Chelsea Provencher — Metergy Solutions
When the pandemic put up hurdles, some companies simply jumped higher.
Take, for example, Canada’s Metergy Solutions. Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19, Metergy continued installing meters downstream from the supply of electricity, water or gas, in order to measure and bill the consumption of individual units in condos, apartments, homes and businesses.
The business even grew, highlighted by the upcoming acquisition of U.S.-based electric submetering company Quadlogic Controls Corporation.
Chelsea Provencher, chief legal officer and senior vice president of human resources at Metergy, was among the executives helping the company problem solve. She assembled a powerful, standalone HR and legal team for Metergy, she says, helping the company not only survive, but thrive , including through an expansion into the U.S. market.
“In the beginning of the pandemic there was no rule book on how you were supposed to navigate everything,” says Provencher. “Hiring was difficult but reaching out to networks really helped narrow down candidates. I’m very proud of the teams we’ve worked so hard to create.”
Sub-metering and conservation
Metergy Solutions has provided turnkey submetering solutions for over 15 years. The company supplies, installs and remotely reads electricity, water and thermal submeters, helping customers manage their utility consumption.
Utility costs can be one of the highest expenses for a property . Unlike bulk metering, which is used to measure utility consumption for an entire building, submetering measures each unit’s use, helping individuals be more conscious of their consumption.
When residents are responsible for their own consumption, they’re much more likely to change their behavior, Provencher says. This “user pay” method translates into a natural sustainable solution for population-dense areas. In fact, submetering individual units has been shown to lower consumption by up to 40 percent in multi-residential buildings.
“Submetering allows residents to be an active participant in their conservation and we think there are huge benefits to that,” says Provencher. “We are also able to include multiple services on one bill, which makes for a streamlined customer experience.”
Provencher also supported the company in raising $150 million in Green Bonds and a $150 million Green Loan, which will support the company’s new sub-metering investments.
A growing team
Provencher says her efforts to build a standalone HR and legal team for the growing business have been a learning process—and she embraces it. The goal, she says, is to make every team member feel integral and appreciated.
“As we build together, we lean on one another,” Provencher says. “It’s all about making the growth transition as seamless as possible, and that takes a real team effort.”
That commitment to collaboration extends to her HR work, where Provencher is helping Metergy make the return to on-site work more enjoyable. Events such as a Women in Leadership networking event, mindfulness seminar, creating care packages for a charity partner, and a waffle breakfast help bring team members together, she says.
Provencher also recently led the initiative for Metergy to become a signatory to Electricity Human Resources Canada’s Leadership Accord on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
“We need to make sure that working here is a really positive experience,” she says. “Our focus is to increase inclusivity, create networks internally, and make opportunities available to everybody.”
With the company looking to expand into the U.S., Metergy recently acquired the largest submetering provider in New York City, Quadlogic.
Metergy has the capability to retrofit older buildings, which positions the company to help New York adopt submetering and reach its energy conservation goals, Provencher says. Still, it was the company’s centralized structure—with a call center, sales, engineering, operations and billing all under one roof—that proved helpful in pulling Quadlogic into the fold.
“Quadlogic doesn’t have in-house legal or HR, so I am in the process of evaluating that and adding team members where needed to support our U.S. business,” says Provencher. “This acquisition will give us a platform for exciting growth across the U.S.”
Despite this growth, she says Metergy is still focused on delivering top customer service, with a 4.7 out of 5 customer satisfaction rating.
In Ontario, Metergy’s largest market, Provencher and her team are actively involved in lobbying efforts, making sure that submetering providers and their customers have a voice when it comes to government programs and regulations.
Becoming an Advocate
After graduating with a bachelor of commerce from the University of Alberta in 2006, Provencher had a stint at PricewaterhouseCoopers before going to law school. Moving to Toronto to complete a law degree at University of Toronto, she quickly fell in love with the city.
“Toronto is such a vibrant city offering a little bit of something for everyone. It is also a major city for global commerce, making it a perfect place to start my career as a lawyer,” Provencher says.
After working as a corporate and securities lawyer at Bennett Jones LLP, she joined the legal team of Enercare Inc. in 2013, then a small but growing Canadian public company. By the time the company was taken private in 2018, the organization had grown to one of North America’s largest home and commercial services companies with over 5,000 employees.
In 2019 Provencher was presented with the opportunity to build the legal and human resources departments at Metergy Solutions Inc.
“The team at Metergy is so incredibly talented and wonderful to work with,” she says. “One of the best parts of being back in the office these days is being able to connect with colleagues again. Part of why I wanted to go in-house was wanting to have a seat at the table and a chance to make real change. I get to do that at Metergy.”
When she isn’t busy with work, Provencher loves world travel, scuba diving, hiking, and spending time with her friends and family. A highlight of her travels was hiking Kilimanjaro.
“I’m so fortunate to have an incredibly supportive husband and two wonderful sons that I can’t imagine life without.”
View this feature in the Vanguard Summer III 2022 Edition here.
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