Page 13

2014 Sustainability-based Annual Report

11 Making it Easier to Do Business Retaining and attracting businesses is critical to the economic health and well-being of our communities. We are aware of the contribution that Horizon Utilities can make through minimizing customer electricity costs and by making it easier to do business in our communities. We work hard to achieve this, developing innovative and responsive tools for this purpose. We have listened to the concerns of our large customers served by dedicated lines owned by Horizon Utilities. As part of our 2014 rate application, Horizon added a second Large User rate class for these customers. This provides for a much improved allocation of costs to each class of customers. While not greatly impacting other customer classes because there are so few in this special grouping, these large customers now have a distribution tariff 80 per cent lower than before, which is a significant contributor to their bottom lines. Another unique and innovative approach is Horizon’s smart growth inspired customer connection policy. While all customers benefit from the policy changes, the start-up costs for redevelopment of commercial properties was made more attractive compared to new development. Horizon removed both the system “enhancement” charge that utilities apply to all new customers and created an infill development database of commercial and industrial locations already connected to Horizon. We can now identify properties with little or no system “expansion” costs. By making infill development easier and less costly, Horizon is simultaneously assisting our customers with savings on start-up costs while helping communities attract new business and jobs, meet smart growth objectives, leverage existing infrastructure and preserve greenspace. The innovation has been lauded in several circles, including the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI). It awarded Horizon Utilities its Brownie Award in the Legislation, Policy and Program Initiative category in 2014. 80% lower-than-before distribution tariffs “This is great news for the region and a shining example of Smart Growth development. Encouraging urban intensification in the commercial and industrial sectors is an added benefit to the local infrastructure investments our government is making.” Hon. Glen Murray, then Ontario Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure “Our decision to focus on removing barriers and facilitating infill redevelopment, reinvestment and regeneration is contributing to a stronger community.” Neil Freeman, Vice President, Business Development, on accepting CUI Award


2014 Sustainability-based Annual Report
To see the actual publication please follow the link above