In Calgary, the company Enmax called for more transparency

City councilors are urging the public electricity supplier to share both figures for the number of power limiters installed on residents’ meters and the number of people disconnected from the grid for non-payment.

This is something we definitely need to monitor to make sure it doesn’t unfairly affect residents. »

A quote from Jasmin Mian, City Councilor for Ward 3, Calgary

Jasmine Mian spoke thus after organizations that help residents struggling to pay their bills reported testimonies on how they say they were treated by Enmax before seeing their electricity limited or even cut off.

His statement comes as the City of Calgary-owned company still refuses to provide clear and comprehensive figures on the number of people disconnected or severely restricted each year.

In addition to Jasmin Mian, Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek, as well as Councilors Courtney Walcott and Evan Spencer said they would push Enmax for more information on this at the company’s board meeting. next month.

The ordeal of families

A power limiter is a device installed on a meter to limit the flow of electricity.

This rationing makes it possible to control one’s energy consumption and to avoid exorbitant bills, but it has inconveniences. These concern untimely cuts that cause the temporary shutdown of household appliances and other electronic devices.

There are concerns about the number of people experiencing these inconveniences and the stories of their ordeal.

Jennifer Rapuano-Kremenik runs a small nonprofit, Harvest Hills Cares, in Calgary. She says she has received, in 2021 alone, more than 300 calls from desperate residents seeking help with utility bills.

She also says that she does not understand the criteria that Enmax puts forward to decide to install a power limiter on the meter of such a property before that of another.

Residents had a limiter installed for just $114 while others hit $8,000 [avant d’être placés sur un limiteur]. It’s amazing! »

A quote from Jennifer Rapuano-Kremenik, Harvest Hills Cares

She highlights the case of a family whose electric current meter was put under a limiter while their children were learning at home. In another case, an elderly person was unable to use his breathing apparatus and his microwave at the same time because of an electrical power limiter installed on his meter.

Electricity meters.

Even if it allows residents to control their electricity rates, the rationing of electricity also has inconveniences, such as the fact of not being able to connect a computer at the same time as a household appliance (archives).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Maya Chebl

From dynamic criteria

According to Enmax, households under electric limiter represent less than 1% of its residential accounts and the number of households subject to this device has decreased by 28% since last year.

Enmax also said it has so far found solutions so that 55% of households under electric limiter can continue [à bénéficier de] their flow of electricitybut gave no indication of what happened to the remaining 45%.

Regarding Jennifer Rapuano-Kremenik’s question about Enmax’s criteria for choosing to put a fireplace under a limiter, the company explained in a press release that the criteria are dynamic and depend on how long the account is overdue and whether a payment agreement is reached.

The company also said it is committed to working with customers who are concerned about their ability to pay their electricity bills.

With information from Lucie Edwardson

Leave a Comment