Respect the Power: Powerline Safety Awareness Week

May 11-17, 2019 urges Ontarians to be mindful of powerlines

Powerline Safety Awareness Week in Ontario is a time to be reminded of the importance of staying clear of overhead and underground powerlines, particularly when working, doing household chores or having fun outside.

Tragically every year people in Ontario are killed or critically injured from contact with powerlines and electrical utility equipment,” said Scott Saint, ESA’s Chief Public Safety Officer. “We need everyone to recognize and respect the power and take some simple, yet life-saving safety precautions.”

“As the Victoria Day long weekend approaches, I urge all Ontarians to take a moment to increase their own and their family’s powerline safety knowledge,” said David Orazietti, Minister of Government and Consumer Services. “Taking the time to learn more now can prevent a tragedy later.”

Five Ways to Respect the Power

    1. Locate the lines. Before starting any outdoor job whether at work or at home, first look up, look out and locate. Then keep track of where they are as you move around so you’re always mindful of the powerlines.
    2. Keep yourself and equipment a safe distance away.For the kind of powerlines that connect a house to the poles on the street, keep yourself and any equipment (ladders, pruners, tall vehicles, etc.) at least one metre away.  For the higher voltage lines that run down streets, stay at least three metres away.  Not only is making contact very dangerous but even coming close to the line can cause the electricity to jump or ‘arc’ through the air and contact you or your equipment.
    3. Never attach or drape anything on a powerline.Never brace a ladder against a line or near its point of contact to a building. Don’t run other lines like antennas or cables on or near powerlines. And never grab a line for balance when working at heights.
    4. Carry equipment horizontally. Carry ladders, pruners and other long equipment on their side, not vertically as they could connect or attract arcing from an overhead line.
    5. Plant trees away from overhead powerlines. If your trees have grown into or close to powerlines, contact your local utility. Do not trim trees around powerlines yourself. And call before you dig to ensure underground cables and other utility equipment are located and marked.

    For more tree trimming and landscaping tips, visit esasafe.com.

    Test your Electrical Safety Knowledge with the below Myths& Facts:

    MYTH:  I’m just trimming tree limbs, I won’t be using a ladder so I don’t need to worry.

    FACT:   Anything that touches a powerline – a pruning tool, the tree limb or your hand can give you a shock, burn or kill you. Better idea: call an arborist or your local electric utility and have one of their trained arborists trim the tree for you safely.

    MYTH:  I’m just digging a couple of feet into the ground. I don’t need to worry about underground lines.

    FACT:  The lines may be closer than you think or a grading change may have occurred over time. Better to be safe than sorry. Call before you dig — it’s the law! Call Ontario One Call to get a cable locate.

    MYTH:  If a powerline falls on my car, I should get out and run to safety right away.

    FACT:  The car and the ground around it may be electrified and you could be killed if you get out of the vehicle. Stay inside until the utility workers tell you it’s safe to get out. Tell everyone to stay back 10 metres or 33 feet.

    MYTH:  To get a shock or burn, I need to actually touch a powerline.

    FACT:  Just getting too close could cause you to receive a severe shock, burn or even kill you. Electricity can jump or ‘arc’ through the air to you or an object that gets too close. Always stay at least three metres or 10 feet away from powerlines.

    MYTH:  I can use a wooden stick to prop up a powerline or to knock down a toy that’s tangled in a powerline.

    FACT:  Even wood can conduct electricity. Never touch or come close to a powerline. Contact your local utility if you need assistance.

    MYTH:  A powerline that’s been knocked down doesn’t have electricity flowing through it, so it’s safe to be near it or move it out of the way.

    FACT:  Always assume a downed powerline still has electricity flowing through it, even if it isn’t sparking. Stay back at least 10 metres or 33 feet (that’s about the length of a school bus), call 911 and the local utility.

    For more Myths & Facts & other Powerline Safety connect to the following:

    https://www.esasafe.com/consumers/safety-and-security/powerline-safety/myths-and-facts

    https://www.esasafe.com/business/powerline-safety/

    How dangerous are overhead power lines? – Lucky the Squirrel learns the hard way how dangerous overhead power lines can be, in the below link to ESA’s video.

    #RespectThePower #PowerlineSafetyWeek

     

     

     

This Saturday May 4, 11 AM- 3 PM Oshawa Power will be at the McLaughlin branch of Oshawa Public Library with a fun interactive booth that will include our Hazard Hamlet, public safety handouts including a handy vehicle safety infographic to keep in your car, financial assistance brochures and giveaways!

So come on by and meet some Oshawa Power staff and learn about powerline safety!

The Ontario Energy Board (OEB) announced there will be little change to electricity prices on May 1, and that summer time-of-use (TOU) hours come into effect.

Customers who pay tiered prices will see no change to their electricity prices, but the tier threshold that applies in the summer period will come into effect on May 1.

For residential and small business customers that buy their electricity from their utility, the new TOU prices set by the OEB for May 1, 2019 under the Regulated Price Plan (RPP) are shown in the table below. The table also shows the hours to which those prices apply.

On March 22, 2019, the Ontario government introduced changes to the approach the OEB is required to follow when setting RPP prices for the May 1, 2019 to October 31, 2019 period. The revised regulation requires that prices are set so that the monthly bill for a proxy customer increases by the rate of inflation relative to the bill on May 1, 2018.

The proxy customer’s bill is determined by calculating a weighted average of provincewide delivery and regulatory charges, assuming consumption of 700 kWh/month and a TOU usage profile of 65% used in off-peak, 17% in mid-peak and 18% in on-peak. The new RPP prices will mean a monthly total bill increase of $1.63 for the proxy customer.

For more information please visit the OEB website.

The new RPP prices will be in effect until October 31, 2019.

Oshawa Area Telephone Soliciting

Oshawa Power has received reports in our Customer Service department that some local customers have received fraudulent phone calls claiming to be calling from Oshawa Power.  The calls are from a 1-800 number and a representative threatens disconnection unless payment is completed by credit card.

Oshawa Power can confirm that we are not executing any outbound phone calls to our customers at this time and this third party is misrepresenting themselves.

If you have any question please do not hesitate to contact us at 905-723-4623 or email us at contactus@opuc.on.ca .

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 24, 2019

Oshawa, ON – Oshawa Power’s electricity supply may be impacted due to extreme gusts of wind at 90 km/h up to 110 km/h expected later today. It is anticipated that power interruptions will occur due to the severity of current weather conditions. Please be advised that Oshawa Power is available and ready to ensure public safety however the severe winds pose a safety risk to our workers and will challenge our efforts to restore power quickly. Our trained responders will make every effort to restore power safely and as quickly as possible.

Harsh gusts of wind impact your power as they can damage power lines and/or cause their surrounding environment damage. Exposure to high winds can weaken trees, which can fall on top of powerlines temporarily suspending power.

Please take caution if you see a fallen tree limb or fallen powerlines. Downed powerlines may be energized and are dangerous. If powerlines are down, assume they are active and stay at least 10 metres away (the length of a school bus), and call 911 immediately. To report outages, Oshawa Power customers should call 905-723-4623.

If you identify a potential tree hazard that needs to be addressed please contact us using our message form, https://www.opuc.on.ca/contact-us/ and provide us with details. We will send out a crew to address the potential hazard.

Oshawa Power reminds customers to be prepared for power outages before the power goes out. The City of Oshawa and local emergency responders recommend that residents prepare and plan to be self-sufficient for 72 hours in an emergency situation.

  • Please make sure that you have flashlights and batteries available.
  • Do not use charcoal or a gas barbecue, camping heating equipment or portage generators indoors as they produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.
  • Before you leave home, please do walkthrough of your home just as you would when going on vacation and make sure all appliances are turned off such as stoves, ovens, coffeemakers, etc.

If you experience an outage, follow the updates on Twitter and Facebook, @oshawapower. To view a live update of current outages, visit the outage map at https://www.opuc.on.ca/outages.

This storm is expected to continue into the Monday morning commute and Oshawa Power would like to caution drivers to be aware of our crews on the road and be safe.

About Oshawa Power: Oshawa Power provides safe, reliable and efficient electricity distribution services to over 58,000 customers in the City of Oshawa. For more information visit www.opuc.on.ca.

Officials from the Japanese Consulate and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization of Japan (N.E.D.O.) visited Oshawa City Hall on February 19 as part of a wrap up of the international partnership component of their Solar Energy Management System pilot.

Led by Oshawa Power (Oshawa PUC), the five-year pilot project consisted of a unique partnership between the utility, City of Oshawa, Tabuchi Electric, and N.E.D.O., a Japanese governmental organization that promotes research in the renewable energy field.

The $1.2 million initiative involved the participation of 30 homes in Oshawa utilizing solar energy, an advanced smart inverter and a lithium-ion battery to simultaneously produce, store and manage energy from their own home.

The 30 households were each provided with an energy storage system to store solar power for use during peak hours and after sunset. The systems also provided several hours of backup power in the event of an outage. Additionally, the homeowners realized savings of over 50 percent on their electricity bills.

The pilot demonstrated and quantified beneficial climate change adaptation strategies, as well as benefits to both the consumer and the utility such as virtual power plant functions.

Prior to the project kick-off in 2014, a project of this scale and scope had not yet taken place in North America.

The February 19 visit included:

  • a closing results forum with officials and staff representing all the project partners and many participating pilot homeowners
  • a meet and greet and gift exchange with members of City Council, Oshawa Power, the Japanese Consulate and NEDO
  • Oshawa Power presentation of the high-level results during the regular City Council meeting

Detailed results from the pilot will be posted on Oshawa Power’s website in the coming weeks.

Oshawa Power provides safe, reliable and efficient electricity distribution services to over 58,000 customers in Oshawa.

Quotes:

“Oshawa Power is proud to have collaborated with major international partners and the City of Oshawa to bring leading-edge technology to our customers. This award-winning pilot brought international notoriety and roughly $1.2 million dollars of investment to our community,” said Ivano Labricciosa, President & CEO, Oshawa Power. “Through the joint efforts of the partners, we explored new service offerings that promote affordability, reduce environmental impact and increase the resiliency of our power system – all things we know are important to the people of Oshawa.”

“This international partnership and cutting-edge residential solar storage pilot – the first of its kind to launch in North America five years ago – was another great example of Oshawa being on the leading edge of innovation,” said Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter. “We thank Oshawa Power and our partners from Japan, Tabuchi Electric and N.E.D.O. for investing in our city and making advancements in the renewable energy field.”

Did you know during the holidays in the winter and summer months, electricity is charged at off-peak pricing? Oshawa Power bills our customers based off of Ontario Energy Board Time-of-use (TOU) pricing for the electricity commodity portion of their bill.

Take advantage of holiday savings and do tasks like laundry on a holiday, weekends, or later in the evening. To check your bill balance or make a payment, use our website to experience seamless service through our online billing system.

Visit here to to sign up for e-billing.

Want to save some more?

Visit the Ontario Energy Board Time-of-use holiday schedule.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

International Close-Out of Solar Energy Management System Pilot

Oshawa, ON, February 12, 2019 – Oshawa Power announces the wrap-up of the international partnership component for their Solar Energy Management System (SEMS) pilot. The utility will provide high-level results during the regularly-scheduled City Council meeting at 6:30 pm, February 19th, City Council Chambers, 50 Centre Street South, Oshawa. Members of the public and press are invited to attend.

The pilot consisted of a unique partnership between the City of Oshawa, Oshawa Power, Tabuchi Electric and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a Japanese governmental organization that promotes research in the renewable energy field. The $1.2 million initiative involved the participation of 30 homes in Oshawa utilizing solar energy, an advanced smart inverter and a lithium-ion battery to simultaneously produce, store, and manage energy from their own home.

The pilot demonstrated and quantified beneficial climate change adaptation strategies as well as benefits to both the consumer and the utility such as virtual power plant functions. As a result of this effort, SEMS are proven to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and aid their users in climate change adaptation. The project was successful in providing its users with a source of energy during power outages, along with electricity bill savings of over 50%.

Oshawa Power extends gratitude to NEDO, Tabuchi Electric and the City of Oshawa for enabling this leading project. Prior to kick-off, a project of this scale, with these aims had not yet taken place in North America.

Team members will attend the closing results forum next Tuesday to perform a final review of the project. Detailed results from the pilot will be posted on Oshawa Power’s website at a future date.

For questions, email cdm@opuc.on.ca

About Oshawa Power: Oshawa Power provides safe, reliable and efficient electricity distribution services to over 58,000 customers in the City of Oshawa. For more information visit https://www.opuc.on.ca/

OSHAWA POWER

FEBRUARY 12, 2019

OSHAWA– Weather reports are predicting 15 to 25 cm of snow, ice pellets, possible freezing rain and strong winds of 70 -80 km/h to hit Oshawa today. Oshawa Power is following the storm conditions and watching for impacts on the electricity grid.  Snow and ice build-up on poles and wires and strong winds can cause outages. We have crews prepared to handle any service disruptions in a safe and efficient manner.

Please be cautious if you see a fallen tree limb or fallen powerlines. Downed powerlines may be energized and are dangerous. If powerlines are down, stay at least 10 metres away (the length of a school bus), and call 911 immediately.

If you identify a potential tree hazard that needs to be addressed please contact us using our message form, https://www.opuc.on.ca/contact-us/ and provide us the details. We will send a crew out to address the issue.

If you experience an outage, follow our updates on Twitter and Facebook, or check our outage map opuc.on.ca/outages. If you need to report an outage you can call 905-723-4623.

Oshawa Power encourages customers to be prepared for power outages before the power goes out. Local emergency responders recommend that residents prepare and plan to be self-sufficient for 72 hours in an emergency situation.

  • Please make sure that you have flashlights and batteries available.
  • Do not use charcoal or a gas barbecue, camping heating equipment or portage generators indoors as they produce deadly carbon monoxide gas.
  • Before you leave home, please do walkthrough of your home just as you would when going on vacation and make sure all appliances are turned off such as stoves, ovens, coffeemakers, etc.

Click here for more tips and visit the City of Oshawa’s website for city updates. Stay safe and informed.

About Oshawa Power: Oshawa Power provides safe, reliable and efficient electricity distribution services to over 58,000 customers in the City of Oshawa. For more information visit https://www.opuc.on.ca/

On November 27, 2018 Oshawa Power hosted its first Contractor Safety Day. The workshop hosted guest speakers from the Ministry of Labour (MOL), Electrical Safety Authority (ESA), Infrastructure Health and Safety Association (IHSA) and CHS Health & Safety Solutions Inc. Our speakers focussed on powerline safety, public and worker safety, and accident prevention. An alarming fact is that the province of Ontario suffered 5 electrical-related fatalities in 20171, all of which were preventable.

“Our message today is that we are here to support contractors who are conducting work in our service territory. We will assist them in their efforts to ensure the safest work environment possible when working around or near electrical infrastructure. Through education and communication we can maintain Oshawa’s stellar safety record. Prevention is key,” said Sarah Del Gatto, Health and Safety Manager, Oshawa Power.

The event was well attended by local contractors, safety professionals, and service providers. Oshawa Power in partnership with industry speakers and attendees took the first step in establishing industry relationships that strengthen our region’s resolve in achieving zero workplace incidents.  . Electrical safety is everyone’s responsibility.

“It was encouraging to see the level of interest and engagement among all attendees who are striving to improve safety through enhanced cooperation and communication. Safety is a culture that needs to be fostered and supported through industry leadership; Oshawa Power is here to do that for anyone working in our region. Our goal is to protect workers and the general public. Safety is paramount,” commented Matt Strecker, Vice President, Engineering and Operations.

Contractors who are performing any type of work around or near the electrical distribution system in Oshawa can call Oshawa Power for a safety consultation free of charge. Oshawa Power will help identify potential hazards, provide recommendations regarding safe work practices, and if necessary, provide a quote for any work that the utility may be required to do, in order to achieve safe working conditions, if the cost or scope required  exceeds  basic allowances outlined in the Conditions of Service.

Contractors also have access to a new website feature called Contractor’s Corner. Contractor’s Corner can be found on Oshawa Power’s homepage and provides easy access to service application forms, service upgrade forms, guidelines, requirements and any additional information relevant to contractors.

Attendees who participated in Contractor Safety Day include:

  • ABB
  • Black and Macdonald
  • Brass Inc.
  • Burman Energy
  • CFI Electric Ltd
  • Chin Fatt Ltd
  • Cliff Bruton Safety Consulting Inc
  • Electrical Safety Authority (ESA)
  • Enbridge Gas
  • Guillevin
  • Hayatt Electric Contracting
  • Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA)
  • Lamplighter Electric
  • Lit Electrical Contractors Inc.
  • Ministry of Labour (MOL)
  • Monteiro Electric
  • Ontario One Call
  • Professional Personnel & Skilled Trades
  • Superior Solutions Contracting
  • Tharanee Electrical Services
  • Townsend Electric
  • Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)
  • Westmore Poleline & Electric Inc.

 

 

1 Source: ESA and Coroner Records