PowerStream Inc.

PowerStream Inc.

November 18, 2009 12:01 ET

PowerStream Wins Smart Commute Employer of the Year Award

Employee vanpool and carpool programs help electric utility earn accolade

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 18, 2009) - PowerStream, an electricity distribution company serving more than 315,000 customers in the Greater Toronto Area and Central Ontario, was presented with the Smart Commute Employer of the Year Award for North Toronto, Vaughan (NTV) at the third annual Smart Commute Awards hosted last night by Metrolinx at The Fermenting Cellar in the Distillery District.

The Smart Commute Awards are held each year to recognize employer members or partners in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Areas who have put forth exceptional effort in implementing their Smart Commute programs and in doing so have also demonstrated outstanding commitment, leadership, innovation and results. PowerStream was selected from among several companies nominated for the Smart Commute NTV Employer of the Year Award.

As an employer member of Smart Commute NTV, PowerStream this past year launched an employee vanpool initiative that currently is helping the environment by taking a total of 16 vehicles off the road during morning and afternoon commutes. It is estimated that this program eliminates 93 tonnes of greenhouse gases on an annual basis.

In addition to vanpooling, PowerStream provides its staff with carpooling options and incentives. Employees, who work at the company's head office location in Vaughan and commit to carpooling at least 90 percent of the time, are provided with one of the building's limited number of indoor parking spaces. The company also promotes carpooling to its employees through the Smart Commute NTV Carpool Zone program and makes bicycles available for staff members who want to run errands during their lunch hour.

"Our Smart Commute initiatives are an integral part of our corporate green goal strategies," explained Brian Bentz, PowerStream's President and CEO. "We are extremely honoured and excited to be receiving this award but our greater reward will be if this achievement helps to motivate or inspire other companies in our service territory to implement some of these programs for their own employees."

"Without a doubt, on-going employee education and promotion have been key ingredients to our success," Bentz added. "Lunch and Learn Workshops, participation in Clean Air Commute Week and holding our own Environmental Awareness Week have all contributed to building an understanding among our employees of what it really means to 'Go Geen with PowerStream."

In addition to the company's Smart Commute initiatives, PowerStream has also demonstrated corporate leadership in environment and sustainability practices by building its head office facility to Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED®) gold standards. Similarly, the company is targeting a new operations centre, scheduled to open early in 2010, to achieve LEED silver certification.

"PowerStream has provided examples of what other companies might want to consider if they wish to establish or improve on their eco-mandate," said Brian Shifman, Executive Director of Smart Commute NTV. "Implementing Smart Commute strategies not only enhances employer-employee relations, it also helps to mitigate climate change and improve air quality by reducing the amount of emission causing vehicles on the road."

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 and 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. 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
    Smart Commute - North Toronto, Vaughan
    Jody Graydon
    Marketing Manager
    Office Phone: 416-736-2100 x 22547