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.

Even if you’re on a fixed-rate plan your bill will fluctuate month-to-month. This is not only because your consumption changes, but also because of increases or decreases in other associated fees, such as those listed under Delivery Charges.

Every energy provider in Alberta collects these charges, which go towards building and maintaining Alberta’s electricity and natural gas system. You’ll see similar, system-related fees listed with your sewer, water and waste services.

Infrastructure Day 05

Transmission fees support installing, repairing and upgrading infrastructure around Alberta.

Where your electricity is concerned we’ve all seen increases to transmission and distribution charges that are connected to investments in electrical infrastructure across Alberta. Transmission fees go towards high-capacity transmission lines that move electricity from the source to communities across the province. Distribution fees support transmission of electricity within your city or town and also includes maintenance and upgrades to your local system.

Any changes to these fees are reviewed and approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). The Utilities Consumer Advocate’s website has a helpful page where you can read more about Understanding Your Bill.

You can learn more about the cost of electricity, and the factors that affect it by visiting the Canadian Electricity Association’s website.

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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Taking a peek at peak power usage

heat wave

There’s one category where summer and winter are becoming more alike – electricity demand.

There was a time when the longer, colder nights moved us indoors and in turn led to increased use of lights, heaters and other appliances. This meant that typically, the highest levels of electricity demand occurred during winter.

But over the past few years things have changed.

Demand is heating up

Summer electricity demand has started to match what we use in winter.

It’s surprising, but Calgary’s record for demand was set in July 2013 at 1,678 megawatts – or 25 megawatts more than the current record for winter demand. To put that into perspective, it takes one megawatt to power 10,000 100-watt lightbulbs, so that addition of 25 megawatts is equal to 250,000 bulbs being used in Calgary alone.

If you’re interested you can watch real-time grid demand on enmax.com.

There are a few reasons for this rising summer demand including home design, population growth, use of air conditioning cooling systems and even our increased use of electronics and chargers. (more…)