I see that EnMax is a bureaucrat’s dream, and a consumer’s nightmare. No surprise for a government owned entity.

A Fellow I Know reports what happens if one renovates a house in Calgary, installs a new electric meter base and panel and wants that service “energized” and the old one disconnected. Buddy foolishly thinks that by combining the requests so they are done by the same truck and crew at the same time EnMax will be more efficient and save money.

Buddy is an idiot. EnMax has zero interest in efficiency.

First buddy phones EnMax and gets referred to the meter inventory clerk who says she cannot initiate an order until he goes to the EnMax site and requests a new “Site ID”. Can she just issue a new site ID right there and then, on the phone? No. Why not? Who knows. On requesting a new site ID one gets an email from EnMax saying it will take a few days.

Really? It takes a few days for a computer to verify that a given address exists and to add a “1” to the last site ID issued? The meter clerk cannot be allowed to have a computer terminal linking to the computer that does site IDs?

Next, buddy gets a voice mail from the meter clerk saying maybe they can do it on the old site ID as a simple change of meter, but buddy will have to talk to “Planning” or “Projects” or some such creature. Buddy does and is told the only solution is to wait for a new Site ID. It seems that a site ID is actually a “meter location id” and a location on a garage wall 30 feet from the old location on the house wall is sufficiently different as to amount to a new site, with a new ID which will be done “shortly”.

Buddy says that everyone at EnMax that he dealt with was polite and as helpful as possible and clearly constrained by the EnMax system.