Here are the Major Enhancements to Electricity Services in Brampton
Everyone wants safe, reliable and efficient electricity services. For Brampton residents, and many others, this is important. In 2017, Brampton Hydro rebranded as Alectra Utilities, however, the rebranding was much more than just a name change.
Alectra Utilities was established in February 2017 with the coming together of three like-minded utilities. These companies were formerly known as Enersource, which served Mississauga; Horizon Utilities, which served the Hamilton and St. Catharines areas; and PowerStream, which served Vaughan, Markham and Barrie, as well as several other communities in York Region and Simcoe County.
Brampton Hydro was added to the fold after being acquired by these three companies. Once Brampton Hydro joined, the creation of Alectra Utilities was complete. The new utility now serves around one million homes and businesses in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area.
The goal in the establishment of Alectra Utilities was to bring value to customers by achieving efficiencies through synergies and the elimination of redundant systems and processes. Being an "ally" to customers in the energy space also involved providing new products and services.
So, besides a new name, what other changes have Brampton residents seen since Alectra Utilities was formed?
"An example of the new service offerings Brampton customers have seen is our enhanced outage answering services," Eileen Campbell, VP of Customer Services with Alectra Utilities, says.
"If they should experience a power failure they're able to speak to someone live around the clock, seven days a week or obtain outage information from Alectra's web services or social media channels. A further benefit of the merger is a bigger pool of resources and expertise during storm restoration and emergency events."
In addition to this, Alectra customers will also be able to utilize different self-serve options, and more robust services and online payment options.
Introducing new services often means removing older and outdated ones. Due to customers looking for more technology-based solutions and interactions with Alectra Utilities, some of the company's older walk-in payment services have become redundant.
"People don't walk into pay us anymore, they like to use the more convenient options of pre-authorized payment along with ebilling and online banking," Campbell says.
"Typically, customers want to interact with us on their own schedule and Alectra's online self-service provides this option. Should they wish to speak with a Customer Service Representative our call centre staff are also available to assist."
If there are customers, however, who do not wish to use ebilling services, they are still able to make the choice between paper or electronic statements.
Alectra Utilities is always looking to serve customers better and more new changes are coming as early as this winter. There will be a new look and feel to the customer bills, and Brampton residents and businesses will be getting new account numbers. Customers who pay through their financial institutions don't need to do anything themselves; their new account numbers will be updated for them automatically.
The company is also working to enhance customers' online experience through the 'My Account' portal of the Alectra Utilities' website. This includes customers having the ability to view their hourly time of use data, as well as new energy management tools.
Campbell highlighted some other future changes that will benefit Brampton Alectra customers.
"We're also spending $250 million annually - across our entire service territory - in capital investments and infrastructure projects to ensure Alectra's high reliability standards are maintained.”
"We will soon be surveying our customers to determine as to what new products and services they're looking for from us,” Campbell says.
"If I was to give a value proposition as to why someone should use our services, it's because we have reliable power, low costs, and customers will soon realize other benefits from the merger," Campbell says.
So, what's next for Alectra Utilities?
The company is currently undergoing another merger, this time with Guelph Hydro. if all goes as planned, Guelph will be part of the Alectra Utilities' family by the beginning of 2019.
"With Guelph being added we are investing in a Green Energy and Technology (GRE&T) Centre in that municipality, which will serve as a hub and incubator for new ideas and products," Campbell says.
Alectra Utilities is not just a company that provides its customers with reliable and affordable electricity services; the company is an integral part of the Brampton community, providing jobs, community investments and supporting charitable organizations such as the United Way.