While Penticton council looks to streamline its electrical disconnection policy, one council member urges that it also keep the human factor in mind.
Council approved amendments to the monthly utility bill due-date system, switching to one due date for both residential and commercial customers. Disconnection notices for non-payment of bills will also be more readily sent - with an initial mild notice to be forwarded by automated phone call prior to a regular mailed disconnect notice.
New meter reading dates, closer to the billing date, will also take effect over the next two months. Customers may notice higher bills because of the longer billing period during the transition.
Although council voted unanimously to support the changes, Coun. Garry Litke worried about the city turning off someone's power, especially during cold weather.
"This is about as far as I'm comfortable to go without becoming very draconian and turning people's electricity off in the middle of winter," he said. "Everybody from time to time has forgotten to pay their bill or they've been out of town."