The Canadian District Energy Association (CDEA)/Association Canadienne des Réseaux Thermiques (ACRT) is an industry association representing member utilities, government agencies, building owners, consulting engineers, suppliers, developers, bankers, and investors who share a common interest in promoting the growth of district energy in Canada.
CDEA Vision Statement
By 2030, thirty percent of Canada’s building stock is connected to a thermal district energy system and that all urban developments require that district energy systems are mandatory elements of community energy planning.
CDEA Mission Statement
The CDEA supports the creation of a shared understanding of District Energy systems, increased community receptivity, and expanded industry capacity so that DE project implementation will be accelerated across Canada.
CDEA President, Mary Ellen Richardson
Mary Ellen’s career in the oil, natural gas and electricity industries spans 28 years, and has included roles in marketing and sales to residential, business and industrial customers in Canada and the United States. She has also held executive and operating responsibility for legal and regulatory affairs, facilitation, market planning, stakeholder management, public relations, media relations and government liaison activities.
Prior to her involvement with the CDEA, Mary Ellen spent four years with the Ontario Power Authority, the Ontario government agency responsible for electricity system planning and resource procurement. There, she was the founding Chief Administrative Officer, then Vice President of Conservation Programs and External Relations.
In 2007, she assumed the position of Executive Adviser, providing strategic support and counsel to the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Team. During this period, Mary Ellen was also a management board member of the Ontario Centre of Excellence in Energy. Prior to joining the OPA, Mary Ellen was President of the Association of Major Power Consumers in Ontario (AMPCO), the industry association representing the province’s top 100 industrial consumers of electricity. In this capacity, she was a member of the Province’s 2003 Electricity Conservation and Supply Task Force, served on the Executive of the Stakeholders’ Alliance for Competition and Customer Choice, and was a member of Hydro One’s Customer Advisory Board. Previously, she also held roles at Ontario Hydro, Enbridge Consumers Gas, TransCanada PipeLines and Petro Canada.
Mary Ellen is currently working with Queen’s University as a Fellow of the Institute of Energy and Environmental Policy, and serves on the Board of Directors of Outward Bound Canada Foundation and ECO Canada. Ms. Richardson holds an Honours degree in Economics, graduating with First Class Distinction.