2021 Achievements

Electricity Achievements 2021 Click to enlarge
In 2021, we installed 83 poles (replacing 76), installed 13 kilometres of overhead wire, installed 29 pole-top transformers, installed 5 kilometres of underground cable, maintained 16 distribution substations, installed 9 pad-mount transformers, inspected 187 transformer vaults and pad-mount equipment, visually inspected 1354 electric poles, discovered 98 defects to address via infrared scanning, installed 34 line switches, inspected 262 maintenance holes, replaced or installed 292 electricity meters, trimmed trees to ensure safety and reliability.

What's the context? 

We've provided data on achievements in 2021. If you're looking for additional context on how much overall infrastructure we maintain, check out our overview infographics.

Our employees maintain and operate 5,289 electricity poles, ensuring safety of workers, the public and the system are the first priority.

Renewing or replacing critical infrastructure helps ensure the continued reliability and resiliency of electricity services for our customers and community. 

Improving Community Infrastructure

Upgrades to Overhead Equipment for Safe, Reliable Services

By replacing end-of-life equipment and improving operating efficiency, we help ensure worker and public safety, safe and reliable electricity services, and economic development for our community.  Highlights in 2021 included: 

  • Replaced eight deteriorated wood poles, three distribution transformers and related equipment on Railway Street (from Municipal Substation No. 3 to Patrick Street).
  • Began replacing nine deteriorated poles and two distribution transformers along Nelson Street (Concession to York), and along Albert Street (York to Princess).
  • Replaced seven deteriorated wood poles, and two distribution transformers on Weller Avenue.
  • Constructed a new future use 13.8 kV overhead circuit on the newly-installed poles on Leroy Grant Drive (between John Counter and Municipal Substation No. 3).
  • Began replacing 39 deteriorated wood poles and three distribution transformers on Highway No. 2 (Niagara Park to Princes). By reducing the infrastructure to 11 new wood poles and two distribution transformers, we help improve operating efficiency. 
  • Replaced six deteriorated wood poles, relocated primary underground cables to overhead, installed six new poles, one distribution transformer, 1,250 metres of primary cable and 1,400 metres of primary duct. This work took place on King Street West (from Beverly to Kingston Health Sciences Centre).
Pole line rebuild on Leroy Grant Drive.

Upgrades to Underground Equipment

  • Rebuilt Transformer Vault No. 3 on Wellington Street in Downtown Kingston, near the intersection of Princess Street and Wellington Street in the Downtown Kingston area. By replacing obsolete oil switchgear with four switch units, and a load break center, we improved power reliability to our customers. The old oil switches required power outages to be operated.
  • Rebuilt Electrical Maintenance Hole 36, housing three critical electrical circuits that power important community infrastructure. 
Gas switch gear under ground
The new gas switch gear can be safely operated while energized, reducing power outages to our customers.

Major Investment in Downtown Substation Supports Vitality of Kingston

The newly upgraded Municipal Substation No. 1 (MS1) is now supplying power to the downtown core. We invested $5.1 million in multi-year upgrades to Kingston’s oldest substation, located inside a heritage building on lower Queen Street. This critical community investment will strengthen the vitality, growth and development of Kingston’s downtown, university and hospital district for decades to come.

This multi-year project was initiated in 2015 and has now been completed, ahead of the anticipated completion in 2023. The upgrades were made almost entirely by Utilities Kingston’s substation electricians, which resulted in cost savings for the project.

Our staff completed design and engineering, electrical construction and installation, building work and replaced end-of-life electrical equipment within the substation, some of which had been in operation for over 65 years. Highlights:

  • Replaced electro-mechanical relays with electronic relays.
  • Upgraded protection systems for worker safety and asset safety. 
  • Installed six power transformers. 
  • Installed new 44kV circuit breakers.
  • Installed a new ventilation system.
  • Commissioned the overall protection system to ensure integrity.

Learn more from our corporate website. 

    Major substation upgrades are complete! Image shows three of six new power transformers.

    Preventative Maintenance

    Our activities to operate, maintain and upgrade electricity distribution equipment help ensure power reliability for our customers. Preventative maintenance helps identify and address problems before they occur. 

    Visual Inspection

    We service a total of 5,189 electric poles. Of these, we visually inspected 1,354 poles and related equipment, south of Princess Street and east of Sir John A. Macdonald Boulevard. Inspection results are assessed and used to help prioritize capital works.

    Infrared Detection

    Infrared scanning to proactively detect faulting electrical equipment was again performed on the entire 44 kV overhead sub-transmission network, one-third of the 5 kV overhead distribution network, 60 transformer vaults and at all 16 substations.

    This preventative program has proven to be an efficient method to address problems before equipment fails and leads to unplanned outages.  

    A total of 98 defects were identified in 2021. The findings assist with prioritizing operation and maintenance works.

    Regulation and Legislation

    Customer Satisfaction Survey

    In 2021, Utilities Kingston completed it's bi-annual customer satisfaction survey, as required by the Ontario Energy Board (OEB). We have maintained our overall customer satisfaction score of ‘A’.  96 per cent of surveyed customers are satisfied with the services we provide.

    Kingston Hydro Scorecard

    We also completed the Kingston Hydro Scorecard for the year 2020. Scorecard measures are used by the OEB to assess Kingston Hydro’s effectiveness in achieving customer focus, operational effectiveness, public policy responsiveness, and financial performance. View the Kingston Hydro Scorecard for 2020

    COVID-19 Assistance

    Throughout the year, we continued to support our customers who were experiencing hardships due to the pandemic, including through the following measures: 

    Power Outages

    Providing reliable electricity services to customers is important. When the power goes out unexpectedly, we work to restore power as safely and efficiently as possible.

    Causes of Unplanned/Emergency Power Outages

    Hydro work.
    Tree contacts with live wires cause power outages and property damage. That's why we we contract trained arborists to trim the trees in the entire Kingston Hydro distribution area.

    Electricity by the Numbers


    Homes and Businesses Served
     275 from previous year


    Total Consumption (kWhs)
    similar to the previous year

    Power Outages



     5 from previous year



     17 from previous year



     22 from previous year


    Total Hours of Interruption
     6K from previous year