TORONTOSept. 28, 2021 /CNW/ – Yesterday, the Ontario Energy Association (OEA) virtually hosted the 2021 OEA ENERGYAWARDS to celebrate and profile the accomplishments of Ontario’s energy sector over the past year.

The award recipients for 2021 are:

Customer Service


In response to the pandemic and the impacts on its customers, Oakville Hydro implemented a customer care program to help their clientele during this difficult time. This program involved multiple opportunities and touchpoints for Oakville Hydro to meet the needs of their customers.

Oakville Hydro customers were given the ability to amortize overdue balances over a period of up to 12 months to ease the financial burden and maintain customer goodwill. To ensure this initiative was well known and utilized, a steady stream of proactive communication was launched to notify customers of available support programs through auto-dialer and Customer Service Representative (CSR) phone calls, customer-specific letters and social media outreach. Additionally, Oakville Hydro conducted weekly outreach to key accounts to identify opportunities for support and implemented CEAP utilizing innovative robotic process automation for residential applications.



Alectra has shown itself to be an industry innovation leader.  First, they created the Green Energy & Technology (GRE&T) Centre to promote customer adoption of clean technologies. Secondly, Alectra also built a transactive, blockchain-backed energy platform through the GridExchange & IESO Non-Wires Alternatives Demonstration Project.  To ensure their customers are well equipped with clean energy options, Alectra’s POWER.HOUSE and Power.House Hybrid project allowed 20 houses to generate their own clean energy. Going forward, Alectra will use this as a model to support distributed energy resources (DER) adoption pathways. Finally, this past summer, Alectra also completed the first DER local auction in Canada with its IESO York Region NWA Demonstration Project.

Outstanding Employee


Penny Favel, Vice President of Indigenous Relations at Hydro One made transformational contributions to Hydro One’s approach to reconciliation and has been a trusted partner to Indigenous communities. She at worked at establishing a procurement target, an Indigenous employment strategy, and an internal Indigenous cultural awareness training program. She also led an expansion and reorganization Hydro One’s Indigenous Relations team to deliver commitments to reconciliation.



Andrew Sasso is a major contributor to the OEA policy development process. The OEA relies heavily on Andrew’s thoughtful and detailed input to progress its missions and advocate for its members. Andrew’s opinion is highly respected amongst his peers, and he frequently helps the OEA drive to consensus positions.

Company of the Year


Peak Power is a made-in-Ontario climate technology company that is poised to scale globally and showcase the leadership of Ontario’s energy technology ecosystem for what behind-the-meter assets can do, including behind-the-meter energy storage, grid-interactive buildings, and bi-directional electric vehicles (EVs).

In the last year, Peak has more than doubled its size to over 55 employees and has accomplished several globally leading feats in the energy sector with distributed energy resources (DERs). Peak has been able to bring together stakeholders from the previously disparate sectors of real-estate, energy, and mobility. Through these collaborations, they have been able to develop solutions that enable contributors to climate change be part of the solution and unlock value while doing so.

Leader of the Year


Jim Sanders is Senior Vice President of Distribution Operations at Enbridge. He is accountable for the operations, maintenance, and construction of natural gas systems in Ontario and Quebec serving more than 3.8 million customers. Over the past year, these accountabilities included the integration of the Distribution Operations function at Enbridge Gas Inc. which was officially formed when its two predecessor companies – Union Gas Ltd. and Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. – merged on January 1, 2019. In just 18 months, Jim has led his team of 1,800 employees through the creation and implementation of a unified operating model with a common structure, processes, and systems, all the while maintaining safe and reliable operations.

Jim’s vision translated into multiple projects, each with separate project milestones and dependencies that called for close coordination and consistent messaging from the top. Not an easy feat during a pandemic when almost all training and communications had to be virtual. Jim and his team persevered, moving each of the projects below forward in 2020 and 2021, and many have now been successfully completed.

As co-chair for the TorontoYork and Peel United Way Cabinet, and an active participant and fundraiser in the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer, Jim demonstrates the value of community leadership and the important role our industry plays in providing affordable, clean, safe and reliable energy to Ontario, together.

Lifetime Achievement


Through Ave’s more than 30-year career, she has cultivated and developed a strong and diverse talent pipeline and provided leadership in the Canadian Electricity Association’s (CEA) efforts to drive industry change on diversity and inclusion. During the pandemic, Ave has provided strong leadership and guidance as consistent Incident Commander and Pandemic Executive Lead for infectious disease. As the Code of Ethics Officer since 2002 – she embodied the seriousness of the role and provided timely, fair and honest responses to inquiries. She has also developed and guided regulatory application in the areas of Workforce, Compensation, Corporate Productivity and Performance and Human Resources and Safety programs.

She has demonstrated innovative and visionary leadership, and tenacity; strong drive to shape and advance culture, technology and performance systems across the organization and unwavering calm, strength, and collaboration to manage high stress and crisis situations, and tackle cross-functional problems.

Throughout her career she has developed, coached, and mentored diverse talent to meet her organization’s current and future workforce demands. Over and above all her accomplishments, she is loved and respected by her peers and colleagues.

About the Ontario Energy Association:

The Ontario Energy Association (OEA) is the credible and trusted voice of the energy sector. We earn our reputation by being an integral and influential part of energy policy development and decision-making in Ontario. We represent Ontario’s energy leaders that span the full diversity of the energy industry. Learn more at

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