Today, Utilities Kingston is sharing its 2017 online annual reports with the community.
The "Driving Change and Innovation in Communities" reports and a brief video overview are available at www.UtilitiesKingston.com/2017 and www.KingstonHydro.com/2017 or follow the hashtag #OurYear2017 on Twitter for the highlights listed below.
Today, we’re living in a connected, convenient and informed digital age, and are continuously looking for new ways to drive efficiencies and value for our customers. Our multi-utility model uniquely positions Utilities Kingston to innovate and implement change, as we continue to support our vision of building better communities. Check our annual reports to learn about the progress we made in 2017.
Wholly-owned by the City of Kingston, Utilities Kingston cares for water, wastewater, gas, electricity and fibre-optic networks on behalf of its customers, as well as municipally-owned streetlights and traffic signals. It has served Kingston since 1847, when it was founded as the Kingston Gas and Light Company.
Utilities Kingston's 2017 Highlights
- Continued improvement and innovation was the focus in industry and academic research partnerships. Utilities Kingston thanks its partners for these opportunities.
- Employees raised $30,268 for the United Way, helping to build and strengthen our community.
- Conducted 46 public tours of water and wastewater treatment facilities.
- Provided free, quality tap water with the water buggy at 52 local events.
- The Cataraqui Conservation Foundation 2017 Corporate Conservation Award was awarded to Utilities Kingston for providing sewer overflow information on a real-time map to help residents make better-informed decisions about recreational water use.
Health and safety
- Hosted 530 attendees and 147 contractors for Safety Days, jointly with the City of Kingston. This innovative approach to promoting a culture of safety is recognized across Ontario, with several companies and municipalities now striving to model this event.
- Provided 66 health and safety training sessions, totaling 3,130 training hours.
- Delivered 630 rain barrels to customers, for a total of 11,030, since 2006.
- Funded 296 customer electricity projects through Save on Energy – saving enough electricity to supply 700 average residential customers.
- Delivered over 30,898 Powerful Insight Reports to customers – providing personalized insights and conservation advice specific to each customer’s behaviours. Utilities Kingston multi-utility model is unique in Ontario and allows the company to offer water, gas and electricity-saving opportunities in one report.
- Since 2015, achieved 13,676,472 kWh of annual electricity savings. That's 40 per cent of Kingston Hydro's 2015-2020 provincially-mandated electricity conservation target.
- Held a ribbon-cutting and facility tour to celebrate the completion of a $50 million upgrade to the Point Pleasant Water Treatment Plant. This work has increased the plant’s capacity from 45 million litres per day to 80 million litres per day.
- Continued to improve asset management of water meters by replacing 5,520 out of approximately 38,000 water meters. This program will help keep meters up-to-date to ensure accurate, reliable metering of the water consumed by customers.
- Activities to ensure water quality involved taking 4,000 microbiological samples and 10,000 chemical samples, exceeding regulated requirements.
- Announced that Kingston would be the first municipality in Ontario, and possibly in Canada, to offer real-time public notification of sewer overflows.
- At year end, the utility was one-third of the way into constructing the four-year, $88 million expansion and upgrade of the Cataraqui Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant. This work will increase plant capacity, improve the quality of treated wastewater the plant discharges, and upgrade equipment.
- Cleaned and inspected 17 km of sewer mains to ensure the integrity of the sanitary sewer.
- Provided the Preventative Plumbing Program to 325 homeowners. This program, now in its fourth year, provides financial assistance to install preventative plumbing and help reduce the risk of sewage back-ups and basement flooding.
- Replaced 1,249 of the 15,000 gas meters in the municipal gas distribution system, to verify accuracy and that the meters conform to legal requirements.
- Gas valve maintenance program helps to ensure the integrity of the municipal gas distribution system. In 2017, Utilities Kingston inspected or maintained 296 out of 1,400 mainline gas valves, focusing on high pressure and steel gas mains, and priority valves for schools, hospitals and construction sites. In 2017, the company optimized the program by digitizing data collection.
- As part of maintaining the integrity of the natural gas system, Utilities Kingston inspects over 20 per cent of the infrastructure for leaks on an annual basis. In 2017, the company found and fixed 12 leaks.
- Visually inspected 1,777 poles and related equipment. Inspection results are assessed and used to help prioritize capital works.
- Through the infrared scanning preventative program, identified 91 defects that are prioritized for operation and maintenance works.
- Restored 55 unplanned power outages. Failing equipment continues to be the leading factor in these outages and emphasizes the importance of continued investments in capital upgrades and targeted preventive maintenance activities.
Streetlight and traffic signals achievements
- Replaced 33 end-of-life poles, which were identified for replacement in 2016 as part of a proactive visual inspection program.
- Visually inspected 1,000 poles and prioritized 21 for replacement.
- In 2017, installed 18 uninterruptible power supply (UPS) batteries at three intersections. In total, the utility has installed UPS back up at 82 critical intersections throughout the city. Kingston has 188 intersections operated by Utilities Kingston.
- Utilities Kingston works closely with the City of Kingston traffic division in an ongoing effort to minimize stops and delays for motorists as much as possible. In 2017, the team made timing changes at all 188 intersections operated by Utilities Kingston.