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Enmax paid a $62 million dividend to the City of Calgary in 2021

Company says it doesn’t cut power to customers who can’t pay and use of load limiters is down

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Enmax announced strong results at its annual general meeting on Tuesday, but the company’s outgoing interim CEO said a rapidly changing market means customers could see ‘creative approaches’ to how the energy supplier operates in the years to come.

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Charles Ruigrok, interim president and CEO, reported earnings of $610 million among his three business units: Enmax Power, Enmax Energy and Versant Power in Maine.

These gains resulted in a $62 million dividend paid to the city.

Advisors also heard how Enmax had an 87% customer satisfaction rating in 2021, responding to 665,000 customer calls, emails and chats.

“(Customers) trust us to safely and reliably deliver an essential service we rely on every day,” Ruigrok said. “We take this responsibility seriously now and in the future.”

However, not everyone can afford the energy they need. About 300 Calgary households currently have load limiters due to missed payments, according to Ruigrok. Limiters are intended to provide a basic amount of electricity to run essential appliances such as a furnace or refrigerator during the winter months.

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“But the numbers have gone down quite dramatically,” Ruigrok said. “I think last year we peaked at something close to 2,500 (limiters). And this year we were closer to 1,500.”

He said this year that represents an 80% decrease in device usage.

He also said Enmax has not cut the power to a single home for non-payment of bills since the winter moratorium on blackouts was lifted on April 15. Cutting power between mid-April and mid-October is what Alberta’s energy regulator expects, according to Ruigrok. , but he said they work with those clients on budgets and payment deferrals instead.

How the business will operate in the future was the subject of many questions from councilors who attended the meeting.

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Ruigrok said Enmax agrees with the federal government to reduce its carbon footprint. The company’s goal is to achieve net zero by 2050, which is 15 years beyond the federal government’s goal of a net zero electric grid by 2035.

He said they looked forward to hearing more details from federal authorities on the plan to get to net zero, so Enmax can be part of the solution.

The interim CEO has made it clear that he views carbon capture and storage at its existing plants as one of the key ways Enmax can meet its carbon emissions targets.

Com. André Chabot asked about the possibility of nuclear energy in the future of Enmax. Ruigrok said he doesn’t see it as a viable option in time for the 2050 net zero goal. Likewise, he suggested that solar, wind and hydrogen all have drawbacks that won’t help. a fairly rapid development in a period of less than 30 years.

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Ruigrok said the company has an upcoming town hall meeting scheduled for the fall, once newly hired CEO Mark Poweska begins his term in September.

“One of the focus areas of this session is what does that future look like? And what does our long-term revenue model look like when you have to make these kinds of changes?”

He sees the future of business shifting from “moving electrons” to controlling stability on the grid.

With solar power, homeowners will produce more of their own energy, and breakthroughs in energy efficiency and battery technology could allow people to use less energy, but Ruigrok said the need for a stable network will not disappear.

“It could go as far as … Enmax controlling when your car charges so everyone on the street isn’t charging their car at the same time,” he said.

Speaking to reporters after the AGM, Mayor Jyoti Gondek said being a shareholder in Enmax means the city will be able to work with the company as it prepares its climate strategy.

“We can engage all day. But if we don’t demonstrate the actions we need to take, we don’t really succeed,” the mayor said. “So we have that job to do.”

[email protected]
Twitter: @brodie_thomas

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