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Community engagement is a core focus

Social performance case studies from the 2014 Sustainable Electricity Annual Report, Engaged for a Sustainable Future.

 

To build even greater trust with their customers, CEA members are partnering with communities and stakeholders in unique and innovative ways:

ATCO Power celebrates 20 years of successful community engagement

For the town of Hanna, Alberta, ATCO Power’s Sheerness Generating Station is not only a major local employer but also a business with potential health, safety and environmental impacts. Twenty years ago, the Sheerness Community Environmental Advisory Committee was established, comprising 15 area residents and representatives from ATCO Power and a nearby coal mine. Annual meetings give ATCO Power the opportunity to meet with residents from the community about new initiatives, share information on environmental performance, and gather community feedback to inform its decision-making process. Students from the local High School also are invited to participate in these meetings.

Waneta Expansion Project Community Day a great success

For Columbia Power Corporation, providing access to its facilities is key to raising awareness of its projects and engaging stakeholders during construction. More than 1,500 people attended the Waneta Expansion Project Community Day, where staff led tours of key construction sites and provided information about project activities. An important focus was the inclusion of the project’s First Nations communities, Ktunaxa Nation Council and Okanagan Nation Alliance. Columbia Power chartered a bus to transport First Nations community members to the event, and both Nations provided cultural presentations through dancing, drumming and song.

 

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The Waneta Expansion Project Community Day included exciting cultural demonstrations by First Nations participants. Photos courtesy of Columbia Power Corporation.

New promotional campaign leads to record e-billing sign-ups for Hydro Ottawa

To increase adoption of e-billing, Hydro Ottawa launched the “Go Paperless” campaign, partnering with Trees Ontario to plant a tree for every new registration between September and December 2013. The campaign was promoted through channels including on-hold messages, social media and the utility’s self-serve customer portal. Staff also attended Ottawa Senators games to promote e-billing and answer people’s questions. Over the course of the campaign, 14,414 customers registered for e-billing, helping Hydro Ottawa exceed its annual goal by 42 per cent.

Manitoba Hydro holds early consultations on cross-border transmission

Last year, Manitoba Hydro sent out 25,000 postcards to individuals as well as letters to over 140 stakeholder groups in the route planning area of the Manitoba–Minnesota Transmission Project, encouraging them to provide feedback online or by phone as to how they want to be engaged throughout the route selection and environmental assessment processes. The website also allowed individuals to sign up for email updates to ensure they are kept informed of the project’s progress. Through this open and adaptive process, Manitoba Hydro saw an increased level of public engagement compared to its previous projects.

NB Power launches online LED streetlight mapping tool

As part of its new Streetlight Replacement Project, New Brunswick Power Corporation launched an interactive online mapping tool that allows customers to see exactly where high-pressure sodium streetlights have been replaced by brighter, more energy-efficient LED lamps. In addition to communicating more openly with its customers, the mapping tool also allows paperless work orders to be given to contractors, who are able to use their laptops to instantly upload information on completed lamp replacements to NB Power’s system.

Nova Scotia Power provides open channels to hear community concerns

In 2013, Nova Scotia Power Inc. established Community Liaison Committees (CLCs) for several of its thermal generating stations and one hydroelectric site, allowing community members living near these facilities to openly express their concerns by email, phone or in-person at CLC meetings, which are attended by senior facility staff. At the CLC for Tufts Cove Generation Station, for example, staff learned about several noise issues; in response, the utility installed sound-dampening equipment to reduce the noise levels of its combustion turbines.

Saskatoon Light & Power expands its school outreach programs

By offering tours of its Operations Centre, Saskatoon Light & Power is engaging Grade 6 and 9 students in discussions about how the electricity system can be safe, smart and sustainable. In 2013, the school tour was enhanced with a new 3D interactive mural featuring the latest information on smart meters, energy-efficient lighting and renewable energy. Saskatoon Light & Power also supported elementary students participating in the Education for Sustainable Development program, installing smart meters in their homes and energy monitoring equipment in their classrooms. SaskatoonLightPowerStudents

Students learn how the electricity system can be safe, smart, and sustainable through a new 3D interactive display at Saskatoon Light & Power. Photo courtesy of Sasktatoon Light & Power.

Toronto Hydro goes the extra mile to build new downtown transformer station

Toronto Hydro Corporation is building its first downtown transformer station since 1955. Given the built-up nature of downtown, and the station’s proposed location within a national heritage site, careful stakeholder management was critical for project approval. A local city councillor helped Toronto Hydro bring together neighbouring businesses, city facilities and residential tenants for monthly meetings, making it easier to resolve issues and build trust. Toronto Hydro also agreed to de-construct, brick-by-brick, a heritage building on site and rebuild it once the station is complete.

TransCanada builds community relations in greater Napanee

To answer local stakeholders’ questions and concerns about its proposed Napanee Generating Station, TransCanada hired a local community relations representative and opened a community project office within the Town of Greater Napanee. These actions played a critical role in a multifaceted stakeholder engagement program, which included establishing a community advisory committee to solicit local input on building design and landscaping, hosting open houses to share project details, and completing an economic assessment to quantify the project’s benefits to the local economy.

 
Use the menu at the right to read more member success stories and case studies from the 2014 Sustainable Electricity Annual Report, Engaged for a Sustainable Future, or get the PDF here.