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On this page, you will find a series of articles about Halton Hills Hydro. We will cover topics including an overview of Ontario's Electricity System, an understanding of your bill and how we set our rates. Follow this page to stay up to date.

On this page, you will find a series of articles about Halton Hills Hydro. We will cover topics including an overview of Ontario's Electricity System, an understanding of your bill and how we set our rates. Follow this page to stay up to date.

  • Why Cyber Security Matters at Halton Hills Hydro

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    Electricity Grid Security

    Like most utilities, Halton Hills Hydro installs automated devices that improve reliability and help restore power more quickly after power outages. These devices provide significant benefits in making our electricity grid more resilient to storms and adverse weather, but like all network connected devices, there is always a risk of cyberattacks.

    In 2015, Ukraine’s power grid was the victim of a cyberattack that left 225,000 customers without power. They were hit by a similar attack again in 2016. Could the same thing happen here? This sort of attack could happen anywhere to utilities of any size. That’s why Halton Hills Hydro is investing in cyber security measures to protect our electricity grid.

    Customer Data Security

    Protecting customer data is equally important to Halton Hills Hydro. Cyberattacks are increasing across all organizations regardless of size, scale or scope of business. There were numerous high profile data breaches in the news in 2018. The frequency and sophistication of these attacks continues to increase. Data breaches impact companies and their customers in terms of financial costs, customer trust, and reputation.

    Any personal information can be used maliciously. In many cases, the customer data from one source doesn’t pose a serious risk, however, sophisticated hackers can combine information from more than one source to build up a profile they can use for identify theft or fraud. That’s why it’s important to know that all of your online information is secure.

    What Halton Hills Hydro is doing

    Halton Hills Hydro continues to strengthen plans, systems and training to keep customer data safe. Our Cyber Risk Management is designed to:

    · Train staff to recognize threats and reduce the risk of data breaches.

    · Maintain data backup and recovery procedures to ensure business continuity in the event of an attack.

    · Block attacks, including ransomware and breached firewalls, to keep sensitive information safe.

    · Prevent malware or viral infections, which can corrupt data, bring down a network, and spread to other devices.

    · Restrict access to only trusted employees and business partners.

    Investment in cyber security ensures we keep your data safe and protects the supply of electricity.

    Take our quick surveys to let us know your thoughts on cyber security: Surveys

  • How Automated Switches Help Reduce Power Outages

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    We can’t predict when the power is going to go out, but when it does, there are things we can do to help get the lights back on faster.

    One of the biggest improvements we can make to our distribution system is to add automation. What does that mean? That means installing automated switches that can be controlled remotely by our control room and switches that can automatically notify us when they’ve been tripped.

    When an object makes contact with a powerline, such as a tree branch hitting it in high winds, it can cause a fault, which makes a switch open up. This is similar to turning off a light switch in your house.

    Automated switches can be closed, or turned back on, automatically or by our control room. If the conditions are right, such as the tree branch is no longer on the wires, the power stays on. This can happen quickly. Without automated switches, our crews have to drive up and down the roads in the area affected looking for the cause of the outage and manually operate switches. This can result in longer power outages.

    If the switch tries to close but still senses something wrong, it stays open, but it also sends a signal to our control room. When this happens, we know where the problem is and can send our crews directly to the location. This helps speed up restoration time after a power outage occurs.

    Another benefit of automated switches is that we can use them to route power from another area so that power can be restored to most customers while we fix the problem that caused the outage.

    These switches are expensive - 2-3 times the cost of a manually operated switch. This is why we only install a small number each year but overtime, they will help make our system more reliable.

    Take our quick survey to let us know your thoughts on using automated switches to improve reliability.

    See an automated switch in action with this short video:

    Automated Switch Video


  • Why don't we bury powerlines?

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    Many people ask why we don't bury powerlines to prevent power outages.

    There are several answers to that question.

    We Do

    We do bury power lines in new subdivisions and for all new construction. It is much easier and less disruptive to bury powerlines when a subdivision is being built then it is to dig up roads, sidewalks and lawns to bury them later on.

    Cost

    It's also much more expensive to bury power lines - it costs about 8 to 10 times more to bury lines than build them overhead. That would result in significantly higher rates for our customers.

    Disruptions to Customers

    Burying existing overhead powelines requires significant disruptions affecting customer’s homes and business. This can include tearing up roads, landscaping, lawns, etc. along with changes required to customer owned equipment and services.

    Safety & Reliability

    While it is true that power outages are less common where lines are buried, they do still happen and when they do, they are often much longer because there is a lot more work involved in fixing the problem.

    When power outages happen on overhead powerlines, they are less costly and quicker to repair.
  • Halton Hills Hydro - What We Do

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    Halton Hills Hydro's portion of your electricity bill is approximately 24%. Here's how we use those charges.

    We maintain and operate:

    Halton Hills Hydro's Service Territory

    •1,641 km of power lines
    9,126 hydro poles
    4,024 transformers
    12 municipal substations
    •1 municipal transformer station

    We Serve:

    • 23,000 customers
    • 281 square km of service territory
    • A municipal population of 61,161

    Last Year We:

    •Produced 266,500 electricity bills
    •Answered 17,764 customer calls
    Installed 85 new transformers
    Installed 27.7 km of new lines
    Connected 388 new services
    •Changed 207 hydro poles

    Halton Hills Hydro has 52 employees.

    Our portion of the bill is approximately 24%. About 11% is operating expenses - maintaining our system, restoring power after power outages, paying our staff. The other 13% is capital expenses such as installing new lines and equipment.

  • Understanding Power Outages and Reliability

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    Why did the lights go out? While we make every effort to provide a reliable supply of electricity to our customers, power outages do happen. There are many different causes of power outages.

    This chart shows the power outages in 2018 by outage cause. This does not include scheduled power outages for system maintenance or upgrades.

    Power Outages by cause


    As you can see, the two largest contributing factors to power outages are Adverse Weather and Defective Equipment. In 2018, seven power outages were the result of motor vehicle accidents.

    What can we do about power outages? Some of the outages caused by Defective Equipment may be reduced through a more aggressive replacement program. This comes with an increased cost.

    With some equipment, such as power transformers, we choose a run to failure approach rather than proactive replacement since the cost of a proactive replacement program on those items would be very high.

    Other items, such as poles and porcelain insulators, we proactively replace as they age. The pace at which we replace these items can affect reliability and cost. The faster we replace these items, the greater the cost but the potential for improved reliability also increases.

    Please take a few moments to complete our survey to let us know your thoughts on proactive replacement vs run to failure.

    Click here to complete our survey




  • Proactive Equipment Replacement

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    We proactively replace certain types of equipment based on age and condition. These are items where failure can pose safety hazards, could cause outages affecting many customers or could result in lengthy power outages if an emergency replacement is required.

    Other equipment is allowed to run to failure before it is replaced because the result of failure would affect fewer customers or the equipment is easier to replace.

    This graphic identifies three types of equipment we proactively replace.

    Equipment Replacement Graphic


    Do you agree that proactive replacement of aging equipment is important for safety and reliability?

    Take our quick survey and let us know: Power Outage & Reliability Survey

  • Your Electricity BIll (Click here for more)

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    Did you know? Halton Hills Hydro's portion of your electricity bill is approximately 24%. The other charges are passed on to the transmitter (Hydro One), generators and the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) who administers the market.

    The chart below shows a breakdown of the charges on your bill.

    Pie chart of electricity charges


    Here’s what these charges look like on a typical residential bill:

    Sample Residential Electricity Bill

    Electricity

    Off-Peak

    $ 31.72

    Mid-Peak

    $ 12.03

    On-Peak

    $ 18.09

    Total Electricity

    $ 61.84

    Delivery

    $ 44.28

    (Halton Hills Hydro’s portion is $31.08)

    Regulatory

    $ 3.17

    Total Charges

    $109.29

    HST

    $ 14.21

    8% Rebate

    -$ 9.88

    TOTAL BILL

    $113.62



  • Ontario's Electricity System (Click here for more)

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    Ontario's electricity system is made up of three components: Generation, Transmission and Distribution.

    Generation

    Generators across the province produce electricity, primarily through nuclear, natural gas, water, wind or solar. They are owned by Ontario Power Generation and a number of private companies.

    The chart shows the 2018 electricity supply mix in Ontario.

    Ontarios' Generation Mix 2019


    Transmission

    Hydro One owns the high voltage transmission lines that carry electricity from generators across the province.

    These lines bring electricity from the generators to distribution companies throughout the province.


    Distribution

    Distribution companies, like Halton Hills Hydro, step down the voltage to levels that homes and businesses can use and distribute that electricity to their customers.

    Halton Hills Hydro distributes electricity to the homes and businesses within the Town of Halton Hills.

    Halton Hills Hydro Lineman Image