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Going Green with PowerStream

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

PowerStream is proud to be a co-presenter of the 2014 Barrie Business Awards and to be sponsoring the Green Award.  We commend all three finalists – The Creative Space, GEEP, and Shred North – on their impressive environmental initiatives.


Why is the Green Award important to PowerStream? As one of Ontario's most environmentally-conscious utilities, we are committed to helping protect the environment by providing efficient, renewable and sustainable energy solutions for our customers.

Through our renewable generation, customer conservation programs and employee initiatives, PowerStream is leading the way towards a sustainable future.

Renewable Generation

With a focus on innovation, PowerStream is at the forefront of Smart Grid and Micro Grid technologies

The Micro Grid Demonstration Project at our head office in Vaughan, Ontario has the ability to operate independently, or seamlessly transition on and off the provincial grid, and even feed electricity back to the provincial electricity distribution system. It also powers our Vehicle-to-Grid level 2 electric vehicle (EV) chargers. 

Most recently, PowerStream unveiled a level 3 EV charging station that can power up cars in less than 30 minutes – and it is free to the public.

Investing in the future of energy while giving back to the communities it serves is important to PowerStream, as demonstrated by the company’s partnership with post-secondary institutions such as Georgian College and York University:

Georgian College’s electrical, environmental and automotive programs along with the charging station provide students with hands-on learning opportunities to become leaders in the integration of electric vehicles, renewable energy and smart grid technology – an important part of our future.

Customer Conservation Programs

PowerStream provides its customers with safe, clean and reliable power, as well as the necessary resources to better manage their energy costs and environmental impact.

For over 10 years, we have delivered energy conservation programs for our customers, including the saveONenergy programs funded by the Ontario Power Authority.

All of PowerStream's residential and business customers benefit from participation in these conservation programs.  A few of the energy-saving incentive programs we offer to businesses in our service area include:

We're particularly proud of the BRI program, which was developed by PowerStream's conservation team.  It was introduced to help small business customers (e.g. Donaleigh's Irish Pub in Barrie) reduce their electricity consumption and costs by replacing inefficient refrigeration equipment. Currently, we are working to transform the BRI program into a provincial offering.

This year, PowerStream was the first distribution company to sign the Ministry of Energy's Conservation First Framework for 2015-2020, demonstrating our leadership and commitment to conservation and to providing our customers with the tools and information they need to best manage and reduce their electricity consumption.

Employee Initiatives

PowerStream employees are also committed to reducing their impact on the environment.  The PowerGreen Team leads many employee conservation initiatives, including:

  • Vanpools and carpools – on average, 50 people commute in seven vanpools using PowerStream company vehicles operated by employees, and 80 employees carpool, saving 370 tonnes of pollutants each year 
  • Adopt-A-Stream program – in 2013 we officially adopted a portion of the West Don River in Vaughan, Ontario
  • 20 Minute Makeover program – employees pick up litter around the office building, helping to green the community
  • Environmental Awareness Week – a week of engaging activities and educational workshops at PowerStream
  • National and international green events – such as Clean Air Commute, Smart Commute Week, Bike to Work Day, and Earth Hour
  • Recycling initiatives – electronic waste, batteries, light bulbs, milk bags (woven into sleeping mats by employee volunteers for those in need in Haiti), aluminum coffee cartridges

As a result of our commitment to the environment, PowerStream has been awarded several environmental awards, including:

  • Named one of Canada's Greenest Employers in 2014
  • Electricity Distributors Association Environmental Excellence Award – three times in six years
  • Smart Commute Employer of the Year – North Toronto, Vaughan – three times in six years

Innovation, conservation, and sustainability are deeply rooted in our own business and culture – that is why we are proud to sponsor the Green Award at the Barrie Business Awards.  Best of luck to all the 2014 finalists!

By: Lori Gariepy, Digital Communications Associate, PowerStream

Bell Invest Barrie TD Canada Trust Barriston Law LLP Ontario Chamber of Commerce Canadian Chamber of Commerce Chamber Executives of Ontario