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Employees at Alectra work closely with capital projects and technologies that reduce its corporate carbon emissions.Provided

When she started working at Alectra Inc. as a summer student in 2008, Christina Reynolds never expected that she would still be with the company 15 years later.

“I’m thrilled to be here. It worked out great,” says Reynolds, a customer care billing and emerging technology specialist.

Headquartered in Mississauga, Alectra is a leading energy company, serving more than one million homes and businesses in the greater Toronto, Hamilton, Guelph and Niagara areas. As the largest municipally owned electric utility in Canada, it’s committed to supplying reliable and sustainable energy through innovation and new technology.

“Our employees are the heart of our organization,” says Brian Bentz, president and CEO. “We’re dedicated to establishing an inclusive workplace culture that makes our people feel safe, valued and connected. When our employees feel supported, they can ultimately better serve our customers and communities.”

The people and the opportunity to help customers are what keep Reynolds at Alectra. After spending the summer of 2008 working in the collections department while attending university as a labour relations student, she returned the next year to work in human resources. Following her university graduation, she rejoined the collections department.

“I’m so fortunate to work with such supportive, innovative and inspiring people,” she says. “We always want to see everybody succeed and do their best. It really is a team atmosphere. We are always trying to push each other forward and lift each other up.”

Reynolds is now part of a team using technology to better serve customers. She recently conducted testing on a customer care and billing system upgrade, as well as a customer experience project to meet changing needs and deliver future enhancements. “We want the best customer service,” she says. “I love to feel that we are making a difference.”

Her team also tested for an ultralow, overnight power rate program. Geared toward electric vehicle customers, the program came into effect in September and allows them to go online to estimate the potential savings on their power bill. “We’re really seeing a shift in focus from the old electricity environment model and trying to create a renewable sustainable method where we can put back into the grid,” she says.

Employees are at the cutting edge of the massive changes in energy supply and distribution, leading the way to a greener planet, Bentz says. Alectra has invested close to $300-million in capital projects to support and modernize the grid; generated more than 25 GWh of solar energy – enough to power 2,800 homes for one year – and last year, reduced corporate carbon emissions by about 23 per cent from the 2016 baseline.

Outside of its commitment to reduce carbon emissions, Reynolds is proud of Alectra’s support for local charities and fundraising events. She supports the United Way through a biweekly donation taken off her pay. For the seventh consecutive year, Alectra employees participated in the annual Ride to Conquer Cancer, cycling more than 200 kilometres from Toronto to Niagara Falls. They raised $110,000 to support the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.

“Alectra provides over $1-million annually to organizations that impact the communities we serve,” says Bentz.

Reynolds appreciates how her employer made her feel valued during Customer Service Week in early October. Faced with increasingly difficult calls from customers due to tough economic times, Alectra thanked its customer care employees with a catered lunch and a gift bag containing a little surprise – a Dammit Doll for when things don’t go well and they want to hit the wall. “Even just to receive the doll put a smile on everyone’s face,” she says.

More from the GTA’s Top Employers

Advertising feature produced by Canada’s Top 100 Employers, a division of Mediacorp Canada Inc. The Globe and Mail’s editorial department was not involved.

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