Your Natural Gas Bill – What to Expect

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At ENMAX, we know that planning ahead matters to Albertans, and whether you’re running a business or raising a family, being able to plan means being able to anticipate your expenses.

Since June when the Alberta Government passed legislation on its carbon levy for natural gas and oil, we’ve had a lot of questions from both residential and commercial customers about how it will affect the natural gas segment of their bills.

So to help you prepare for what’s coming January 1, 2017, here’s a few quick facts:

  • The levy will be added to the price of fuels all Albertans use – this includes everything from the gasoline we use for driving our cars to the natural gas we use to heat our homes and businesses.
  • The levy applies to all Albertans, no matter who you buy your fuel from. Some Albertans may qualify for Alberta government rebates or exemptions. Learn more at Alberta government’s website.
  • 100 per cent of the carbon levy that companies like ENMAX will collect on behalf of the government through your monthly bill will be forwarded to the Alberta government.

What it will cost

Starting in January 2017, $1.011 will be charged for every gigajoule (GJ) of natural gas you use in addition to the cost you pay for gas itself.  This levy will increase to $1.517/GJ on January 1, 2018.

The average Alberta house uses approximately 120 GJs every year*. This means on average an Alberta household can expect to pay an additional $121 in 2017 and $182 in 2018.

A better than average estimate

Estimates are helpful but we also know that no two homes or businesses are exactly alike.

With this in mind, if you’re an ENMAX Energy residential or business customer, we’re preparing an estimate of what you would expect to pay for the provincial government’s carbon levy based on your previous usage. Our business customers can expect custom reports to be delivered in September. For our residential customers, your estimate should arrive in your mailbox or inbox in November and will be based on your actual natural gas consumption if we have your recent 12-month history. Keep in mind this past winter was mild, so this estimate may be low.

Below is a sample of what information you will receive:

This additional information is part of our My Energy IQ™ offering that we introduced to you back in January – a program of tools and tips to help you understand your energy use so you can plan ahead.

What you can do

The best way to reduce your levy and minimize costs is to reduce your fuel use, whether that’s at the pump or in your home or business.

To learn more about reducing your natural gas consumption, we offer a listing of energy saving tips.  ENMAX Energy customers can also use their My Energy IQ™ to get a better idea of how you use energy and receive tailored tips to help you use less.

The Alberta government has indicated some households and businesses may be eligible for rebates or exemptions. To learn more about how this process will work, check out the Alberta Government’s website.

You can choose any retailer listed here or at 310-4822. Electricity and gas delivery to your home or business isn’t affected by your choice of retailer.

(*Alberta Energy website energy.alberta.ca/NaturalGas/726.asp)

Scam alert: Imitation that’s not flattering

Thanks to alert customers, we want to share details about two scams that are once again making the rounds.

In one, two people are posing as ENMAX employees and approaching homeowners to offer efficiency checks in order to gain access to the home.You may have heard about this one in the news.

The other scam making a comeback is one where customers receive a phone call telling them that their ENMAX account is overdue and that they must pay up now or risk disconnection.

Please take a look at the blog posts linked above for tips and more information about protecting yourself from these scams. However if you’re suspicious of someone saying that they’re from ENMAX, stop the conversation and contact police as soon as possible.

There’s more to your electricity bill than electricity.

There are lots of things you can do to control how much electricity you use. You can turn off lights left on by the kids, hang your laundry instead of using the dryer, or install energy efficient appliances.

Controlling your electricity use is a great thing to do on many levels, but because of other fees or charges related to your electricity also fluctuate, it may not necessarily result in a lower bill at the end of every month.

Getting plugged in to what you pay

On your energy bill, one of the first things you’ll notice is that the energy charges related to your usage are only a portion is only a portion of the total due every month.

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What you’re charged for the electricity you use is only a portion of your monthly bill.

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Copper theft is on the rise (updated)

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Damaged transformers can put our family and neighbours at risk. If you see one, please stay back and call 911.

Update February 9, 2016

Calgary Police have arrested two people and charged them with breaking and entering  in relation to an incident at a transformer. We’ll continue to support the Calgary Police’s efforts on this and other investigations.

We are committed to the safety of our communities and crews, and helping to ensure a reliable source of electricity.

(Original post December 2015) Recently, we’ve seen a rash of copper thefts from our electrical transformers (those green boxes found in many neighbourhoods) and other electricity infrastructure. This unfortunate trend is caused by people who are willing to risk injury, or possibly death for a few quick, albeit illegal dollars.

This problem isn’t limited to Calgary, and similar thefts are occurring across Alberta and Canada.

The cost is more than dollars

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How to get ahead by not keeping up with the Joneses

By now you’ve probably heard of ENMAX Energy’s My Energy IQ™ program.

We were thrilled to have Alex Laskey, President and Founder of Opower, drop by and share what motivated him to create the software that allows My Energy IQ™ to help people control their energy.

 “Opower was started nine years ago with the idea that people deserve better information about their energy consumption.”

Alex explains how the behavioural science behind My Energy IQ™ gives people the information that they really want to have.

Learn more about My Energy IQ™  for your home or your business on our website. Or you can try it for yourself by signing in to your ENMAX Energy account.

“People have questions about their energy bill, their consumption… and more importantly what they can do about it.”

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Body, soul and solar.

Southland Leisure Centre solar panelsTogether ENMAX and The City of Calgary have added some equipment to the Southland Leisure Centre that will help all of us feel a bit better and even improve our energy.

Except in this case, the equipment isn’t new treadmills, bikes or an electronic scoreboard, it’s actually something that will help those things run – 600 solar panels installed on the leisure centre’s roof.

Covering the same space as the ice surface of Southland’s Joseph Kryczka arena, this solar set up will generate 160,000 – 184,000 kWh every year – which is equal to the amount used by 21 – 24 average Calgary homes. And in doing so, will also affect the centre’s environmental footprint.

Up on the roof

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Do you remember where you were a year ago? We do.

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If you’ve lived in Alberta for even a short time, you know that strange weather and unseasonable snowfalls are as common as wearing shorts and sandals in February. However, even if we weren’t surprised, it’s nearly impossible not to watch any early snowfall and not think back to “Snowtember”.

With up to 20 centimetres of heavy, wet snow, over one million trees on public and private property were damaged or sadly, destroyed. In a lot of cases those tree branches and whole trees took down power lines as they fell, resulting in the loss of power for thousands of Calgarians.

As a result the ENMAX trouble line received more calls than during the 2013 flood.

Bigger than the storm

If the storm seemed overwhelming, there was something else that we were overwhelmed by – the ability for people – Calgarians, City of Calgary crews, utility crews from other cities, and our own teams, to pull together, clean up and get things back to normal.

After the 2013 flood and countless other examples, this, like an unseasonable snowstorm, wasn’t really a surprise, but it never fails to amaze us. (more…)

Oh hail! The osprey cam is off the air.

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Photo credit: Janet Preston

From time to time we’ve referred to the osprey cam, and the activities in the nest as the best reality show on the internet.

Well, unfortunately reality became a bit too real last week for the osprey cam.

Along with all the damage done across Calgary by the extreme hailstorms, it seems that the osprey cam has been knocked out.

Working with our friends at the Calgary Zoo, the cause for the camera going dark has been narrowed down to damage to the camera, or the WIFI connection.

Yes, there’s good news and bad news

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Knock knock? Who’s there? Not us.

Door to Door

UPDATE (July 21 2015)

We’d like to remind customers that ENMAX will never ask for payment at your door. A customer was recently targeted at their home by a person pretending to be from ENMAX and threatening to disconnect power unless a cash payment was made. We are actively working with the police to investigate this scam.

Please be aware that the only way we will ever request payment is through your invoice, mail or over the phone with our Customer Care Centre at 310-3010. If you feel you’ve been misled, lodge a complaint with the Utilities Consumer Advocate at 310-4822 or the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line at 403-266-1234. If you have questions call us at 310-2010 so we can help in any way we can. (more…)

Scam Alert: Intimidation through imitation

Earlier this year we heard about a scam where small business owners were being told that they had to pay their ENMAX bill immediately or their power would be cut off.

Instead of simply continuing to pretend to be calling from ENMAX, now the scam artists have upped the ante and have recorded the voice from our automated telephone answering system to trick people into thinking they’re speaking with a member of our team.

If you receive one of these calls you may be asked to call 1-855-462-8978, although many different 800-number variations could be used.

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