SaskEn­ergy pres­i­dent clar­i­fies Equal­ized Pay­ment Plan de­tails

The Southwest Booster - - OPINION -

To the ed­i­tor: Re: Jan­uary 30, 2014 online Let­ter to the Ed­i­tor - SaskEn­ergy’s Equal­ized Pay­ment Plan

I am writ­ing in re­sponse to the Jan­uary 30, 2014 Let­ter to the Ed­i­tor con­cern­ing SaskEn­ergy’s Cus­tomer Billing Sys­tem and changes to the Equal­ized Pay­ment Plan (EPP). SaskEn­ergy re­placed its Cus­tomer Billing Sys­tem in 2013, as we wanted to bet­ter serve our grow­ing cus­tomer base with more ef­fi­cient and ac­cu­rate billing.

Our pre­vi­ous sys­tem had served us well, but was de­signed in the 1970s and im­ple­mented in the 1980s. It was no longer able to meet the va­ri­ety of billing and ac­counts ser­vices our cus­tomers re­quire.

In Au­gust 2013, SaskEn­ergy’s new Cus­tomer Billing Sys­tem came into ef­fect. We no­ti­fied cus­tomers of the new sys­tem through mes­sages on their bills, an in­sert into billing en­velopes, as well as in­for­ma­tion on-line at www.sasken­ and notices placed on our toll-free cus­tomer in­for­ma­tion phone line, at 1-800567-8899.

As your reader noted in their Jan­uary 30th let­ter, th­ese changes also in­cluded an up­date to the Equal­ized Pay­ment Plan (EPP). Cus­tomers con­tin­u­ally tell us they want to be able to ac­cu­rately bud­get their en- ergy dol­lars. Pre­vi­ously, EPP cus­tomers would re­ceive a credit or debt no­tice on their one-year an­niver­sary of sign­ing up with the pro­gram. This amount would ap­pear on the next month’s bill. While some cus­tomers ap­pre­ci­ated the ex­tra credit that next month, oth­ers who were in a debt sit­u­a­tion found the ad­di­tional costs more dif­fi­cult to man­age.

Un­der the new sys­tem, the credit or debt amount is spread evenly over the next 12 months. This has been an ad­just­ment for some cus­tomers but most who con­tact SaskEn­ergy are pleased to be able to ap­ply a credit over an en­tire year, or have 12 months with which to pay a debt in­curred.

This has been es­pe­cially help­ful to many cus­tomers with the ex­treme cold we’ve all faced in Saskatchew­an this win­ter. Un­der the pre­vi­ous EPP sys­tem, many cus­tomers would have faced a sig­nif­i­cant debt on their one-year “set­tle-up” date – in­stead, that amount is now spread evenly over 12 pay­ments.

EPP is grow­ing in pop­u­lar­ity, with 46 per cent of SaskEn­ergy’s cus­tomers now par­tic­i­pat­ing. We hope th­ese im­prove­ments will en­cour­age more of our cus­tomers to par­tic­i­pate in EPP.

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