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Calgarians use electrical load limiters to detail lifespan.

Limiters limit the amount of electricity a household can use, making many appliances unusable. From the report: Josie Gagne was staggering and sobbing in the dark during a phone call with the Enmax customer assistant. She tried to find the little orange button under the meter that could restore the heat inside. It was a shock that captivated her. A young single mother with two children under the age of two returned to her home one day last winter and found a note from Enmax. She was behind the bill. The house is now a limiter and shuts off her electricity. The furnace was off and at that point she had no idea what a limiter was. “I’m going crazy. I’m crying, thinking, ‘What am I going to do?'” she said. “It’s midwinter and it’s still cold outside. How can I feed the kids when the oven isn’t working?”

Due to the utility rate hike, community advocates fear that the number of Calgary people facing this scenario will rise, and many don’t know what a load limiter is. This is often the first step before disconnecting. Several Calgary residents have shared their utility billing experience with CBC Calgary via text message and reported the issue to the mutual aid Facebook group Calgary Kindness. They spoke privately with CBC reporters to help others know what to expect. The contributors said they were afraid that the refrigerator would shut down and the food would spoil. They relied on air fryers, barbecues, or hot plates to get through. Additional costs ($52 notice fee, $52 limiter removal) made the situation worse. Besides, having a black mark on their files often means they can’t get a contract at a more favorable fixed rate. Once the unit is installed, the stove or anything that requires 240 volts of electricity will not work.

Calgarians use electrical load limiters to detail lifespan.

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