E.L.K to answers questions about electricity reliability and power needs in Essex
People living in Essex will have a chance to listen and ask questions about plans to address electricity reliability issues and power needs in the future.
E.L.K. Energy, in partnership with Entegrus who is providing management services, will host a town hall meeting on Nov. 13 between 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Essex Centre Sports Complex, Shaheen Room, 60 Fairview Ave. W., in Essex.
Jim Hogan, President, and CEO of Entegrus will be in attendance to share progress that’s been made, discuss future plans and answer questions.
In recent years, E.L.K customers in both Essex and Kingsville have voiced concerns over frequent outages and reliability issues.
Essex Mayor Sherry Bondy, who also serves as chair of board of directors of E.L.K., says they believe E.L.K has been under invested over the past 20 years.
"The old management and board had a mantra of keeping rates as low as possible. No one likes to pay high energy rates but E.L.K's rates are the lowest in the province. For this, it's showing. The wear and tear on the system is impacting its reliability," she says.
Bondy says they want to show residents how much money is lacking in the system and what the plan is to get the system back on track.
"E.L.K has approximately $800 invested for every customers and other company's have over $2,000,' she says. "So right off the hop, E.L.K. has invested half of the amount into the grid, so we're seeing the result of that with more flickers. When the storms come, people go out more frequently."
Bondy says we've reached a point where we have no choice but to invest in the system to have a better run utility and customer service.
"The system is weak. We're seeing poles fail and the amount of flickers is not only impacting our residential community, but our business community has been quite vocal in both Kingsville and Lakeshore, saying 'we need these improvements.' It's not going to be sticker shock but it will be something we work out," she adds.
E.L.K. Energy is a distribution company that services the communities of Belle River, Comber, Cottam, Essex, Harrow and Kingsville.
With a peak load of 65 megawatts, E.L.K provides electricity to over 12,600 customers from the residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
E.L.K. Energy is wholly-owned by the Town of Essex.