February 2018

Once again, our customers rose to the challenge and demonstrated that one small change – like registering for online account services – can make a big difference in the lives of those in our community. Especially when one small change equates to a $5 donation to CHEO!

During Hydro Ottawa’s 2017 Go Paperless campaign, which ran from August until the end of the year, a whopping 13,112 customers enrolled in E-Billing and 4,581 signed up for automated payments.

It was the pleasure of our Board Chair, Jim Durrell, to present a donation to CHEO for the sum of $88,465 on February 13. The funds will be used to purchase an urgently needed portable echocardiography machine. The machine is a critical piece of equipment for the care of tiny preterm babies admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit. 

Hydro Ottawa continues to grow its competitive business lines, focusing on ventures that leverage our core strengths and provide shareholder value.

In January, Hydro Ottawa launched a new brand for one of its subsidiaries. CableQ empowers other utilities, institutions and campuses to manage their underground electrical cables effectively with its state-of-the-art testing technology.

For over a decade, Hydro Ottawa teamed up with the National Research Council – the Government of Canada’s premier research and technology organization – to test and refine a new way to diagnose the health of underground utility cables without further deteriorating the cable during testing. Today, CableQ is proud to offer this state-of-the-art technology to its customers.

Already, industry leaders are talking about the benefits of this revolutionary technology, including Kenora Hydro, Oakville Hydro, Peterborough Utilities and Sudbury Hydro. Visit our new website today at cableq.com to learn more about this affiliate business.

Promoting electrical safety is one way Hydro Ottawa gives back to its community. It’s our duty to help prevent electrical injuries or fatalities through creating public awareness.

Beginning February 19, Innovative Research Group will be conducting a short online survey throughout Hydro Ottawa’s service territory to assess the public’s level of electrical safety awareness. The survey will help us determine knowledge gaps, and better target our public safety communications in 2018 and beyond.

Our regulator, the Ontario Energy Board, asks utilities across the province to conduct safety awareness surveys every two years.

Last month, the Ontario government invited Hydro Ottawa (one of only a handful of organizations) to showcase its GRid Edge Active Transactional Demand Response or ‘The GREAT-DR’ pilot project in the Ontario Pavilion at the DistribuTECH 2018 Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

‘The GREAT-DR’, funded in part by the Ontario Ministry of Energy’s Smart Grid Fund and the LDC Tomorrow Fund, it will give participants the tools to reduce their electricity usage and demand while benefiting from increased control over how they produce, manage and use energy.

DistribuTECH is the leading annual electric power transmission and distribution conference and exhibition event that addresses technologies used to move electricity from the power plant through the transmission and distribution systems to the meter and inside the home.

Participation in the Ontario Pavilion was a great opportunity for Hydro Ottawa to exhibit ‘The GREAT-DR’, meet and engage with industry, and showcase this revolutionary, open source and royalty free grid solution.

To learn more on ‘The GREAT-DR’ project, please view our short video that was produced in partnership with our project’s collaborators or visit hydroottawa.com/thegreatdr.

For the tenth consecutive year, Hydro Ottawa has been recognized as one of the National Capital Region’s Top Employers. The annual competition recognizes the region’s most exceptional places to work by identifying those employers that lead in attracting and retaining employees.

Top Ten Reasons Hydro Ottawa is a Top Employer

  1. It cares about the community. Employees are provided one-day of paid leave per year to volunteer with a charity or non-profit of their choice. It also gives back through various charitable events and campaigns; all involving the participation of employees. 
  2. It’s focused on an inclusive workplace. Our Diversity and Inclusion Plan helps us attract, retain and engage a workforce that is reflective of the communities we serve.
  3. The company wants employees to grow professionally. Whether its trades, safety, business skills or leadership training, on average, Hydro Ottawa invests 40 hours of training per employee each year.
  4. It embraces different leadership styles. Thanks to Hydro Ottawa’s dynamic Succession Planning and Management Program, emerging leaders work with leadership experts to identify strengths and development opportunities.
  5. It believes that youth are the future. Regularly recognized as one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People, twenty one per cent of its workforce is under the age of 30. In addition to other programs and opportunities, the company’s President and CEO personally serves as Executive Sponsor of an employee-driven Youth Council; created to generate insight and increase networking opportunities for young professionals.
  6. It has an award-winning Powerline Technician Program. From the two-year diploma program, to in-house certification for apprentices both offered jointly with Algonquin College, Hydro Ottawa supports its employees in attaining their journeyperson status.
  7. It values its retirees and older workers. Hydro Ottawa’s award-winning ‘Prime Time’ initiative engages older workers and retirees, and effectively transfers knowledge from one generation to the next. With a Retiree Association which currently boasts a membership of 153 former employees who are regularly engaged in company events and in some cases, return to fill part-time and temporary roles.
  8. It works to ensure a healthy work environment to help all employees perform at their best with on-site fitness facilities, an Employee Assistance Program and many employee mental health initiatives.
  9. It believes in normalizing the presence of women in the trades. With numerous initiatives focused on women in trades and technical careers, Hydro Ottawa is leading the way for women in the Canadian electricity industry.
  10. It offers competitive compensation and benefits packages, including matching contributions to employee pension plans. 

More information about Hydro Ottawa’s selection can be found on the National Capital Region’s Top Employers website.

Take a stroll through 50 years of Ottawa 67’s history at TD Place with the impressive Legacy Wall. Located in the north concourse, the Legacy Wall celebrates the greatest moments in the Ottawa 67’s history with panels that have been unveiled throughout the season. 

Hydro Ottawa is proud to support the 67’s as their Official Energy Conservation Sponsor. 

To shine a light on the 50 years milestone, new energy-efficient LED lighting was installed in the upper and lower concourse and the arena. The LED lighting is brighter, creates less heat, and turns on instantly. The energy-efficiency results in electricity savings of over $35,000 year.

So, the next time you’re at TD Place, take a moment to celebrate the past and look up to see a “bright” future for the next 50 years and beyond!

Effective March 1, Hydro Ottawa will discontinue its customer walk-in service at our head office on Albion Road. This once popular service has been declining significantly in recent years thanks to our extended call centre hours and Saturday service, prompt social media responses, mobile app capabilities, and other more convenient solutions that help serve our customers faster and better.

Customers that do come to our office to discuss their service questions after March 1 will be able to have direct and immediate access to our customer service team over the phone located in our front lobby.