Our commitment to sustainability

Hydro Ottawa Holding Inc. is both a community asset and an investment for our shareholder, the City of Ottawa. As a community asset, our purpose is to provide efficient and reliable services and a first class customer experience to our customers. We are a strong strategic partner with the City, helping to deliver on its economic development and environmental targets. Our approach to sustainability is to conduct business with an emphasis on environmental protection, economic development and social responsibility.

We also recognize the importance of reducing our environmental footprint, and that’s why we are committed to providing innovative energy solutions to our customers and our community in a safe and sustainable manner. Sustainability is, and will remain, the foundation of all our decision-making and business practices. 

Why leading the way to a smart energy future is critical

As extreme weather events in Ottawa, across Canada and globally occur with ever increasing regularity, we’ll be seeing greater impacts on our demand patterns, critical infrastructure and systems that generate, transmit or distribute electricity.

Climate change, coupled with the push for electrification, is driving innovation and change in the electricity sector. As a trusted voice in the industry, we are proactively seeking opportunities to help shape policy, regulatory and operational responses to these critical issues.

Given the inextricable link between energy and the environment, we are committed to leading the way to a smart energy future by advancing energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy generation

What is a smart energy future?

What we mean when we talk about a ‘smart energy future’ is an energy system that is responsive to evolving needs and makes effective use of available technologies to maximize consumer, community and environmental benefit.

It is an opportunity to leverage the modernization of electricity infrastructure, innovate energy solutions, produce more renewable energy and explore projects such as:

Microgrids: a system that operates while connected to the main electricity grid but in times of disruptions like storms or power outages, can disconnect from the main grid and operate on its own using local energy generation – such as solar panels, distributed generators or batteries.

Smart communities: an interconnected community that leverages the smart use of technologies to power homes, buildings and transportation to benefit citizens, businesses and service organizations; and

District energy resources: are systems that produce and supply thermal energy. Hot water and chilled water are produced at central plants and distributed to surrounding buildings via a closed-loop underground distribution system known as a thermal grid.They are used to efficiently heat and cool buildings eliminating the need for individual building furnaces, boilers or chillers.

We know the transition to a smart energy future, greener economy and greener lifestyles will be driven by consumers’ needs, preferences, and objectives.

Our vision of a smart energy future is sustainable, customer centric, reliable, cost effective and secure.

Laying the groundwork

For more than a decade, Hydro Ottawa has been integrating innovative and sustainable business practices while also ensuring it continues delivering on critical areas of performance including best in-class customer service, financial strength, organizational effectiveness, culture and leadership, and corporate citizenship. 

The company has adopted an end-to-end approach to sustainability – increasing production of clean, renewable energy, helping customers conserve energy and lead energy efficient lifestyles, designing its facilities to meet LEED Gold standards (a globally recognized certification of a green building), implementing green technology, and improving waste management. 

As we plan for the future, we are proud of the progress we’ve made so far to reduce our carbon footprint, divert waste and pollution, protect land use and biodiversity and build a culture of sustainability.

Our journey to net zero

Further to our commitment to environmental sustainability, in December 2021, our Board endorsed our pledge to transition to net-zero operations by 2030 – a first for any municipally-owned utility in Canada. Not only does that commitment extend across all our companies, but we will also play an instrumental role in helping create a smart energy future for our city enabling Ottawa residents, businesses and institutions to reduce their own energy footprint, and transition to net zero.

Throughout this journey, we will celebrate our collective achievements while continuing to support our customers, work closely with governments, community and industry partners, protect the environment and invest in our employees.

Leading through innovation

As part of Hydro Ottawa’s strategic focus on corporate citizenship, we embrace sustainability and innovation. Learn more about the innovative projects we’re investing in on our journey to a smart energy future.