PowerStream Inc.

PowerStream Inc.

August 27, 2009 13:55 ET

PowerStream Launches Employee Vanpool Program

Electric utility demonstrates another way to "Go Green with PowerStream"

VAUGHAN, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 27, 2009) - An Employee Vanpool Program, jointly managed by the company and participating employees who also share in the cost of purchasing, operating and maintaining vehicles, was officially launched today by PowerStream.

The electric utility, which delivers power to more than 315,000 customers in the GTA and Central Ontario, projects that the start up of this new commuting initiative for its employees will help the environment by taking a total of 16 vehicles off the road during morning and afternoon commutes, thereby eliminating approximately 93 tonnes of greenhouse gases on an annual basis.

The first of two employee commuter vans will begin operating on Monday from PowerStream's Patterson Road office in Barrie. Nine PowerStream employees will board the van at 7:00 a.m. to make the 45-minute commute to the company's head office in Vaughan. In October, a second group of nine PowerStream employees will begin operating a vanpool from the Pickering and Markham areas.

"This is just another way we are demonstrating to our customers, especially some of our larger business customers, how they also can 'Go Green with PowerStream' by implementing programs that will ultimately help the environment," said Brian Bentz, PowerStream's President and CEO. "We hope that other companies in our service territory will join us by offering a similar commuting option to their employees."

"Sharing rides through carpooling is a convenient, reliable and economical way to get to and from work," added Bentz referring to the Carpool Zone partnership program PowerStream already has in with local not-for-profit Smart Commute - North Toronto, Vaughan (NTV). "Vanpooling is an even more cost-effective way to commute for our employees whose budgets are being continually depleted by persistently high gasoline prices and vehicle maintenance costs."

"Initiating a vanpool program is a natural progression in PowerStream's eco-mandate and Smart Commute NTV is thrilled to help them make it a reality, explained Brian Shifman, Executive Director of Smart Commute - North Toronto, Vaughan. "This program not only provides a great service for employees, it helps to prevent climate change and improve air quality by reducing the amount of emission causing vehicles on the road."

Under the terms of the PowerStream program, employees participating in a vanpool group pay between $60 and $70 each per month to cover their portion to finance the purchase of the vehicle as well as some of the on-going operation and maintenance costs. PowerStream pays for the down payment on the purchase of each vehicle, along with some additional options for safety purposes, and provides a $5,000 annual program subsidy for each vanpool group.

Interest among PowerStream employees for the vanpool initiative has been gaining momentum ever since the company first introduced the concept in June, following the results of an employee commuting survey conducted by Smart Commute NTV. A significant number of employees are already on a waiting list to form additional vanpool groups.

The Employee Vanpool Program is another example of PowerStream's efforts to demonstrate corporate leadership in the adoption and delivery of environmental and conservation programs. Since 2005, the company has been successfully helping many of the customers within its service territory reduce their electricity consumption through the introduction of a comprehensive suite of conservation programs. In February 2008, PowerStream moved into a new head office facility it constructed which later that year achieved LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) gold certification from the Canada Green Building Council. An Environmental Officer was also hired in 2008 to further help the company reduce its carbon footprint.

About PowerStream

PowerStream Inc. is the second largest municipally-owned electricity distribution company in Ontario, providing service to more than 315,000 residential and business customers in Alliston, Aurora, Barrie, Beeton, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Markham, Penetanguishene, Richmond Hill, Thornton, Tottenham and Vaughan. It is an incorporated entity, jointly owned by the City of Barrie, the City of Vaughan and the Town of Markham.

About Smart Commute - North Toronto, Vaughan (NTV)

The first Transportation Management Association (TMA) in Ontario, Smart Commute NTV was established in 2001 and now operates two projects: in North Toronto, Vaughan and Northeast Toronto (NET). Smart Commute is a joint venture of Metrolinx, area municipalities and employers that aims to reduce traffic congestion and take action on climate change through transportation efficiency. On behalf of its partners including, PowerStream, York University, Sunnybrook Hospital, City of Vaughan, York Region, City of Toronto, Enbridge Gas Distribution and Vaughan Mills, Smart Commute NTV represents approximately 90,000 employees and students. It encourages individuals to Travel Smarter. Cleaner. Better., by considering alternatives to single occupancy vehicle commuting including cycling, transit, carpooling, vanpooling, walking, and tele-commuting.

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    PowerStream Inc.
    Eric Fagen, Director, Corporate Communications
    Office Phone: 905-532-4522
    Media Line (24/7): 905-532-4400
    eric.fagen@powerstream.ca
    or
    Smart Commute - North Toronto, Vaughan
    Jody Graydon
    Marketing Manager
    Office Phone: 416-736-2100 x 22547
    jgraydon@SmartCommuteNTV.ca