Halton Hills Hydro Demonstrates a long history of Distribution Excellence
The known history of electricity in Halton Hills spans 124 years. The earliest records show that in 1888, Mr. John R. Barber had a turbine generator, rated at 100 H.P., installed at a location on the Credit River near Georgetown, to supply power to his paper mill. At that time he constructed a transmission line two miles long from his plant to the mill; which is stated to be “The first case of practical long distance power transmission in the world.”
Electricity was first supplied to Georgetown by the Georgetown Electric Light and Power Company. This company was first formed on April 18, 1912, when a resolution was passed by the Municipal Council asking for estimates on the cost of power and the cost of a distribution system. By the end of July, 1913, all work on this new distribution system was completed and Georgetown received its first supply of Niagara power. The first record of the Georgetown Hydro Electric Commission was in 1931. This Commission continued to operate until 1980.
On April 1, 1980, Ontario Bill # 119 went into effect dissolving the existing Acton and Georgetown Hydro Electric Commissions, and establishing the Halton Hills Hydro-Electric Commission. The new service territory consisted of Acton, Georgetown and Esquesing Township. In 1989, the new combined utility moved into a new facility in Acton.
In 2000, Halton Hills Hydro Commission became a private corporation and continues to this day as Halton Hills Hydro Inc. It is part of the Halton Hills Community Energy Corporation family of companies owned by the Town of Halton Hills. As sole shareholder, the Town of Halton Hills sees Halton Hills Hydro as a valued community asset.
Halton Hills Hydro now provides distribution excellence to approximately 23,000 customers. In a recent customer service survey, Halton Hills Hydro attained an overall customer satisfaction rating of 94%, significantly exceeding the provincial average of 89%.
Innovation and Leadership
Halton Hills Hydro has had a history of innovation and leadership in the industry and in the community. In 1997, the utility received an Innovation Award from the MEA (now called the EDA, Electricity Distributors’ Association) for being one of the first utilities to be ‘online’. In 2000, Halton Hills Hydro received an MEA Environmental Excellence Award for a project in cooperation with the Grade 5 class from the neighbouring public school to restore and naturalize the creek running through the utility’s property. In 2009, Halton Hills Hydro celebrated the significant safety milestone of 500,000 hours with no loss time.
In 2010 Halton Hills Hydro became one of the first 10 utilities in the province to bring their smart metering system fully operational and by the end of 2011, over 20% of the utilities’ customers were taking advantage of the new Time-of-Use portal on the utility’s website which allows customers to see their own detailed energy information, track usage patterns and costs and, see the results of their conservation efforts. A new power outage notification web page provides customers with real time updates on power interruptions in their area and paperless billing has helped customers go ‘green’. These are just some of the recent initiatives the utility has undertaken to continue to provide the best possible experience to their customers
Through a strong Creative and Critical Thinking process, all employees are involved in finding efficiencies while looking at ways to continuously improve. Beginning in 2012, Halton Hills Hydro launched an Enterprise Risk Assessment process where staff continues to engage in mitigation and success strategies.
Halton Hills Hydro partners closely with our shareholder, the Town of Halton Hills and supports and invests in Town initiatives such as the Community Energy Plan, Community Sustainability Strategy and the Town Green Plan
Halton Hills Hydro was awarded the Electricity Distributors Association Performance Excellence Award for 2013. This award is the highest honour given to a utility by the EDA. It recognizes outstanding performance in the areas of: Occupational Health & Safety, Operational Excellence, Financial Operations, Retail Strategies for Conservation and Demand Management and Contribution to Community.
In 2015, Halton Hills Hydro launched new taglines to represent their vision of distribution excellence for the Town of Halton Hills. The taglines of “We are Community”, “We are Reliability” and “We are Conservation” represent the goals and objectives of Halton Hills Hydro.