VAUGHAN, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Nov. 16, 2011) - Recognized on several occasions over the past few years by industry peers for outstanding leadership and performance in the energy and environmental sectors, PowerStream is now earning accolades from other organizations for being an exceptional employer.

Mediacorp Canada, the largest Canadian publisher of quality employment information, has named the municipally-owned electricity distribution company one of "Greater Toronto's Top Employers" for 2012 while at the same time, PowerStream's involvement in a Metrolinx Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area commuter initiative has earned the utility the "Smart Commute Employer of the Year Award" for North Toronto, Vaughan.

Now in its sixth year, the annual Greater Toronto Top Employer's competition recognizes companies that are leaders in their industries and who offer the most forward-thinking and progressive programs in areas such as community involvement, training and skills development, performance management and benefits packages.

The Smart Commute Employer of the Year Award for North Toronto, Vaughan was presented to PowerStream at the fifth annual Smart Commute Awards Reception held Tuesday night in Toronto. It marked the second time in three years PowerStream has earned this award.

"The management and staff at PowerStream are our most important assets," explained PowerStream Board Chair and Markham Mayor, Frank Scarpitti. "We are thrilled that our commitment to provide a safe and fulfilling work environment that nurtures productivity is now being acknowledged by organizations who also understand how important it is for companies to take care of their employees by looking after their best interests."

Brian Bentz, PowerStream's President and CEO, agreed with Scarpitti, adding that employee work satisfaction is key to a company's overall success.

"Receiving this recognition is consistent with the results of a recent employee satisfaction survey we conducted that showed the satisfaction levels of PowerStream employees significantly exceeded those of other companies that had also engaged the services of the same researcher," said Bentz. "It is indeed an honour for our company to be considered a top employer as well as an employer that works collaboratively with its employees on initiatives which help to protect the environment."

Over the past three years, PowerStream has shown commitment and leadership in building environmental responsibility into the day-to-day practices of its employees. Over 25 percent of PowerStream employees commute to work using a smart commute method including the use of 51 carpools and four employee vanpools. These initiatives remove 1,400 single occupancy vehicles (SOV) from the road each month, and save approximately 150 tonnes of CO2 emissions each year.

"Since partnering with Smart Commute in 2008, we have achieved tremendous results for a company of our size," added Caroline Karvonen, Environmental Coordinator at PowerStream. I thank and congratulate our staff. This award would not be possible without the commitment and participation of our employees."

PowerStream also participates in Smart Commute initiatives such as "Clean Air Commute Week" and "Bike to Work Day", runs a bike share program at its Vaughan and Markham offices and recently added two 100 percent electric, zero emissions Nissan LEAF vehicles to its fleet.

Recognition previously earned by PowerStream for its leadership and performance in the energy and environmental sectors include winning the Electricity Distribution Association (EDA) Performance Excellence Award (2011), being named by the Ontario Energy Association as its Company of the Year (2010), receiving acknowledgement from the Ministry of the Environment as being one Ontario's Environmental Leaders (2010) and receiving the EDA Environmental Excellence Award (2010).

About PowerStream

PowerStream is the second largest municipally-owned electricity distribution company in Ontario, providing service to more than 330,000 customers residing or owning a business in communities located immediately north of Toronto and in Central Ontario. The communities served include Alliston, Aurora, Barrie, Beeton, Bradford West Gwillimbury, Markham, Penetanguishene, Richmond Hill, Thornton, Tottenham and Vaughan. PowerStream is an incorporated entity, jointly owned by the City of Barrie, the City of Vaughan and the Town of Markham.

Contact Information:

Media Contact: PowerStream
Eric Fagen
Director, Corporate Communications
Media Line (24/7): 905-532-4400