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PowerStream's Decade of Growth has Benefitted Customers

Digital Journal
May 27, 2014

As officials and employees get set to mark PowerStream's10-year anniversary on June 1, 2014, they are taking particular pride in how the community-owned energy company's tremendous growth through mergers, acquisitions and strategic partnerships has benefitted its customers.

The company's growth through the consolidation of municipally-owned utilities has created economies of scale and operational efficiencies that have enabled PowerStream to not only provide its customers with additional service offerings such as conservation programs, but has also helped to reduce distribution rates (i.e. the rates charged to operate PowerStream) on several occasions including:

• 2006: a decrease in distribution rates varying from 10.5 to 23.5 per cent for customers in Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan
• 2007: a further decrease in distribution rates for customers in Aurora, Markham, Richmond Hill and Vaughan due to the introduction of common rates across the entire service territory
• 2009: an additional decrease in distribution rates for a typical residential customer in York Region of 1.3 per cent and 1.7 percent for typical business customers
• 2013: a 16.2 per cent decrease in distribution rates for a typical residential customer in Barrie and Simcoe County
Achieving scale through consolidation has also provided PowerStream with the size required as a utility to test and implement innovative technologies to benefit its customers today and in the future. This includes Smart Grid technologies that enhance reliability and facilitate quicker responses to power outages, using solar generation to provide power through renewable sources, investing in electric vehicle charging research and building a Micro Grid.

Over its 10-year history, PowerStream has given back to the communities it serves on numerous occasions through the company's sponsorship and donations program. The utility has donated a cumulative total of more than $1,000,000 to the United Way organizations in York Region and Simcoe County as well as provided major donations to several area hospitals (Mackenzie Health, Markham Stouffville and Southlake Regional Health Centre) and post-secondary institutions (York University and Georgian College).

The company has earned numerous accolades since it was created in 2004. Most recently, PowerStream was named one of 'Canada's Greenest Employers' and won the Electricity Distributors 'Environmental Excellence Award' for the third time in the past six years. In addition to being named one of 'Greater Toronto's Top Employers' for three consecutive years, PowerStream has also earned a 'Canada Award for Excellence' and been recognized for being one of 'Canada's Safest Employers'.
PowerStream is now focused on becoming Ontario's premier integrated energy services provider by 2020.

 •"PowerStream was created to provide customers with better pricing and more reliable electricity," said PowerStream Board Chair and City of Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. "In 10 short years, it has not only proven that utility consolidation works but it has also become an industry leader with a focus on innovation and energy conservation."

 •PowerStream's consolidation of municipally-owned utilities included the original merger of Markham Hydro, Richmond Hill Hydro and Hydro Vaughan in 2004, the acquisition of Aurora Hydro Connections in 2005 and a merger with Barrie Hydro in 2009. In 2012, the company formed a strategic partnership with the Town of Collingwood in the ownership of Collus PowerStream.

•Since 2004, PowerStream has grown from serving just under 200,000 customers, residing or owning a business in three municipalities, to providing service today to more than 365,000 customers located in 15 communities.

PowerStream is a community-owned energy company that provides power and related services to more than 365,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. It is jointly owned by the Cities of Barrie, Markham and Vaughan.
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PowerStream Inc.
Eric Fagen
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Media Line (24/7): 905-532-4400