ENWIN Joins GridSmartCity® Cooperative

The Power of Local Ownership & Industry-Leading Collaboration

Windsor, ON: ENWIN Utilities Ltd. (ENWIN) announced this week that it has joined the GridSmartCity® Cooperative, an extension of GridSmartCity (GSC), one of Ontario's leading smart grid consortiums.

As one of 13 Cooperative utilities, ENWIN will work with its utility partners to achieve economies of scale and increase collective purchasing power. The outcomes of this collaboration are expected to positively impact the future of both the local community and the provincial electricity distribution sector.

"We are dedicated to staying on the cusp of innovation and creativity, and we are delighted to enter a conversation about the challenges and opportunities facing our industry," said Helga Reidel, President and CEO of ENWIN. "The GridSmartCity Cooperative provides a forum where utilities can exchange ideas and work together towards solutions."

Every GSC Cooperative utility maintains independent ownership, directly in the towns and cities in which it operates. However, operating within a formalized structure, and as a legal cooperative entity, allows members to share resources, insights and systems in several key areas. This allows each utility to run smarter companies, while advancing innovation, reliability and efficiency across the Ontario electricity grid.

For most customers, the smart grid remains an abstract concept. But that's changing. As renewable energy and advances in power management begin to impact the capabilities of individual users, customers will begin to see the value of smart technologies in their daily lives.

"To fulfill our future customers' needs, our infrastructure will have to accomplish things that we've barely begun to imagine," continued Reidel. We are all aware of the need to manage rising electricity prices, and to prepare our electricity system for the future. The model we've used for a hundred years is no longer sufficient. The future is beginning now."

As a partner in GridSmartCity, ENWIN will be part of a group of energy sector stakeholders working proactively to add flexibility and intelligence to the existing electricity distribution system. The partnering utilities will also be working towards achieving savings through increased purchasing power, while maintaining individual autonomy.

"We recognize the enormous potential in working cooperatively and taking advantage of collective purchasing power," explained Reidel. "It's something utilities have been doing for a long time. We are simply formalizing the arrangement."

This more formal arrangement will allow all participating utilities to undertake a fuller spectrum of cooperative ventures, offering smarter and more efficient choices for their businesses, and ultimately their customers.

ENWIN invites you to visit the GridSmartCity website.

About ENWIN Utilities Ltd. (ENWIN): ENWIN is a licensed electricity distribution company, serving customers in the City of Windsor. ENWIN is also is the licensed water system operator for the water system owned by Windsor Utilities Commission. ENWIN works with Windsor to provide a safe, reliable source of electricity and water for our community.

About the GridSmartCity Cooperative: The mandate of the GridSmartCity Cooperative is to increase efficiency and customer and shareholder value within the 13 Local Distribution Company (LDC) territories, while benefitting the Ontario electricity sector as a whole. Member utilities synergize their operations through a cooperative approach to purchasing and numerous special initiatives. The Cooperative is an extension of GridSmartCity, one of Ontario's leading smart grid consortiums.

About the Power of Cooperatives: "Since they pool individual resources, cooperatives make it possible to share knowledge and increase competitiveness. This pooling of resources is also the basis of a countervailing power that can be exercised against large organizations in a given market, resulting in more competitive prices and services. Enhanced competitiveness can take various forms, including the supply of innovative goods and services. Those innovative goods and services can ultimately become the standard in a given marketing and increase the competitiveness of all players in that market."
House of Commons: Status of Cooperatives in Canada, Report of the Special Committee on Cooperatives, Parliament of Canada, 2012.