E.L.K. Energy fined over billing error 


E.L.K. Energy, the utility that services the communities of Belle River, Comber, Cottam, Essex, Harrow and Kingsville has been fined by the Ontario Energy Board over a billing error which resulted in some customers being overcharged.

Sherry Bondy, Board Chair of E.L.K. Energy and Mayor of Essex says the discovery was made by Entegrus, the company who manages day-to-day operations at E.L.K.

"They started going through everything and files and we discovered that there was an issue in some customers bills and so right away we brought it the attention of the Ontario Energy Board and you know we're not alone, it's happened to other utilities."

Bondy says after the discovery was made, E.L.K. reported the issue to the OEB in July 2023.

She says the billing issue started in November 2020.

"Some customers when had moved out or in during a period the prorating of the fixed charge on the account was incorrect. So some customers were overcharged $0.30 but I mean every dollar matters and it's the principal of the thing so the Ontario Energy Board has fined us for that."

E.L.K. will contribute $2,741.82 to the Low-income Energy Assistance Program (LEAP) to help customers in need in its service area. The amount is equivalent to three years of overcharges. 

Bondy says E.L.K. implemented system changes to correct this issue effective Nov. 1, 2023 and the new E.L.K. board is taking the concerns of the OEB very serious.

"And along with our customers, we're taking their concerns serious. In fact on Monday Nov. 13, we are hosting a public open house at the Shaheen Room at the Essex Arena to talk about concerns or questions that members of the public have because we want to be open and transparent. Different than how E.L.K. was ran in the past."

E.L.K. will also pay an administrative penalty of $10,000.