Penticton over-billed high energy users by $900,000 - InfoNews

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Penticton over-billed high energy users by $900,000

A recent electrical audit by the City of Penticton discovered 22 billing irregularities amongst its top electrical users.The city has since taken steps to prevent future errors.
April 15, 2019 - 12:30 PM

PENTICTON - The City of Penticton accidentally overbilled some of its highest energy users by more than $900,000 and returned that money to its users. 

The city said this morning it has reviewed and corrected a number of erroneous electrical bills thanks to incorrect readings from meters.

An electrical audit that targeted 575 high usage customers using Instrument Transformer Metering has identified 22 locations in the city where service fees were either over or under collected.

The review was triggered in March 2018, after the city received a report of a single account where improperly installed metering equipment triggered overfilling.

“In the interest of keeping our customers informed, the electric utility communicated its intention to immediately review all 575 locations operating similar metering equipment,” said City Chief Financial Officer Jim Bauer.

After auditing every location where the metering equipment is used, the city is satisfied they have uncovered the scope of the problem, which only affected 0.1 per cent of the city’s 19,000 electrical customers.

The city has provided refunds of $911,155 to seven high usage customers and collected $108,638 from customers whose accounts were under billed.

Four of the properties affected are owned by the city.

The city has also taken corrective actions to ensure similar billing issues don’t occur in the future.

Bauer said it was important to note the money being repaid to the city’s electrical customers is being drawn from the electric utility’s reserves, and not from the city’s tax base.

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