Welcome to a new feature for 2022; a weekly blog about NOTL Hydro and/or recent events. We will start this new series at the most basic and important level; our Mission Statement, Values and Principles. These can be found on our website here: https://www.notlhydro.com/about-us/mission-values/.
The accusation at many companies is that these are meaningless statements that do not reflect the actual business. I hope you do not believe that is the case for NOTL Hydro. I encourage you do take a quick read.
Let’s start with our Mission Statement. The dominant word is “customer”. NOTL Hydro and our sister company, ESNI, which provides services not regulated by the Ontario Energy Board, exist to serve our customers. Our customers are also our owners through the Town of NOTL. The Town of NOTL could make a lot of money in the short term by selling NOTL Hydro. It does not because the financial return is higher in the long run by owning NOTL Hydro and because the Town owned utility provides rates which are lower or equivalent and service which is better. There is plenty of evidence in Niagara and across Ontario as to the validity of this statement.
This does not mean that every customer is always right. We try to operate in a manner that is fair to all customers. This sometimes means making decisions that are unpopular with some customers. We try to be consistent and not to make decisions that favour one customer or group of customers over the rest. This is not always easy as situations are not always clearly defined.
Turning to our Values; the first one is about safety. Safety will always trump all other considerations. Our staff can be dealing with live wire that has thousands of volts coursing through it. A mistake could be fatal. All our values are important and I can honestly say that our values are always top of mind in our decision-making.
Finally, our Principles provide operating guidelines that are much more specific to our industry. One Principle to point out is that we are a profit-making entity. We need to make a profit to fund our future growth and to provide a return to our shareholder (which also reduces property taxes). This does not mean we are profit maximizing. I can think of countless decisions that reduced our profits but also reduced our rates or increased our level of service. Rather, we seek to maximize the overall value of our services by finding the right balance.
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I hope you find these blogs useful and enjoyable.