September 05, 2018
CHEC and CustomerFirst Sign Advocacy Partnership Agreement
The partnership represents 25 Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) and over 300,000 electricity customers in Ontario.
Cornerstone Hydro Electric Concepts (CHEC) and CustomerFirst are pleased to announce a new collaborative partnership that will provide a collective voice on Conservation and Demand Management (CDM) policy and programs in Ontario. The two organizations represent more than one-third of the LDCs in the province with over 300,000 customers combined.
“Both of our organizations have a history of collaboration,” said John Sherin, CHEC President. “Through this partnership we’ll be providing input to the provincial government and government agencies on CDM programs and initiatives as a combined unit. The increased size will result in greater influence for our members and customers as well as provide easier access for the government and its agencies to a large group of LDCs from across the province.”
“CHEC and CustomerFirst are committed to continually seeking ways to improve CDM policy and program performance and to delivering value for our customers. This partnership allows us to effectively and efficiently communicate the knowledge and experience of LDCs in delivering CDM programs in a way that will help the government and its agencies reach decisions that are focused on customers, operational effectiveness and cost-effectiveness,” said Chris Barker, President of CustomerFirst.
CHEC and CustomerFirst previously joined forces to provide feedback to the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) and the Ministry of Energy on provincial climate change initiatives. That collaboration led to further discussions on how working together could benefit both CHEC and CustomerFirst members, customers, and the wider energy industry.
“Many of our LDCs have the same challenges and opportunities right now,” said Sherin. “The more we can work together, collaborate and find efficiencies the better it is for everyone, especially the customer”.
The collaboration will extend beyond upper management of the two organizations and will include participation at an organizational level to ensure that all LDC experience levels are represented. The two groups will meet regularly to share information and develop feedback and input on different issues.
“It’s an opportunity to set up a framework to bring everyone to the table,” said Barker. “It’s about being proactive, to share and work and move forward as a collective. Currently we are focusing on CDM and we will continue to explore other opportunities to collaborate to benefit our LDCs and customers.”
President CustomerFirst Inc.
CHEC is a collaborative association for 17 small Local Distribution Companies in Ontario. By sharing experience, knowledge and resources CHEC helps its members remain as active members of their communities, deliver value to their shareholders, provide safe, efficient, and cost effective electricity distribution to their customers, and prepare for the energy future. The current members of CHEC are Centre Wellington Hydro Ltd., Collus PowerStream, Grimsby Power, InnPower Corp., Lakefront Utilities Inc., Lakeland Power Distribution Ltd., Midland Power Utility Corp., Niagara–on- the- Lake Hydro, Orangeville Hydro Ltd., Orillia Power Corp., Ottawa River Power Corporation, Renfrew Hydro Inc., Rideau St. Lawrence Distribution Inc., Tillsonburg Hydro, Wasaga Distribution Inc., Wellington North Power Inc., and West Coast Huron Energy Inc.
CustomerFirst is a collaboration of Ontario electricity utilities with geographic coverage spanning the province. They are a trusted partner with more than ten years of experience designing and implementing clean energy portfolios and programs for residential, low-income, commercial and industrial customers in both urban and rural communities. CustomerFirst helps utilities, governments, businesses, and individuals save energy, lower costs and achieve their energy goals. The current members of CustomerFirst are Greater Sudbury Hydro, Newmarket-Tay Power Distribution, Sault Ste. Marie PUC Distribution, North Bay Hydro, Northern Ontario Wires, Espanola Regional Hydro, Hearst Power Distribution and Chapleau PUC.