Woodstock Sentinel-Review
January 13, 2014
Codi Wilson

Woodstock Hydro leads Ontario in energy conservation

Woodstock Hydro received a nod from the Ontario Clean Air Alliance earlier this week for being the leader in the province for energy reduction.

Over the past two years, Woodstock’s electricity provider beat energy reduction targets set by the Ontario Energy Board by %152, the highest rate among all Ontario providers.

“The announcement, it just came out of the blue. We weren’t expecting anything,” said Jay Heaman, manager of operations at Woodstock Hydro.

“Obviously groups like the Ontario Clean Air Alliance and those environmental organizations see it as a benefit because the other side to this is we are all doing our part to reduce carbon emissions as well.”

Heaman attributes much of the success to local businesses and people who have gotten on board with energy reduction.

“From a societal perspective, I think it is a great statement for Woodstock and Oxford County. There is a lot of really good initiatives and results,” Heaman said.

“They talk about culture of conservation. A lot of businesses and residents already get it and are a lot more willing to participate in programs and take action.”

Heaman said the city had a jumpstart on the Energy Board targets from the very beginning with a major retrofit program in the first quarter of 2011.

“GM did a major lighting retrofit at their plant on Parkinson Road and they did that early in 2011 so right out of the gate there we had a really big retrofit completed and that really set us up to be successful,” he said.

In the future, Heaman said Woodstock Hydro will be looking to other area municipalities that have implemented successful energy reduction programs.

“(We want to) look outward to places like South-West (Oxford) and what the County of Oxford is doing and what the City of Woodstock is doing and to start working collectively in the county to really showcase this energy conservation,” he said.

“Then from there, to start transitioning into renewable energy and energy storage technology.”