Initial findings expedite Electrical Utility Audit of commercial consumers

(Penticton BC – March 8, 2018) – The completion of a multi-year audit of the City of Penticton’s Electrical Utility is receiving greater priority following the receipt of initial findings associated with commercial high-usage energy consumers representing approximately three per cent of the City’s 18,000 customer base.

Through modernization planning that began in 2016 with the purchase of best-practice testing equipment, updated staff certification and the development of new procedures, the City initiated a four-year review of its top 100 commercial energy consumers via an audit process that examined (1) the physical installation of commercial services exceeding 200 amp, (2) the meter multiplier calculation and (3) the associated rate code.  Of the 25 commercial consumers reviewed in 2017, a single yet notable occurrence of incorrectly installed electrical equipment led to the discovery of overbilling on one account.

“Maintaining customer confidence in the process by which billing amounts are calculated is a priority for the City’s Electrical Utility” said Chief Administrative Officer, Peter Weeber.  “When our audit process discovered a single installation problem that could be replicated at other commercial consumer locations, we made the decision to expand the scope of our original top 100 review.”

To support the workload of reviewing the commercial energy consumer group on an expedited timeline, the City has hired a contracted service provider with knowledge and expertise in commercial electrical connections.  The work carried out by this contractor is set to take place through the remainder of 2018.  Impacted commercial energy consumers will be contacted by the contractor to arrange for an inspection and, if issues are discovered, will trigger a follow-up by the City.

“The City’s Electrical Utility is taking steps to ensure the quick resolution to a problem that may have gone unnoticed for some commercial energy consumers.  Although 97 per cent of the City’s 18,000 billing accounts are not impacted, the City believes the expansion of the current audit program is the quickest and most responsible way to resolve this matter.”




Peter Weeber

City of Penticton