Utilities are not exempt from the process of consolidation we see in other sectors. One example is the merger of Enbridge with Union Gas. Both were deemed as Ontario local distribution companies for the supply of natural gas. They have recently merged.
When mergers or acquisitions occur, the two entities rationalize their resources and workforces into one. Services they once provided to their customers may change or become automated. The scope of services may be reduced (or expanded). In the case of utilities, customers who once had easy access to personnel for assistance may experience less personalized service than they once enjoyed.
If you find yourself in this situation, what do you do? In brief, you will have to be more proactive. Consider taking these actions:
- Reach out to find your new account representative. Make sure you meet with them at least once every six months.
- Inform yourself. You can develop your own, independent sources of information for insights into the utility markets.
- Adequately prepare for your utility contract renewals. Get to know your energy needs, consumption patterns, and budget requirements.