OSHAWA – Oshawa Power’s electrical grid was hit early Friday evening due to the massive wind storm that passed through southern Ontario.  Overall there were 23,161 customers that experienced a power outage at some point during Friday evening.

Our first outage was reported at 5:40pm and Oshawa Power invoked their Emergency Preparedness Plan as outages were reported.  All crews were available to begin the assessment and restoration process.  Our communications were up and running and active throughout the outage.  Real-time updates were shared through our social media channels, website outage map and through a media release.

Once the wind subsided and it was safe, crews began restoring service.  Service restoration began at 8:00pm using a staggered approach throughout the city.  By 2:25am Saturday morning all customers were fully restored.  Oshawa Power continues to work on repairing damaged equipment caused by the storm.

Oshawa Power would like to thank our customers for their patience and support while we worked to restore power as quickly as possible.

Now that the storm has subsided we are advising customers to please take a moment and inspect their property for potential damage and hazards.   The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is advising Ontarians in areas most affected by the wind of the last two days to take a moment and check for damage to their home or property’s electrical system.  Even if power has been restored or never went out, you may have electrical pipes/masts pulled away from the building or sagging electrical wires.  These could be shock or fire hazards and should be repaired.

If you identify a hazard on your property contact a Licensed Electrical Contractor to check it and make the necessary repairs.  Click here to learn more.

If you identify a potential tree hazard that needs to be addressed please contact us using our message form and provide us the details and we will send a crew out to address this issue.

As a reminder whenever there is a power outage you can check our Outage Map or check our social media feeds Facebook and Twitter @oshawapower for updates.

Media Contact
Sheila Risorto
Marketing and Communications Analyst
srisorto@opuc.on.ca
905-723-4626 ext 5243
905-439-1930

Are you currently overdue on your Hydro Bill?

OSHAWA – Starting May 1, 2018 the Ontario Energy Board’s ban on collection disconnects during winter months ends.  Unfortunately some customers have used the winter disconnection ban as an opportunity to not pay their bills because they were not in danger of losing service.   As a result of the ban, we have seen customer account balances accumulate. Many customers may now have a difficult time paying their balance back to the utility.

The impact of the winter disconnection ban significantly increases the number of accounts in a position where they can be facing service disconnection and the cost of collection activity.  It also decreases the recoverability of balances.  Oshawa Power works extremely hard to mitigate losses so we can keep our rates low. The impact of receiving late payments or no payments lead to increased rates for the ratepayers and/or delayed infrastructure upgrades which is why we would prefer to work with you to achieve a solution that works for both of us.

We want to work with our customers to avoid disconnection, Oshawa Power offers many programs and repayment plans to assist families and are encouraging customers to reach out to us if they need help.

Here at Oshawa Power we are not in the business to disconnect service.  The disconnection process is costly and we like to avoid it as much as possible.   We work closely with numerous social agencies in the Durham Region and the city of Oshawa to offer assistance and ease the burden of paying utility bills for low income individuals and families. We want to help our customers keep their service, and help to keep their accounts current. If you are having trouble keeping up with your bill please call us before you get your final notice.  We would like to help as many people as possible avoid disconnection.  If we can help people before it comes to the point of disconnection it’s a win-win.

Please call Customer Service at 905-723-4623 Monday to Friday 8:30am- 4:30pm to discuss your options.

OSHAWA, ON April 16, 2018 – Oshawa Power is pleased to report that small areas affected by this weekend’s ice storm have been fully restored and Oshawa is 100% powered.

Oshawa Power was monitoring this storm very closely and our field crews and emergency team were on high alert and prepared to respond when needed.  At any given time we had no more than 300 customers without power.

Our crews were dispatched on Saturday to address multiple non-service affecting motor vehicle accidents to repair equipment and about 10 service affecting outages on Sunday.  The outages were primarily caused by tree contacts and accumulated ice buildup.  Our crews worked tirelessly throughout Sunday night clearing the lines to get the power restored as soon as possible to minimize inconvenience for our customers.

Now that the storm has subsided we are advising customers to please take a moment and inspect their property for potential damage and hazards.   The Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) is also advising Ontarians in areas most affected by the ice and wind of the last two days to take a moment and check for damage to their home or property’s electrical system.  Even if power has been restored or never went out, you may have electrical pipes/masts pulled away from the building, sagging electrical wires, or water and ice damage.  These could be shock or fire hazards and should be repaired.

If you identify a hazard on your property contact a Licensed Electrical Contractor to check it and make the necessary repairs.  Learn more here.

If you identify a potential tree hazard that needs to be addressed please contact us using our Message form and provide us the details and we will send a crew out to address this issue.

As a reminder whenever there is a power outage you can check our Outage Map or check our social media feeds Facebook and Twitter for updates.

We would like to thank our customers for their support and patience while our crews worked to restore the power safely.

Oshawa Power advises that all power is restored PDF

-30-

Media Inquiries:
Sheila Risorto
Marketing and Communications Analyst
905-723-4626 ext 5243
905-439-1930
srisorto@opuc.on.ca

Oshawa – Environment Canada is warning that an ice storm is likely this weekend in the Oshawa area.  Freezing rain is expected Saturday afternoon and continue into Saturday evening.  Freezing rain may become mixed with or turn over to ice pellets at times, with some areas receiving a few centimetres of the ice pellet mess.

It is expected that it will persist into Sunday.  Ice buildup of 10 to 20 mm appears quite likely across the region by Sunday morning. Ice accretion may be considerably less in areas very close to Lake Ontario as temperatures there may actually remain very close to the freezing mark.

Ice accumulations of this magnitude combined with gusty northeast winds to 60 km/h may result in widespread power outages due to fallen tree limbs and power lines.

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. To report outages, Oshawa Power customers should call 905-723-4623.

Oshawa Power will continue to monitor this storm.  Our field crews and emergency team are on high alert and prepared to respond.

Oshawa Power is also proactively coordinating with the Electrical Safety Authority to streamline the repair process for customers who may incur damage to their meter mast as a result of the storm. If a customer’s electrical equipment is damaged, customers need a Licensed Electrical Contractor to make repairs before Oshawa Power can safely restore power.  Learn more here

If you experience an outage you can follow our updates on Twitter  or Facebook @oshawapower or monitor our outage map at www.opuc.on.ca/outages .

Oshawa Power is encouraging customers to be prepared for power outages before the power goes out. Emergency Management Ontario 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.

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.  Oshawa Power is part of the Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation family of companies.

Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation is the holding company for a diversified group of four subsidiaries involved in energy distribution, telecom ventures, clean power generation and solar energy generation.  Oshawa Power and Utilities Corporation is wholly owned by the Corporation of The City of Oshawa.

Media Inquiries:
Sheila Risorto
Marketing and Communications
Oshawa Power
w‐905‐723‐4626 ext 5243
c‐905‐439‐1930
srisorto@opuc.on.ca

 

‘Dig Safe Month’, a provincial-wide initiative, that began on Sunday, April 1.

The campaign aims to promote safety and reduce damages to underground infrastructure by raising awareness of safe digging practices, which includes calling ‘Ontario One Call’ before beginning a project that involves breaking ground.

Planning an outdoor project?

Call before you dig.

Are you planning on doing any work that involves digging such as installing a pool, building a fence or planting a tree? As a homeowner, contractor, or developer, it is your responsibility to ensure that any outside projects are carried out safely.  It is important that you get utility locates before you start your project to avoid damaging any underground infrastructure.

Underground networks of services including power lines might be buried on your property. Accidentally hitting one can cause injury, property damage and inconvenient outages.  To make your project safe:

  1. Call 1-800-400-2255 or visit Ontario One Call before digging
  2. Wait for an Oshawa Power cable locator to arrive and mark the area
  3. Respect the marks; avoid digging within one metre of marked ground
  4. Dig with care

Please allow for five business days for your locates to be complete before you plan to dig.

It’s the Law.

Having utilities located before you dig is required by law under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act (see Construction Projects 228).

For additional important information, visit the Ontario One Call website.

On behalf of Oshawa Power we would like to extend our thanks to the community for their patience this week as the wind storm passed through the city of Oshawa. Although we did have some small isolated power outages, restoration was quick, and our problems were minor. Prevention programs and updating infrastructure is key to our reliability.

Oshawa Power takes reliability very seriously, and is constantly looking for improvements. Our team considers Oshawa’s projected growth and existing infrastructure and makes the plan to replace or rebuild system components before it causes problems for our community. The extensive maintenance programs put in place by Oshawa Power have also resulted in an overall increased reliability. These programs include:  ongoing tree trimming, pole testing, annual switch maintenance, annual infrared scanning, cable replacement, annual oil testing and relay and breaker testing to minimize external issues, as well as daily observations while crews are working. In addition to these preventative measures, our Emergency Preparedness Plan deals with mobilizing and dispatching crews and resources to respond quickly and efficiently when a problem arises.

Our everyday job is to ensure Oshawa has safe, reliable power, communicate with our ratepayers and do it as cost efficiently as possible.  It is storms like this week that challenge our efforts and we are happy to report that we continued to deliver the same service that Oshawa ratepayers have come to rely on.

 

Ivano Labricciosa

President and CEO

Oshawa Power

Oshawa Power Earth Hour Results – 2018

Around the world Earth Hour symbolizes international unity on the importance of addressing climate change.  In Oshawa, electricity users went dark to observe Earth Hour over the weekend.

This year Oshawa Power recognized a drop in electricity consumption of 0.6% or 835.4kW.  Oshawa has always been a leading community in energy conservation initiatives and continues to look for opportunities to increase their commitment to climate change awareness.  Oshawa’s electricity users work hard every year to reduce their electricity consumption.  In the last 3 years Oshawa has saved over 45 GWh of electricity through reduction and conservation programs, our users have adopted Earth Hour habits for everyday living.

The amount of electricity saved during this year’s Earth Hour is equivalent to the CO2  emissions of 2,451 kms driven and the amount of the CO2 sequestered by planting 160 new trees in Oshawa.

Please be advised that the billing delay has been remedied and the regular billing schedule has been restored.  We appreciate your patience in this matter.

Some customers affected by billing delay

Please be advised, electricity invoices for customers who normally receive their monthly bills between the 16th and 31st will be delayed for January.  We fully expect to have the situation remedied very soon and all January bills are expected to be delivered no later than February 8th.  Affected customers will receive invoices for only the delayed billing period however, due to the delay, some of those customers may receive two invoices in the month of February. Overdue service charges will be waived and there will be no interruption of service resulting for a period of time to accommodate the billing delays. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your patience.

Weigh in on Oshawa’s Smart Cities Challenge for a chance to win an iPad!

The development of the City of Oshawa’s Smart Cities Challenge bid is underway and needs your insight!

Complete the survey for the chance to win an iPad!

We’re looking to you to help identify community needs and how Oshawa can harness digital technology and data to improve livability.

Complete the survey before 4:30 p.m. eastern time on February 2, 2018 for your chance to win a 32 Gb iPad (must be 18 years of age or older).

Complete the survey now! *

Open House – February 1

You’re invited to an Open House to learn more about the Smart Cities Challenge and share your ideas about community needs and possible projects.

  • Date: Thursday, February 1
  • Time: 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. (presentation at 7:15 p.m.)
  • Location: C-Wing Committee Room at City Hall (50 Centre St. S.).

Can’t make it but want to have your say?

Share your feedback online on Connect Oshawa or on paper (available at Service Oshawa and all OSCC branches) by Friday, February 2 at 4:30 p.m. EST.

* Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Only 1 entry per person. One prize of a 32 Gb iPad with WiFi capabilities (silver) will be awarded by random draw. No purchase necessary. Visit www.oshawa.ca/scc for full prizing details and conditions.

About the Program:

1. What is the Solar Energy Storage and Management System (SEMS) Pilot Program?

SEMS pilot program is the partnership between the City of Oshawa, New Energy and Industrial Development Organization (NEDO) and Oshawa PUC Energy Services (OPUCES) that will bring a SEMS pilot project for approximately 30 homes in Oshawa.

2.  How does the SEMS look like?

The system will include a solar PV array (6-7 kW) connected behind the meter, lithium ion batteries (10 kWh) and a hybrid inverter (5.5 kW) that will control the flow of power between the PV array and the battery bank. The solar panels will be installed on the roof and battery and hybrid inverter will be installed inside the home (basement, garage etc.).

e_eibs_install-thumb-611x403-532

3.  Are ground-mount solar panels eligible under the pilot program?

Ground-mount solar panels are not eligible under the pilot program.

4.  What is the pre-qualifying requirements for a home to participate in the pilot project?

To qualify to participate in the SESM pilot, the participant must be the home owner of the residence. Please see the document “Participant Recruitment – Pre-qualifying Requirements” for home eligibility criteria.

5.  Does the property qualify if it is register to a business or an organization?

The pilot is open to only residential properties in the City of Oshawa.

6.  How to submit recruitment application for the pilot project?

Before submitting the application for recruitment; interested home owners are requested to go through the documents – “Participant Recruitment – Pre-qualifying Requirements” for home eligibility criteria.Interested home owners can submit the application to OPUCES via email (SEMS@opuc.on.ca) or by visiting OPUCES office (100 Simcoe St. S., Oshawa, ON L1H 7M7); starting 9:00 AM, 24th July, 2015. No application will accepted prior to the specified date and time. Applications submitted before the specified date and time will be considered ineligible.

A list of eligible home owners will be prepared on first come – first reviewed basis. OPUCES representative will visit the home to further verify the eligibility. A final list will be prepared on the basis of fully qualified applications and home owners will be notified. OPUCES reserves the right to make any changes to the Participant Recruitment Criteria.

7.  Do I have to pay anything?

The selected home owner will sign an ‘Energy Services Agreement’ (ESA)with OPUCES for the period of 4-5 years. As a part of this pilot project, installation and commissioning of the SEMS and maintenance during the term of the ESA will be done at no cost to the selected 30 home owners.

In return, the home owner will share residential electricity consumption data with OPUCES and other project partners and provide access to the SEMS to OPUCES designated visitors with prior notice.

During the term of the ESA, the SEMS will be owned by the pilot project partners (NEDO, OPUCES). After the ESA term, the ownership of the SEMS will be transferred to the home owner and the home owner will take all the responsibility of the SEMS.

8.  Will my electricity bill be reduced by installing SEMS?

Yes. For the solar energy generated; either being used inside home or stored inside the battery, there will be no cost to the home owner. This is a direct reduction to home electricity bill. In addition, access solar energy generated will flow back to utility distribution grid and will be credited in monthly energy bill according to ‘Net-Metering’ program.

9.  What is the catch?

There is no catch! OPUCES is installing SEMS as a part of pilot program in collaboration with City of Oshawa and NEDO.

10. Will I receive any monthly payments for participating in this pilot program?

No. the home owner will not receive any payment for participating in this pilot program.

11. My roof has slate/clay/metal shingles. Does it qualify?

No, unfortunately a roof with those types of shingles are not eligible.

12. Can I use the solar generated electricity inside my home?

Yes. Solar generated electricity will be first used inside home then stored in the lithium ion battery and excess will flow back to the Oshawa PUC distribution grid.

This electrical connection to Oshawa PUC distribution grid will be done according to the Government of Ontario net-metering program. The Ontario Government is taking steps to promote the development and use of renewable energy.Net metering allows you to send excess electricity you generate from renewable resources to the distribution system for a credit toward your energy costs. In essence, it’s a “trade” of electricity you supply against electricity you consume.The benefits of net-metering will go to the home owner.

For more information please visit Ontario Energy Board website;

13. Can I use solar energy and energy stored in the battery during power outage?

Yes. In case of power outage from local distribution company grid; solar energy and energy stored in the battery can be used within the home. Solar inverter is rating is 5.5 kW and Lithium Ion battery rating is 10 kWh.

14. How long will the battery power  last during a power outage?

For the selected home, during design phase, electrical load will be pre-determined that can be turned ON during power outage from distribution grid. Solar and battery energy will keep on providing power to the pre-determined load. Example of pre-determined load can be refrigerator, few lights bulbs, computer receptacle etc.

In absence of sunlight, if used wisely, battery can provide power to the pre-determined load for a few days.

15. What happens if I sell the house?

While OPUCES does not recommend installing it on homes intended for sale within 5 years. The sale will include the transfer of equipment and obligation to participate in the program.

16. How many times do you visit my property for inspection and/or maintenance?

This is a pilot project. The home owner should expect frequent visits for inspection and maintenance activities Home as per manufacturer’s specifications. This will be defined in the ESA.

Also, there will be frequent visits from the project partners. One week advanced notice will be provided to the home owner for these type of site visits. Home owner is expected to accommodate this request except for emergency situations.

Home owners will be enrolled in the vendor 24*7 customer support.

17. Who is responsible for roof maintenance?

General roof maintenance remains home owner’s responsibility. OPUCES and project partners are responsible for any damage to the roof caused by the solar panels for the initial 4-5 years. After the ownership of the SEMS is transferred to home owner, the home owner will responsible for all roof related maintenance.

18. Who will own the equipment and when ?

The SEMS will be owned by OPUCES or project partners for a period of initial 4-5 years. The ownership of the SEMS will be transferred to home owner after this period.

19. Who is responsible for the equipment including insurance?

The insurance will be covered by OPUCES or project partners for the initial period of 4-5 years. After this period, the ownership of the SEMS will be transferred to home owner and the home owner will be responsible for insurance.

However, as a part of qualification process, the home owner is responsible to inform and register the SEMS with the existing insurance company.

20. Will the equipment make any noise?

The SEMS will comply with the industry standards for noise level.

21. Because you are using the internet connection, will the data volume cause any concerns for my internet?

The internet for home owner will definitely increase due to SEMS data transfer. The home owner is responsible for providing reliable high-speed internet connection and also responsible for any additional cost for internet usage.

The SEMS monitoring system uploads small amounts of data to a web server at 1 minute intervals.  The total amount of data transmitted is less than 5 GB a month.

22. Are there any software programs available for the home owner to monitor the system and we have access?

The home will be able to view SEMS activities from the monitoring panel installed inside the home.

23. Is this equipment safe and approved for use in Canada and specifically Ontario?

The equipment has all necessary approvals to be installed in Canada and specifically in Ontario. OPUCES and project partners will get all required installation approvals; including approval from ‘Electrical Safety Authority’, before starting the installation.

24. What support is available after I own the equipment?

Home owners will be enrolled in the vendor 24*7 customer support.

25. What will it cost to remove the equipment?

After the initial period of 4-5 years, the ownership will be transferred to home owner. The removal cost would be a typical cost for removing for solar panels and other equipment. Since this is a pilot project, battery disposal cost is not known at this stage.

26. What will it cost to replace the equipment?

For the initial 4-5 years, the home owner is not responsible for any replacement cost due to equipment manufacturing defect. Since this is a pilot project, it is difficult to assess replacement cost after standard warranty period is over.

27. Who will make sure that the roof will be able to hold the equipment?

Pre-installation inspections will be done and municipal permit for installing solar panels will be obtained by OPUCES and project partners.

28. Are the solar panels screwed or clamped to my roof?

The solar panels are both clamped and screwed onto your roof to ensure solid attachment. OPUCES and project partners design the SEMS to ensure there is no damage to your roof or any other part of your house during installation and in the years to come.

29. Will the solar panels cause structural damage to my home?

No. Before OPUCES installs a solar system, it sends a certified technician to do an on-site assessment after which a Professional Engineer also conducts and stamps a detailed study of your roof. They will determine if the house is structurally sound, and if the roof is in good condition. If home roof is not in good condition, and/or home is not structurally sound, OPUCES will not install a SEMS.

30. How many panels are put on my roof?

About 30 solar panels will be installed. This produces enough electrical energy to power an average house in Ontario.

31. What is the size and weight of each solar panel?

Each panel is approximately 1 m x 1.6 m x 42 mm thick, weighing approximately 23 kg. A solar panel is smaller than a sheet of plywood and it weighs less than the combination of materials already on your roof.

32. If qualified and eligible, when can I expect the SEMS to be installed at my home?

OPUCES is expecting to install the SEMS for qualified and eligible homes before December 2015. However, this is a pilot project and the installation date may change without notice.