An Open Letter to Calgary’s Water Customers
We know there are some City of Calgary water customers who are currently struggling with unexpected high consumption bills and are in need of further support. We understand these concerns are important for The City and ENMAX to address, and that Calgarians must be able to trust their water consumption is accurately captured by their meter and reflected on their bills.
What You Need To Know
The City contracts with ENMAX to read the meters, produce the bills and provide customer care service on The City’s behalf. Since 2016, ENMAX proactively monitors all City water customer accounts monthly to watch for unusual spikes in usage before the bills are sent out. It’s important to know 99.5 per cent of our over 350,000 customers receive monthly bills that reflect regular water consumption levels within their average range. Each month, there are less than one half of 1 per cent of all customers whose consumption differs dramatically from their historical usage.
For those customers, we have extensive processes that ENMAX and The City follow to support them through these rare circumstances. This includes customer outreach and support, ENMAX checking its billing processes for any irregularities and The City sending in professionally trained technicians to inspect and test the water meter to ensure it is working correctly. The City also has bill adjustment procedures that ENMAX follows when working to find solutions with customers. This process can involve reductions in payment amounts and extended payment terms for those who need it.
What You Can Expect Next
The experience of our customers, your confidence in our water meters and billing system and the quality of support we provide in high consumption circumstances are very important to us. So here’s what we’re doing:
The City will be changing its bill adjustment procedures for customers who experience extraordinarily high water consumption bills based on the following principles:
- Customers who fix leaks in a reasonable amount of time (after being contacted by ENMAX) will no longer have to pay the extraordinarily large bill. They will be billed on their average use.
- For those customers where the leak is more difficult to detect, The City and ENMAX will work with those customers to identify the problem. Once the problem is identified and fixed within a reasonable amount of time, the customers will be billed on their average use.
While The City works through these improvements, financial relief will be extended to specific customers in this situation and ENMAX will be reaching out to them on The City’s behalf.
The City and ENMAX have also engaged independent third parties to respectively review The City’s meter technology and ENMAX’s billing system to further validate their accuracy. Both are extensively and regularly tested and there are no indications of irregularities resulting in an increase in high consumption bills. However, we are committed to doing an independent assessment of our systems because we know that customers must be able to trust that their water consumption is accurately captured by their meter and reflected on their bills.
- The City of Calgary and ENMAX