Continuous improvement and quality service are at the heart of every decision we make. We’ve taken many steps that have powered us forward to help secure a more stable electricity system, an enhanced customer experience, a safer community and a sustainable future for Toronto – this dynamic city that approximately 2.8 million people call home.

Our path of progress continues, and we’re proud to share highlights of our achievements.

Grid Investment

Investing in our grid is an investment in our city. It’s what keeps electricity flowing to Toronto’s homes and businesses. Considering the city’s unprecedented growth, dependable electrical infrastructure is now more important than ever, as is looking at exploring innovative approaches to a smarter grid.

With over one-third of our assets reaching end-of-life by 2020, the Ontario Energy Board recognized our need for grid investment in our recently approved 2015-2019 rates application. Over this five-year period, we have secured more than $2 billion in capital funding that we’ll use to meet the growing demand for electricity, safeguard against extreme weather events and upgrade aging infrastructure. This way, we can help maintain the connected lifestyle Torontonians all enjoy.

How we’re improving the grid:

  • In 2015, we invested approximately $537.2 million primarily to improve service reliability and address the need for additional distribution capacity
  • Since 2009, the average number of service interruptions has improved by 12% and the average duration of interruptions has improved by 23%
  • With Hydrostor, we unveiled the world’s first underwater compressed air energy storage system, located three kilometres off Toronto Island. This “underwater battery” stores electricity when the demand is low and can be released when the grid needs a boost. Innovative storage solutions like this help to extend the life of our aging equipment
  • We completed the tunnel connecting Clare R. Copeland Transformer Station to Hydro One equipment. This is a major milestone in the construction of this new underground station – the second one of its kind in Canada. Construction of Copeland Station continues and once complete, it will add the electricity capacity of approximately 70 condos to the grid while respecting public space downtown
  • We worked with Electrovaya, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Ryerson Centre of Urban Energy and other organizations to develop an intelligent energy storage unit. Located in the heart of Toronto on the Ryerson University campus, the storage unit converts surplus energy into battery energy, which it provides during on-peak periods and emergencies
Learn more about the grid.

Customer Service

Delivering clear, accessible, relevant communications to our customers is just as important as delivering reliable electricity. That’s why every customer interaction matters to us. We’re committed to providing the best customer experience whether in print, online, over the phone or in person.

We continue to listen to our customers’ feedback and develop new ways to not only meet — but also exceed — their expectations. Our customers count on us to serve their evolving needs, including more communications channels and self-serve options online. We use our communications channels to help customers in a variety of ways, including providing bill and energy management advice, timely power outage updates, and information regarding new programs and services.

As our number of customers continues to grow, we remain committed to building relationships based on trust, transparency and a high quality of service.

How we’re helping our customers:

  • We’ve developed new online self-serve options resulting in improved outage communications. As a result, customers are choosing to use our digital channels more frequently, leading to a 30% increase in usage between 2014 and 2015, and a reduction in call volumes
  • We launched a new and improved outage map allowing customers to get timely status updates and more detailed information about outages, including estimated times for restoration and crew status
  • We redesigned our online “report an outage” tool and made it mobile-friendly and easier to use
  • For our residential customers, we introduced bi-annual savings guides, including conservation tips and coupons for energy-efficient products
  • We have dedicated key account managers for our larger customers and will work with them to uncover energy-savings opportunities
  • We achieved and sustained the Ontario Energy Board's bill accuracy threshold of 98%
  • We promoted our Conservation and Demand Management programs in multicultural media outlets to serve our diverse customer base. In 2015, we produced print, broadcast and digital communications in seven different languages
  • We regularly offer a variety of electrical safety tips online, in our newsletters and at events to build safety awareness. In fact, Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited was a recipient of the Electrical Safety Authority’s 2015 Ontario Electrical Safety Award in the category of Consumer Home and Safety
  • We strive to resolve customer inquiries as efficiently as possible. In 2015, 84% of enquiries were resolved in the first call. That’s a 3% improvement from last year
  • We also have an Office of the President, which is another channel to escalate customer concerns

Emergency Preparedness

We’ve seen how Mother Nature can be unpredictable. Fierce winds and severe storms can play havoc with our distribution system causing extended outages. That’s why it’s important to be prepared. While most outages don’t last long, we’ve been raising awareness and reminding our customers that a little preparation can help them stay safe and minimize inconvenience. We’ve also been preparing better internally for emergencies while working with our stakeholders to be prepared and respond more efficiently.

  • We established the Grid Emergency Management (GEM) project to address recommendations by the Independent Review Panel that investigated our response to the 2013 ice storm. As of the end of 2015, we have documented the processes, roles and analytical tools needed to improve grid emergency preparedness response and customer communications, as well as provided training to our staff
  • We encourage Torontonians to create or check their 72-hour emergency kit throughout the year, especially during Emergency Preparedness Week in May. Our downloadable emergency kit guide is available in six different languages
  • We worked with the City of Toronto during the annual Emergency Preparedness Week in May to further promote emergency preparedness
  • In 2015, we supplied more than 800 vulnerable residents with emergency kits, which included a flashlight, checklist, battery-operated radio and additional resources to help them prepare for emergencies
  • For our low-income and senior residents, we hosted presentations in more than 120 communities sharing emergency preparedness tips and resources
  • In April, we signed the Canadian Electricity Association’s National Mutual Assistance Agreement, which aims to improve effectiveness and response times during emergencies. We co-chaired the Agreement Working Group and are taking a leadership role in the overall framework development
  • We launched a new emergency preparedness video on the second anniversary of the 2013 ice storm. The video provides tips to stay safe during a power outage
  • We hosted the first North Atlantic Mutual Assistance Group (NAMAG) Fall Conference in Canada. The conference brought together utilities in the north-east that formally agreed to assist each other during emergencies. It helped build a tight network that strengthens mutual aid, and emergency preparedness planning and response aid
  • We meet regularly with stakeholders such as the City of Toronto’s Office of Emergency Management, the provincial Office of the Fire Marshall and Emergency Management Ontario, and the Emergency Preparedness Task Force, which is run by the Independent Electricity System Operator. These relationships help us work together during widespread emergencies

We also continued to participate in and lead important initiatives to study the effects of climate change and help improve the system’s resiliency to severe weather.

  • We completed a vulnerability assessment study following the Public Infrastructure Engineering Vulnerability Committee protocol developed by Engineers Canada. Through this study, a risk assessment was conducted for the various components and areas of the distribution system that are expected to be impacted by projected climate change. The results of this study were used to develop a road map on climate adaptation initiatives, which are now in progress
  • We’re also collaborating with the City of Toronto on climate change by participating in its Resilient City Working Group, which is aimed at improving coordination with the City and other stakeholders to mitigate the impacts of widespread outages. We have been working with the participants to identify areas of the grid that are vulnerable to extreme weather events and to improve information sharing processes to better prepare for major weather events and mitigate their impact on the city
Learn more about being prepared for extended outages.

Environmental Initiatives

Sustainability is the driving force behind daily activities and future endeavours of Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited, a Sustainable Electricity Company™ as recognized by the Canadian Electricity Association. We’re always considering the impact our actions have on the environment. To improve our organization’s efficiency, we regularly monitor and assess our energy consumption and waste streams. From our internal recycling program to our external energy savings programs, we’re determined to reduce our environmental footprint while helping our customers reduce theirs.

  • In 2015, we continued to work with residential, small business, industrial and commercial customers to implement energy-efficient projects. Our Conservation and Demand Management programs led to an estimated energy savings of 214.5 gigawatt hours (equivalent to taking 28,429 homes off the grid) and reduced summer peak demand by 32.5 MW. These initiatives helped reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the city by 16,516 tCO2e
  • We exceeded our paperless billing target by almost 33%, achieving more than 64,210 sign-ups by customers and saving more than 449,300 sheets of paper
  • To raise awareness and participation in our conservation programs and online services, we attended over 279 events including business tradeshows, Earth Week celebrations, the City’s Environment Days, community festivals and in-store activities with The Home Depot and Lowe’s generating 14,000 interactions
  • Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited was successfully re-certified by independent auditors to the International Organization for Standardization’s Environmental Management Systems Standard (ISO 14001:2004), and the Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series Standard for Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSAS 18001:2007). These internationally recognized standards establish the systems for effective and efficient management of an organization’s environmental, health and safety activities
  • Our total GHG emissions were 64,119 tCO2e, a decrease of 24% compared to 2014
  • We reduced our footprint by 122,000 square feet by closing one facility and making better use of existing work centres
  • We continued our initiative to automate and use electronic forms in place of paper. For staff, we introduced “MyTime”, a platform that allows electronic submission of time sheets and leave requests, which is estimated to save over 81,330 sheets of paper annually
  • We piloted a waste reduction program entitled “Waste No More”. The objective of the program is to increase the amount of waste generated at our work centres that is diverted from landfill through effective source separation and reduction of materials entering waste streams. We increased the amount of waste diverted from landfill from 49% in 2013 to 68% in 2015
  • We continued to install the GRIP Idle Management System on our vehicles, downsized our fleet and maintained a steady fleet of hybrid and electric vehicles. The cumulative 2015 savings, relative to 2013, associated with these three initiatives are: 19% reduction in total fuel consumed; 16% reduction in GHG emissions; 17% reduction in kilometres travelled and 21% reduction in total non-PTO idling hours
  • We continued with the recycling of wood poles removed from service, fluorescent lights, batteries and electronic waste from landfill — we diverted 876 tonnes of wood poles from landfill
Learn more about our sustainability efforts.

Community Outreach

We’ve been part of this city for over a century with a long-standing tradition of good corporate citizenship. Whether we’re fundraising for a charity, supporting our neighbourhoods or sponsoring events, we’re committed to the community we serve. In 2015, we proudly supported the Toronto Pan American/Parapan American Games as the Official Electricity Distribution supplier. Big or small, our contributions to the community help to make our city brighter, greener and safer.

Our achievements:

  • We support United Way, and in 2015, employees raised more than $165,000 to help United Way agencies across the city
  • Toronto Hydro employees, family and friends participated in the CIBC Run for the Cure, raising $8,819 for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation
  • In September, for the second year in a row, we hosted an annual golf tournament in support of the largest state-of-the-art burn treatment centre in Canada — the Ross Tilley Burn Centre at Sunnybrook Hospital. With help from our sponsors, we contributed $700,000 — the single largest donation ever received by the burn centre
  • The Electricity Distributors Association recognized Toronto Hydro-Electric System Limited with the Communications Excellence Award for “Team Up For Green”, an innovative fundraising initiative with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). The program was designed to support the acquisition of new bike racks for TDSB schools while also supporting energy conservation and healthy living
  • We co-hosted four Brighter Nights™ community events to help improve safety and energy efficiency in neighbourhoods across the city. We replaced light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs, which cost very little to keep on overnight. The program is a joint effort with the City of Toronto’s Community Crisis Response Program, Toronto Community Housing, Toronto Police Service and local volunteers
  • We continued to sponsor several community groups and events including: Cavalcade of Lights, Nuit Blanche and NXT City Prize’s “Innovation in Energy and Sustainability Category”
  • In Scarborough’s Dean Park, Toronto Hydro employees and their friends and families planted 250 trees for Earth Week. Since 2004, we’ve planted more than 3,600 trees as part of our annual tree planting event
  • We hosted a Summer Safety Event at Ryerson Community School where kids learned about the dangers of electrical equipment
Learn more about our community outreach initiatives.
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