Welcome to CEA’s monthly newsletter – Current Affairs, a monthly newsletter that features news and events pivotal to our changing electricity industry.
Issue 30 (June 2021)
CEA Presents National Electricity Month
It’s June which means it is National Electricity Month! Every year, the Canadian Electricity Association celebrates access to safe, clean and reliable electricity in Canada by developing a public-focused social campaign.
Spark of Imagination is a cross-country art project featuring paintings from over 80 Canadian youth, aged 6 – 13. This artwork will answer an important question that we ponder every day – what does electricity mean to you? While we appreciate that Canadian kids enjoy toasted bagels, televisions and iPads, we know there is still work to be done. In assigning this homework to kids from coast to coast, we now have some homework ourselves: to continue to educate on the real value of electricity.
These pieces of art will be featured throughout the month of June on social channels and sit permanently in the CEA offices. Please follow along, share and re-post some of the thoughtful artwork from Canadian kids.
Issue 29 (May 2021)
Federal Budget 2021
On April 19th, the federal government released its first budget in two years. A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience focuses on continued COVID-19 response, economic recovery, investment in childcare, and a green economy. It also advances several CEA initiatives related to low carbon energy investments, energy efficiency and support for Measurement Canada.
The government has made significant commitments to the electricity sector through support for a grid modernization fund, supporting renewable fuels like hydrogen and biomass, investing in zero emission vehicles charging infrastructure, and creating the Net Zero Accelerator fund. Other notable investments include support to carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) research and development, funding for climate adaptation and grid resiliency, and incentives for clean technology investments.
All of these announcements reinforce the need for a broader federal plan on electricity’s critical role in decarbonization and meeting climate targets. Many of the pieces are here, but how they all fit together remains an important question.
Issue 28 (April 2021)
The Electricity Sector shows Resilience in 2020 and looks to Renew in 2021
The 2021 State of the Canadian Electricity Industry was released on March 17th. This year CEA focused largely on the impacts of the pandemic on our sector, the social challenges affecting our industry, the regulatory landscape and the government’s commitment to Net Zero by 2050. This report will be used broadly in CEA conversations with stakeholders throughout 2021. Over 500 registrants tuned in for the release of the 2021 report which premiered on YouTube. With CEA’s CEO Francis Bradley anchoring the conversation, the premiere included a panel with our Board of Directors and interviews with the CEA executive team. If you missed the premiere, the full-length video is still available for viewing.
Issue 27 (March 2021)
Canada’s Net Zero Future
The Canadian Institute for Climate Choices released its report “Canada’s Net Zero Future” in February, which looks at potential pathways to Net Zero for Canada. The report is a robust piece of research that provides clear analysis of where opportunities for Canada are and what steps are needed. In particular, the report makes a distinction between existing and commercially proven technologies (“safe bets”) and emerging ones where more work is needed (“wildcards”). It emphasizes that each need distinct policy responses but are important to pursue with seriousness. “Safe bets” alone allow Canada to reach 2030 climate targets; “wild cards” will be needed for 2050. For the electricity sector, the report highlights the challenges of building out to meet future needs, including with existing regulatory frameworks.
Issue 26 (February 2021)
U.S. Electricity Policy Outlook Webinar
For over 100 years, Canada and the United States have shared a robust and mutually beneficial electricity trade and cooperation relationship. CEA looks forward to continuing to work with the electricity and policy community on both sides of the border to help Canada and the United States meet shared climate and economic goals. Together, we will continue to ensure reliable, affordable, and increasingly clean energy to customers.
On January 28th, CEA was pleased to host a U.S. Electricity Policy Outlook Webinar for members and corporate partners, featuring experts from global law firm Dentons. Panelists discussed the landscape in the U.S. as the new Biden Administration and Congress begin to work on energy and economic policy goals for 2021, including a goal from the Biden Administration to achieve decarbonization of the U.S. electricity sector by 2035.
Key takeaways included on-the-ground insights into the potential energy, climate, trade and security outlooks for 2021, and what they may mean for the Canada-U.S. electricity relationship and members’ business.
Issue 25 (January 2021)
CEA Celebrates Electricity Innovation
Every year, the Canadian Electricity Association tells the story of innovation and ingenuity through the Centre of Excellence (CoE). CoE highlights the transformational progress in how electricity yields economic, social and environmental benefits for all Canadians, and will continue to do so, for years to come. In 2020, we added a collection of 19 new projects from 14 members across Canada. Since launching in 2018, we have added 75 new innovations to the Centre of Excellence. From transmission line drones, to a provincially connected EV charging network, to a microgrid operational during wildfire season, these game-changing inventions and their project managers are featured in CEA’s newest interview series “The Future is Now.” Stay tuned to our social media throughout the winter to catch a glimpse of these electrifying stories and our members behind them.
Issue 22 (December 2020)
The 2020 Virtual Powering Partnerships Summit
The third annual Powering Partnerships event was held virtually in 2020 over a four day period, bringing together hundreds of CEA members and corporate partners. This year, CEA was delighted to feature Avery Shenfeld, Managing Director and Chief Economist of CIBC and Gerald Butts, Vice Chairman of Eurasia Group and Jeff Henley, Vice Chairman of the Board, Oracle Corporation as our keynote speakers. They reflected on the impact of COVID 19 on the economy and the impact of the Paris Accord on the energy sector. Two lively panel discussions featured Canadian speakers from coast to coast (watch here) and international panelists from the United States, Australia and Ireland (watch here). While we couldn’t host the popular event in person, CEA was pleased to include members from all council and committees. Please visit electricity.ca and follow us on social for videos highlights from Powering Partnerships 2020.
Issue 23 (November 2020)
Building Back Better through Electrification
The leaders of the organizations that represent the breadth of Canada’s electricity sector came together on October 20th for the first time in history. Hosted by the Canadian Club of Ottawa, CEA’s President and CEO, Francis Bradley, moderated a discussion on how recovery from the steep economic slump precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic can support broader decarbonization of the economy. He was joined by the CEOs of the electricity trade associations representing new-style renewables, waterpower, nuclear, and human resources. The conversation focused on how our industry is poised to meet Canada’s commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and accelerating the transition to a cleaner energy future, especially considering the direction from government that post-pandemic recovery efforts will also advance goals like decarbonization. The panel voiced the opportunity to leverage electricity to build a more sustainable tomorrow, but doing so requires a concerted effort, including from government, with a clear, national strategy.
Issue 22 (October 2020)
The Canadian Electricity Association Board Committee on Sustainability Appoints First Female Chair
The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) is pleased to announce that the new chair of its Sustainable Electricity Program’s Public Advisory Panel for 2020-2021 is Cara Clairman, Founder and CEO of Plug N’ Drive – the first woman to hold the position in the panel’s 23-year history.
As our sector continues to evolve from the changing customer expectations, to the integration of innovative technology, to the electrification of the economy, women will be integral to this transformation. The role that women play, and the perspectives they bring forward to pertinent conversations in the energy sector is a key driver for innovative and inclusive solutions. Gender diversity is needed for a successful clean energy transition.
CEA is looking forward to the value and leadership that Cara will bring to the Sustainable Electricity Program. “The electricity sector is of critical importance to our economy and also offers a significant opportunity to decarbonize other sectors of the Canadian economy while improving the lives of Canadians,” said Cara. “I am extremely pleased to continue the important work of the Public Advisory Panel on Sustainability as the new Chair.”
Issue 21 (September 2020)
“CEA Conversations Series” Launched in August!
The “CEA Conversation Series” is a new webinar series featuring innovative solutions and informative case studies of interest to those working in the electric utility space. Featuring presentations from leading suppliers, manufacturers and service providers to the electricity sector, the series highlights a variety of Canadian and world-wide solutions to current and future challenges faced by the industry. Webinar topics range from international performance based regulatory regimes through to payment innovations via Facebook, Alexa and other channels. Case studies and topics related to distributed energy resources, unplanned outages and a variety of COVID-19 impacts to the workforce are also explored. The first webinar in the series “COVID Recovery – Getting Employees Back To Work” premiered August 20 2020, presented by CEA Corporate Partner Guidehouse.
Up to 30 webinars are planned prior to the end of the calendar year and we are still scheduling! Everyone in the electricity space is encouraged to register and participate.
Issue 20 (August 2020)
CEA Presents “The Grid 2020: The Transformation Issue”
On July 22, 2020, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) launched the 2020 edition of our annual magazine THE GRID. The 2020 issue focuses on the theme of “TRANSFORMATION” and the way it is affecting – and will continue to affect – the electricity sector. As the electricity sector looks ahead to 2050, one thing is abundantly clear: we must transform to meet our national climate goals. And while our industry was already on a fast track to change, COVID-19 further disrupted every aspect of not only our operations, but our lives.
This publication is one of the many ways CEA shares the latest electricity industry news, best practices and trends with its members, corporate partners, government partners and other key stakeholders while educating them on the work that the membership from coast-to-coast-to-coast is doing. During these difficult times, our sector has taken extraordinary actions to deliver a critical service—reliable, safe and affordable electricity—for Canadians. A special thank you to all the authors from CEA staff and CEA member companies, notably Fortis Inc., Capital Power, AltaLink, SaskPower, Ontario Power Generation, Alectra Utilities, Manitoba Hydro, Utilities Kingston, ENMAX, and Hydro Ottawa for their contribution to this publication and for sharing their valuable stories, initiatives and perspectives on the ever-changing electricity sector.
Issue 19 (July 2020)
CEA Celebrates National Lineworker Appreciation Day on July 10
Every day, lineworkers across Canada work to keep electricity flowing into our homes, schools, hospitals and businesses. They are the highly trained men and women who work on installing and maintaining the complex hydro grid across cities, provinces and territories. Often faced with working in extreme conditions, lineworkers are trained to work efficiently, safely and collaboratively to keep the lights on. We have learned that it is no longer just downed lines, damaged generators or cyber-attacks that shut down communities and economies; health threats are equally, if not more, damaging. Electricity is the power behind the essential services who are supporting people everywhere, especially the most vulnerable. In appreciation for their commitment to serve fellow Canadians, CEA continues to recognize and support these men and women by celebrating National Lineworker Appreciation Day on July 10 every year.
Issue 18 (June 2020)
CEA’s CAMPUT Workshop: Regulatory Perspectives on Electric Utility Pandemic Response & Digital Transformation
On May 6, CEA hosted our annual CAMPUT Workshop, Regulatory Perspectives on Electric Utility Pandemic Response & Digital Transformation in a digital format for the first time ever. This workshop had two main objectives. First, with utility business and financial models under increasing pressure from COVID-19 related challenges, we sought to spur thought leadership in terms of regulatory principles relating to revenue recovery by utilities in the months and years ahead. Secondly, given the increasing use of digital technologies by utilities for business agility and continuity, we used the recent KPMG report commissioned by CEA and CGA, Capitalizing the Cloud, to frame a larger discussion on incenting investments in technology and resilience by utilities.
Brien Sheahan, former Chair and Commissioner of the Illinois Commerce Commission, served as the keynote speaker and addressed the two issues above. Brien is well-known for his progressive regulatory record on utility innovation. He outlined a number of regulatory principles, such as urging the fair treatment of utilities in recovering revenue lost as a result of the current pandemic. He also discussed his rationale for increasing regulatory incentivization of utility investments that enable resilience and agility.
Issue 17 (May 2020)
Not All Jobs Can Be Done From Home
Across the supply-chain, CEA is working diligently to support our members who remain focused on critical operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is recognized by all levels of government and across our vast network that electricity is the power behind essential services, literally. We are providing a vital commodity to the services who need us the most; those who are supporting people everywhere, especially the most vulnerable.
The Canadian Electricity Association and our members remain focused on preserving the health and safety of our employees and the public, and delivering critical electricity supplies to communities across the country. Utilities are working hard to help their customers navigate these uncharted waters. There are only so many people who can operate the grid. Our members continue to engage customers every day so their lights stay on and electricity is available to power critical services such as health care, telecommunications, groceries and pharmacies.
CEA has put together a short video to remind Canadians about the critical nature of our work and why lineworkers may be working in the field during this pandemic. We are #PoweringThruTogether.
Issue 16 (April 2020)
A message from our President and Chief Executive Officer, Francis Bradley
COVID-19 has changed the daily lives of Canadians from coast to coast to coast. The Canadian Electricity Association—in coordination with our industry and government partners—is closely monitoring and responding to COVID-19 developments. We are committed to the health and safety of our members, staff and the public.
The pace of COVID-19 developments has been exceptionally rapid, with the situation changing daily. CEA quickly mobilized and began working with our members, government partners and the electric utility industry to gather and share up-to-date information, best practices and guidance. Our collective efforts are helping protect the grid and ensure continued access to safe and reliable electricity during these difficult times. You can find up-to-date resources and information on our website.
Issue 15 (March 2020)
CEA Presents the 2020 State of the Canadian Electricity Industry
We are proud to have released the 2020 State of the Canadian Electricity Industry at Globe Series this month, which convenes leaders from business, government, and civil society to share knowledge to accelerate the transition to a cleaner energy future.
The Canadian electricity industry is undergoing a period of unprecedented change through electrification, reconfigured governments and competitive markets. The need for a coordinated, proactive and collaborative approach to achieve Canada’s decarbonization goals, while meeting increasing demands on the grid, is the catalyst for the report.
The overall theme of transformation is inspired by electrification, the integration of new technologies, prospective changes in the regulatory environment and the continued decarbonization of the electricity sector.
Issue 14 (February 2020)
CEA Welcomes Elexicon
The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) is delighted to welcome Elexicon Energy as a new member. Formerly Veridian Connections Inc. and Whitby Hydro Electric Corporation, Elexicon Energy provides more than 168,000 residential and business customers with reliable and affordable energy services. They “power life’s most meaningful moments, creating harmonious connection between experiences and people and the environments where they dwell”.
“We are very excited to welcome Elexicon Energy as a new member to CEA. As the voice of electricity in Canada, we have a powerful presence in the dynamic and highly interconnected energy industry. Elexicon Energy will help strengthen that voice, creating a brighter future for the sector,” said Francis Bradley, President and CEO of the Canadian Electricity Association.
“Elexicon Energy is proud to be joining CEA, and we look forward to connecting and collaborating with other progressive utilities across Canada,” said Lesley Gallinger, President and CEO of Elexicon Energy. “Our mission is to provide our customers with reliable, affordable energy services and to continuously improve to meet their needs, while ensuring the needs of our shareholders are met through continuous growth.”
Issue 13 (January 2020)
A Farewell to Ann Kelly
After a successful 16 year career at the Canadian Electricity Association, Ann Kelly, Director of Customer, Energy Efficiency and Human Resources Committee, gracefully transitioned into retirement at the end of 2019. After initially working with CEA as a consultant in 2004, Ann became a full time staff member at CEA in January 2009. We would like to thank Ann for her many years of great leadership, commitment to working with members on promoting energy efficiency and conservation and dedication to customer service excellence.
Thank you, Ann, for your years of hard work and devotion to our team. Congratulations on your retirement!
Issue 12 (December 2019)
CEA’s Annual Powering Partnerships Summit
CEA’s annual Powering Partnerships Summit was held in Ottawa on November 13th. This premier annual event brought together CEA’s Board of Directors, councils, committees, corporate partners, government officials and industry stakeholders with a record turnout.
Amber Mac delivered the opening keynote, speaking to an increasingly connected world. Her presentation on relentless adaptation set the stage for the afternoon panel discussions on industry transformation and opportunities featuring executive leadership from BC Hydro, Yukon Energy Corporation, TransAlta, ENMAX, SaskPower, Manitoba Hydro, Hydro One and Toronto Hydro. CEA’s Corporate Partners Opus One, Oracle and Siemens joined the second panel, focusing on worldwide trends and industry disruption.
CEA’s annual Occupational Health and Safety and Lifesaver Awards ceremony was also held during the summit. Highlights included the presentation of the Sustainable Electricity designation to ENMAX and SaskPower; AltaLink was the first member ever to be re-designated.
The event culminated with a formal dinner featuring Peter Mansbridge, the Canadian voice of national news, as the keynote whose talk focused on trust.
Issue 11 (November 2019)
CEA’s Election Update
On October 21st, Canadians elected a minority Liberal government. Justin Trudeau’s Liberals held on to government with strong showings in Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Ontario, but were shut out in Alberta and Saskatchewan and received fewer votes than Andrew Scheer’s Conservatives. Trudeau will govern by finding support from opposition parties- most likely the NDP. CEA members should expect that on key priorities, including climate change and regulatory reform, the government will continue in the same general direction as before, albeit with some pressure to move more aggressively on climate change or social spending measures. A new Cabinet, including a new Natural Resources Minister, will be announced on November 20th. We expect the House of Commons to be called back shortly thereafter for a Speech from the Throne. CEA’s election coverage included weekly election updates and a webinar discussing the outcome of the Federal Election and what it means for the Electricity Sector over of the next few years.
Issue 10 (October 2019)
The Path to Electrification and the Low Carbon Future
The 2019 Federal Election is looming with October 21st rapidly approaching. A central conversation for all political parties during this campaign is climate change. To ensure a continued focus on our electricity future as part of the solution for climate change, the Canadian Electricity Association has been facilitating a debate series about electrification with relevant stakeholders. While the path to electrifying Canada is not always clear, CEA knows it is necessary in ensuring a low carbon future for Canadians.
On September 16th, CEA kicked off the Electrification debate series in Vancouver with a discussion focused on the electrification of buildings. We were pleased to welcome Tyler Bryant from Fortis BC, Tom-Pierre Frappé-Sénéclauze from Pembina, Akua Schatz from Canada Green Building Council and Stephen Wilson from Foresight to discuss new innovations, consumer choice, regulatory policy and greenhouse gas reductions as related to the electrification of buildings.
Issue 9 (Septembre 2019)
Quilliq Energy Corporation Joins CEA
The Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) is delighted to welcome Quilliq Energy Corporation (QEC) as a new Member. CEA now has utility representation in all ten provinces and three territories across Canada! Owned by the Government of Nunavut, the QEC is the only generator and distributor of electrical energy in Nunavut, delivering electricity to 15,000 customers.
“We are very excited to welcome Quilliq Energy Corporation to CEA and our Generation Council. The national voice of electricity will be stronger with their inclusion,” commented Francis Bradley, President and CEO of CEA. QEC has 200 employees across the territory dedicated to supplying safe, reliable and efficient energy.
CEO of Quilliq Energy Corporation, Bruno Pereira stated, “QEC is pleased to be joining the CEA. As the sole generator of electricity in Nunavut, Qulliq Energy Corporation faces many of the same challenges other utilities encounter, but in a demanding arctic environment. Our customers extend over 3 time zones, and 20% of Canada’s landmass. We look forward to contributing to the vibrant discussion surrounding the CEA.”
Issue 8 (August 2019)
CEA celebrates the first Canadian National Lineworker Appreciation Day
On July 10th, the Canadian Electricity Association was joined by electricity companies across Canada for an industry-wide celebration of Canadian lineworkers. Often faced with extreme weather conditions, lineworkers are trained to work efficiently, safely and collaboratively to keep the lights on.
Julia Muggeridge from CEA and Joseph Muglia from Hydro Ottawa appeared on CTV Morning Live with Annette Goerner to talk about the first ever National Lineworker Appreciation Day in Canada, and how lineworkers work to keep electricity flowing into our homes, schools, hospitals and businesses. CEA also launched a cross- Canada social campaign and created an NLAD video.
Issue 7 (July 2019)
National Electricity Month: The Future is Electric
To kick off National Electricity Month, on June 3rd, the Canadian Electricity Association hosted “An Electrifying Night at the Museum” event at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Following a private cocktail reception, the feature presentation was a dramatic play rendition of “The Future of Electricity: 2040”. This play originated from four scenarios of what the future could look like developed during a visioning exercise by CEA’s National Emerging Issues Committee.
These visions of the future have been prepared into first person short stories by Kate Heartfield, a Nebula-nominated Ottawa author, to add a human face to how local generation, renewable energy, and more will change how we live. Kate’s short stories were transformed into monologues and preformed by local actors. In between each performance, industry experts discussed how and why these depictions of the future could be accurate. The evening concluded with a private viewing of the museum’s natural resources exhibit “From Earth to Us”.
Issue 6 (June 2019)
2019 Centre of Excellence
On May 14th, the Canadian Electricity Association (CEA) celebrated electricity company innovation at the second annual Centre of Excellence reception. Utility members from across the country presented their innovative projects in a trade show-style reception at the Sir John A. Macdonald Building on Parliament Hill to a diverse audience of Members of Parliament, stakeholders, associations and government officials. CEA also hosted a press conference on the Hill as a lead-up to the reception. During the evening reception, representatives from 21 different utility members had the opportunity to present their work to a diverse audience and film a short video with CEA for social media promotion.
Issue 5 (May 2019)
2019 Board of Directors Washington Policy Forum
From April 10th to 12th, 2019, CEA held its annual Washington Policy Forum. This event serves an opportunity for CEA senior executive members to engage U.S. policymakers on issues affecting integrated cross-border electricity systems and markets. This year, the Forum offered insights into new challenges and opportunities following the midterm shake-up.
With Democrats in control of the House, climate change is back on the D.C. agenda, while the Trump Administration continues to pursue ‘America First’ energy, environment, and trade policies. Canada-U.S. trade uncertainty continues, as the renegotiated NAFTA still must be ratified. Grid security and resilience also remain top of mind.
The Forum provided the opportunity to gain on-the-ground perspectives, and to build relationships with U.S. thought-leaders, stakeholders and policymakers. The CEA delegation communicated the significance of the Canada-U.S. electricity relationship, and its role in North American prosperity; electric reliability and resilience; security; and environmental performance.
Issue 4 (April 2019)
Federal Budget 2019
On March 19, the federal government released Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class, which provided strong support for Canadian energy and investments within the electricity sector. In fact, six of CEA’s key advocacy asks in 2018 were reflected in the federal budget; a demonstration of the government’s support for the electricity sector.
CEA strongly supports commitments made to electrifying the Canadian economy through electric vehicle incentives and charging infrastructure investments. CEA was pleased to see a commitment of $1.46 billion in clean energy and efficiency programs. This includes over $1 billion to reduce energy costs through energy efficiency programs focused on homes, communities and multi-residential buildings. This budget empowers Canadians to make clean energy choices. Following the budget, CEA issued a News Release, a Member’s Bulletin and hosted a webinar, which is now available for viewing. For further information on Budget 2019, please contact Michael Powell, Director of Government Relations.
Issue 3 (March 2019)
State of the Industry
Yesterday, CEA released the inaugural State of the Canadian Electricity Industry at Globe Capital-Financing the 21st Century. Chief Operating Officer (COO) Francis Bradley introduced the report noting, “The State of the Electricity Industry in Canada is strong.” Attendees at Globe Capital were introduced to key CEA advocacy initiatives to ensure the electricity sector is empowered to innovate and electrify the economy.
Issue 2 (February 2019)
We are excited to launch Flux Capacitor, the first-ever CEA podcast!
Episode 1: Francis Bradley interviews Karen Hutt, President and CEO of Nova Scotia Power.
Podcast, featuring discussions on the future of the business of electricity, and the impacts of future technological change and market transformation on customers, companies, and the electricity business. We will feature discussions with the industry’s business leaders, thought leaders, new market players, and stakeholders that have been pondering the future of how we create, move, trade and use energy, and what the future changes will mean for electricity companies, regulators, society, and customers.
Issue 1 (January 2019)
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Addresses CEA
Welcome to CEA’s monthly newsletter – Current Affairs, a refreshed platform that will feature news and events pivotal to our changing electricity industry. One such event was the attendance of the Prime Minister at our annual Powering Partnerships event in 2018.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau addressed the CEA Board of Directors, Corporate Partners, and stakeholders marking the first time a sitting PM has attended and spoken at a CEA event. His eloquent remarks demonstrate the value the Government sees in the electricity sector as Canada continues down the path to a low carbon economy.