more deeply into area of importance to the sector, are accessible to LDC members anytime by logging in www. eda-on.ca. The EDA is pleased to present these updates to our members and looks forward to the development of policy positions through our Councils. For more information, please contact the EDA’s Justin Rangooni, Vice President, Policy and Government Affairs at email@example.com.
DIGITAL GRID 2.0 PROVES INNOVATION IS EFFICIENCY Essex Powerlines and Collus PowerStream collaborate on digital grid 2.0
he convergence of energy delivery, storage, generation and the Internet has become a reality for the distribution sector, thanks to Collus PowerStream and Essex Powerlines working together to implement Digital Grid 2.0. This project, which resulted in a 2016 EDA Innovation Excellence Award for both companies, is revolutionizing their respective operations and proving innovation in the sector leads to efficiency. SmartMap, which operates under the Digital Grid 2.0 infrastructure, provides real-time information to staff and crews at both companies. “[SmartMap] allows us to compile digital information about what is happening in our grid and our assets. It allows us to make informed decisions in near real-time,” explains Jody Wilson, a Technician at Collus PowerStream. Joe Barile, General Manager at Essex Powerlines, adds: “The Digital Grid is really about bringing different pieces of information together in order to make efficient decisions based on that data.” Managing the distribution network is becoming increasingly complex, as more renewables, load control devices and storage capacity are connected to the grid. Digital Grid 2.0 replicates distribution networks in real-time to analyze load flow on the fly, which facilitates more informed decisionmaking and allows for power system flexibility. Digital Grid 2.0 incorporates a growing set of new information sources. By enabling adaptive infrastructure, multiple streams of data can be connected and easily synchronized, resulting in increased operational efficiencies, additional grid technology advancement and further opportunities to innovate. Implementing Digital Grid 2.0 has benefited everyone involved, from the C-suite to front-line staff and customers through: Outage reduction Utility employees are now able to monitor transformer loading and system voltages to identify issues, which in turn allows for more proactive remediation and fewer outages.
Optimization of demand/load Digital Grid 2.0 uses a model and load details to run analyses that help optimize the configuration of the system to reduce technical losses, improve voltages and improve system balance. Integration of distributed energy resources The Digital Grid 2.0 platform offers the ability to consider and evaluate different scenarios and identify safe connection criteria, optimal placement and configuration of distributed energy resources. Optimization of assets and workforce The utilities now have the ability to clearly identify the issues on their system, which allows them to zero in immediately on areas of the network that need attention. “The collaborative efforts and success of Essex Powerlines and Collus PowerStream on innovation demonstrates we are ready to adapt through forward-thinking initiatives,” says Ray Tracey, President and CEO of Essex Power Corp. The collaboration between Essex and Collus PowerStream demonstrates that innovation can dramatically enhance efficiency, resulting in better service and few disruptions for customers. Ontario’s LDCs are not only adapting, they are seeking ways to get ahead of the curve.
A NEW SPACE FOR
BOLD IDEAS Greater Sudbury Utilities introduces “The Workshop”
he simple step of creating a space for employees to innovate and solve problems has paid off for Greater Sudbury Utilities. Following the creation of The Workshop, the company’s Innovation and Collaboration Centre, the utility has seen increased efficiency and cost effectiveness, which is, in turn benefitting customers. The Workshop is a physical space inside Greater Sudbury Utilities, allocated specifically for innovative team projects. Located in a newly renovated area of the building, The Workshop is equipped with a variety of workspaces and development tools to facilitate cooperative work. The Workshop represents the process of taking ideas from origin to end-product by working in multi-departmental teams, often including external community partners, such as local businesses and post-secondary education institutions. “We view The Workshop as a huge opportunity,” says Frank Kallonen, CEO of Greater Sudbury Utilities. “It is a great way to enhance our customer experience, eliminate pain points in our organization and reduce costs or increase revenues through product development. We also view it as a potential tool to spur economic development in Greater Sudbury.” “Getting a project into The Workshop is open to anyone in any of our companies, but only ideas that have significant benefit, value or potential for success will be accepted,” explains Greater Sudbury Utilities’ Innovation Officer Andrew Athanasopoulos.
“These opportunities give teams training and time to develop business plans for their ideas to move their projects forward.” The space was launched in March 2017, following the adoption of a Corporate Innovation Policy by Greater Sudbury Utilities’ Board of Directors. “As a Board, we wanted to enhance our culture of innovation, creativity and collaboration within the organization, making it a dynamic company to do business with and an exciting place to work,” says Mark Signoretti, Chair of the
Board of Greater Sudbury Utilities. According to Andrew Athanasopoulos, “The big story will actually be in five or 10 years, when we are talking about projects and products coming to market that were driven by our employees and our community partners, innovations that improve the day-to-day lives of our customers and our staff. The slogan fits the goal: Good Ideas Made Real.” For more information on The Workshop and Greater Sudbury Utilities, visit www.gsuinc.ca/theworkshop.
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LDC INNOVATORS InnPower serves
INNOVATION AT INNPOWER A small LDC goes big on grid modernization
nnPower serves more than 17,600 customers in Simcoe County and currently has the fastest-growing customer base of any LDC in Ontario. To meet the growing needs of customers, InnPower has continually sought out technologies, partnerships and strategies to keep costs low, while developing a modern, technologically advanced distribution network. With a small staff to service this expanding customer base, InnPower has explored options to make the best use of its resources. That exploration has included a gradual and careful program of grid modernization to bring the efficiencies of new technologies to existing customers, as well as new customers moving into new residential developments in the area. InnPower has operated a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system for more than 10 years. Five years ago, the company replaced its existing system with a more secure and robust system that provided visibility into the entire distribution network, including statuses on fans, breakers and transformer oil temperature. The SCADA system allows InnPower to know the health and operating status of the distribution system in real-time. It also saves the team significant time by facilitating identification of problems without having to investigate onsite. The update of the SCADA system was followed by the implementation of an Outage Management System (OMS), which compiles information from the SCADA system, incoming customer calls, and smart meter data to determine the location of an outage. The data helps line crews arrive at the outage location faster and populates an outage map that can be viewed by customers online. The next step was the implementation of a radio network to provide consistent and reliable data communications between the SCADA system and the central control room. As part of a community partnership, the Town of Innisfil currently uses the radio network for its water and wastewater system. Having the Town use the same communications network was a great way to optimize the
17,600 customers in Simcoe County, and the
fastestgrowing base of any LDC in Ontario.
community’s use of resources. The installation of fault indicators with radio capability helps to narrow down where a fault has occurred, so that crews can be dispatched faster in the event of an outage and the amount of patrol time to locate the fault is reduced. Operations staff is also in the process of implementing a Distribution Automation Plan that will automatically isolate an outage-affected area and reroute power so that a minimum number of people and businesses are impacted. Enhancements to the geographic information system (GIS) system allow it to interconnect with customer information, SCADA and financial systems to provide a more comprehensive view of operations for the entire organization. Crew members have started travelling with computer tablets, so they can update information and provide onsite details and photos to staff making decisions back in the control room. Information from the system is shared with the Town’s system to leverage the data available from the two systems. The cost of maintaining the new radio communication system has been reduced through strategic partnerships with cell phone service providers who rent space on the towers for their equipment. With InnPower’s customer base expected to double in the next 15 years, it’s unlikely that the pace of change will slow down any time soon. “In the last five years we have seen a huge amount of change,” says Wally Malcolm, CEO of InnPower. “Our staff has done an exceptional job of leveraging technology and resources to make sure our customers have an electricity network they can rely on now and in the future.” InnPower strives to continually implement technology to help improve the customer experience. Big steps by a small company have helped to reduce outages, improve customer access to outage information, and shorten time for power to return in the event of an outage. For more on enhanced technologies and services for Simcoe County electricity customers, visit www.innpower.ca.
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Women Connected: Showcasing Diversty and Leadership
and sponsors who made Women Connected 2018 a great success, especially our presenting sponsor, Niagara Peninsula Energy Inc. (NPEI). As the CEO of NPEI and the Chair of the EDA Board, Brian Wilkie continues to demonstrate exceptional leadership as a champion of diversity. Be sure to join us next year at Women Connected 2019!
The EDA’s 6th annual Women Connected conference proved a great success, bringing together professionals from across the sector and the province. This year’s highly anticipated conference took place in the historic Crystal Ballroom at the OMNI King Edward Hotel in downtown Toronto. Presented in partnership with Women in Renewable Energy, Women in Electricity and Women in Energy Canada, the event attracted more than 200 delegates to discuss, “Accelerating the Future Together”.
Directors Summit 2018: Leading through Good Governance
“Many of us still experience obstacles that prevent us from fully realizing our goals,” noted the EDA’s President and CEO, Teresa Sarkesian, in her opening remarks. “Breaking down these barriers requires cooperation. This means bringing our male colleagues into the conversation. It means looking at the ways in which greater inclusion can advance not only our own industry but also the overall economy.” Dynamic keynote speakers and panellists covered an array of topics including mentorship, data analytics, creating a femalefriendly work culture, and much more. Attendees were treated to a wealth of ideas, insights and motivation. The event also offered exceptional opportunities for women in electricity to network, make connections and learn more about progress and future opportunities in the sector. “It’s fascinating to see that dramatic change can begin with simple policy changes that create a more flexible, femalefriendly work environment, and sometimes those policies benefit everyone in the organization,” said Ruth Tyrrell, Chief Corporate Officer at Orangeville Hydro and a member of the EDA board, who hosted the proceedings. The EDA thanks all of the incredible speakers, participants
On June 14, professionals, board members and corporate leaders from across Ontario gathered at the office of Aird & Berlis LLP in downtown Toronto for the annual EDA Directors Summit. Themed “Leading Through Good Governance,” this high-value, one-day event explored vital, timely topics directors need to know about to ensure effective corporate culture, remain competitive and mitigate risk in this rapidly evolving industry. On the heels of the provincial election, the Directors Summit gave attendees the opportunity to hear directly from the EDA’s CEO, Teresa Sarkesian, and other industry experts on how the new Ontario government will affect businesses and Board strategies for the next four years. “This is a critical time for those of us in leadership positions to responsibly guide our organizations through transformative changes affecting our industry,” Ms. Sarkesian said. “That’s what today’s event is really about — how to govern successfully and turn challenges into opportunities in a time of constant change.” To help meet these challenges head on, participants gained valuable insights from expert speakers on: Anti-Harassment Policies, Regulating Ontario’s LDCs Governance Practices, How to Build an Effective Risk Culture, Diversity Disclosure Practices and more. The EDA thanks all of the sponsors, speakers and delegates who made the 2018 Directors Summit an invaluable day of learning for all attendees.
EBIC 2018: Get Ahead of the Curve at the Energy Business Innovation Conference Research and innovation is at the heart of the Canadian energy sector. The unprecedented pace of change in this dynamic sector makes innovation more important than ever. At the same time, this continual evolution creates new challenges to stay on top of the latest development and to truly understand what innovation means today.
Communications, Finance or executive management, EBIC 2018 will equip you with the vital tools you need to stand above the competition. When: October 17-18, 2018 Where: Hilton Meadowvale Hotel, Mississauga, Ontario Learn more and register: www.eda-connect.ca
CUEE 2018: the Canadian Utility Equipment & Engineering Trade Show is Around the Corner!
Be sure to join the EDA September 11-12 at CUEE 2018, your one-stop-shop for everything utility-related! With more than 150 unique exhibitors showcasing products and services specific to the utility industry, CUEE is the place to see — and demo — the newest, state-of-the-art equipment, innovative products and leading-edge services first-hand. CUEE 2018 is a must for anyone in the electric, gas, water, construction, development, cable TV or sewage industry.
The EDA’s Energy Business Innovation Conference (EBIC) takes place October 17–18 at the Hilton Meadowvale Hotel in Mississauga. This industry-leading event brings together experts from a variety of disciplines and professional communities to provide innovative points of view and engage in thought provoking discussions on North America’s most pressing energy challenges. All EBIC sessions centre on the business aspects of the energy sector. Whether you work in Human Resources,
CUEE 2018 will feature the latest and greatest in: • Safety gear and clothing • Utility vehicles • Green initiatives and recycling • Smart grid technologies • Truck fittings and accessories • Power management initiatives • Cranes • And much more! Learn more about tickets, exhibit space and sponsorship opportunities: www.cuee.ca
Bookmark the EDA Connect Events portal to stay up to date on all upcoming EDA trade shows, conferences and networking and learning events: www.eda-connect.ca.
Stay informed on the trends, best practices and new initatives impacting the industry. CUEE 2018
September 11-12, 2018 International Centre 6900 Airport Road Mississauga
Canada’s largest electrical, engineering and utility tradeshow and exhibition.
Energy Business Innovation Conference
October 17-18, 2018 Hilton Meadowvale Hotel 6750 Mississauga Road Mississauga
Exploring innovative thinking, breakthrough technologies and nextgeneration thinking for the industry and tomorrow’s workplace.
January 16-18, 2019 Hilton Toronto/ Markham Suites 8500 Warden Avenue Markham
An educational conference and exhibition addressing issues faced by Ontario’s LDCs. Over 100 exhibitors and business sessions organized into three streams: engineering, operations and IT. 2019 EDA ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
March 24-25, 2019 Fairmont Royal York Hotel 100 Front Street Toronto
A recap of the year and a preview of the upcoming one. The EDA Annual General Meeting sets the tone for the EDA’s initatives moving forward.
For more information visist www.eda-connect.ca or contact Marica Macura, Director, Member Relations & Events, 905.265.5346.
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