Billing error expands audit

The City of Penticton is placing new priority on an audit of its commercial high-usage electrical customers after discovering a “notable” billing error with one of them.

The city has been in the process of auditing its top 100 commercial customers as a part of modernization work, looking at the physical installation, meter multiplier and associated rate code.

Of 25 audits completed in 2017, the city found one instance where a commercial customer was over billed in the ballpark of $150,000 over several months. The customer, whose monthly bill is typically over $30,000, is being refunded.  

“Maintaining customer confidence in the process by which billing amounts are calculated is a priority for the city’s electrical utility,” city manager Peter Weeber said. “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 expedite the process, the city has hired a contractor to help with the review, which will focus on three per cent of the city’s 18,000 customer base.

Impacted commercial energy customers will be getting a visit from the contractor, and if issues are discovered, a follow-up visit from the city will take place.

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