Penticton is spending $125,000 to speed up its review of electric meters. File photo

Penticton is spending $125,000 to speed up its review of electric meters. File photo

Penticton speeding up metering review

Budget needs to be increased to cover electric meter review

Penticton city staff are asking city council to approve a $125,000 amendment to the 2018 budget to speed up a multi-year audit of the electric utility’s metering.

The review program, which saw 25 of the 100 largest customer accounts reviewed in 2017, was kicked off when a faulty meter was discovered at the Penticton Lakeside Resort in 2016. The resort, it turned out, had been under billed to the tune of $600,000 over a five-year period.

Related: City of Penticton and Lakeside Resort in utility discussions

The opposite situation happened with the 2017 review, when the city found it had overcharged a customer $150,000.

Chief administrative officer Peter Weeber said that was when the city decided auditing just 25 of the largest power consumers each year wasn’t moving fast enough and elected to contract an outside firm to speed up the project, and review about 580 of the largest accounts.

Related: Penticton amps up electric audit after business over-charged

Weeber explained that the audit would only cover the larger power users, and not include the residential connections.

Those, he explained, have simpler monitoring and billing models. Anomalies already trigger an alarm, like when usage for a customer suddenly shoots up.

A similar anomaly in a large customer’s usage might go unnoticed because of the scale and variability of usage.

This budget amendment is to provide the required funds to complete the project. Council will discuss it at their April 2 regular meeting, starting at 1 p.m. at City Hall.

Steve Kidd Senior reporter, Penticton Western News Email me or message me on Facebook Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Penticton Western News