Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro Inc. is a trusted partner for our customers. Niagara-on-the-Lake Hydro continuously seeks to provide low cost energy delivery, high reliability and high power quality.
Energy Services Niagara Inc. seeks profitable energy or infrastructure investments for the betterment of all stakeholders in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
We perform our Mission while maintaining the following values:
- No compromise on health and safety
- Operate with integrity in all our dealings
- Anticipate and meet the needs of our customers
- Build value for our shareholder
- Develop and maintain a strong team of employees
- Be financially prudent
- Respect the environment
Planning for the Future
There have been a number of papers recently (EDA, KPMG, Navigant) on the future of the electricity industry. These all predict a substantially changed landscape due to distributed generation (primarily solar power), energy storage and increased IT integration. NOTL Hydro agrees that these disruptive technologies will have a substantial impact on our business and we should be preparing for this change now.
The following principles have been driving our investment decisions for the past couple of years and will continue to do so. It is recognized that there is an inherent contradiction between many of these principles and managing is about finding a balance between them. These are not necessarily in an order.
- The distribution grid will be needed. The local grid will be an integral part of the future electricity system so we should continue to keep it in the best shape possible.
- Our role is to allow customer choice. Customers should be free to choose to make their own energy related decisions or leave them to us. We should not be engaged in activities designed to enrich ourselves at the expense of giving customers choice. Instead, we should be looking at investments that promote customer choice. Implicit in all this is the continued trade-off between cost and customer service (choice) that will always make decisions difficult. The trade-off between providing more distributed generation capacity and the cost of energy storage is an example of this. The trade-off between controlled and uncontrolled electric vehicle charging is another.
- We should always strive to be a cost-conscious operator. Having lower costs means always having the flexibility to make investments when needed without these becoming a rate or burden issue.
- We should make our system as flexible as possible. We do not know what the future demands will be on our system but the more flexible it is the more likely it can respond to these demands. The current investments in automated switches and reclosures are an example of this. Increasing our transformation capacity is another example.
- We do not have to do it all ourselves. Many of the new technologies will be beyond the scope of NOTL Hydro (integrated customer contact systems) but can still be provided through joint purchasing (CHEC) or through third party providers. Other services will be best provided in-house.
- Electricity is a utility. The vast majority of customers want to have power when they need it (all the time), to have a reasonable bill and to otherwise be left alone. Our job is not to reach out to customers but to be there when customers want to reach out to us and to anticipate their needs.
- Being municipally owned provides a distinct advantage. Because our customers are also our shareholders we can make decisions based on the aggregate benefit to them. This may mean decisions that are better for them as customers rather than shareholders. Private ownership may not have this option.
- NOTL Hydro should continue to be run independently and as a profit-making business. This provides the discipline to manage costs and the freedom to make long-term decisions.
- We should hire the best employees possible and have the best working environment. Motivated and intelligent employees will always provide the best service and, in the long run, at the lowest cost.
- NOTL Hydro will continue to advocate on behalf of its customers when NOTL Hydro believes this is in the customer’s best interest. Advocacy will always be about what is best for our customers; not what is best for NOTL Hydro.