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Imperial Irrigation District Holds Public Workshop on Energy Billing Changes

-Editorial

In a move to improve customer satisfaction and financial stability, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) recently hosted the first of a series of public workshops to discuss significant changes to its Energy Cost Adjustment (ECA) billing system. The meeting, held in Calexico, drew a large crowd of interested residents eager to learn more about the proposed modifications and ways to conserve energy.

The presentation was made by Isis Montes, Officer Customer Services and Aletia Vizcarra who answered questions by made by those in attendance. 

“I would like to thank the IID Board and staff for doing  these workshops. Now we want to bring workshops about water to Calexico,” IID Director Javier Gonzalez said. “These has been part of our initiative to have IID more involved in the community.” 

One of the key changes made by IID is the transition of customers enrolled in the READ program to an Average Billing system. This new system aims to provide customers with more predictable monthly bills by averaging out their energy costs over the course of a year. The initiative is set to take effect in 2024 and will be supported by Public Benefit Charge funds.

IID is encouraging all residential customers to consider enrolling in the Average Billing program, which will help to stabilize bills throughout the year and mitigate the impact of fluctuating energy market conditions. The utility provider is also planning a long-term evaluation of rates and cost-of-service to ensure that the new billing system is fair and equitable for all customers.

The ECA, which is a component of all IID customer electric bills, has often led to bill fluctuations due to variable energy costs. To address this issue, IID is offering an Average Bill Payment Plan that will provide customers with a fixed monthly bill amount based on their average energy usage over the past 12 months, adjusted for inflation.

In addition to the changes to the billing system, IID is also introducing discounts for income-qualified customers, including discounts for customers aged 59 and under and those aged 60 or older. Customers enrolled in the Renewable Energy Assistance Program will also receive additional discounts as part of IID’s eGreen program.

Furthermore, IID is launching an Emergency Energy Assistance Program to provide financial assistance to electric customers during specific months. The program will offer varying payment amounts depending on the quarter, with one-time assistance available for customers with multiple past due bills.

These proposed changes demonstrate IID’s commitment to creating a more stable, predictable, and inclusive billing system that will benefit both the utility provider and its customers. Residents are encouraged to attend future workshops to learn more about the changes and provide feedback on the proposed modifications.

Bilingual Pay Approved by IID Board

The Imperial Irrigation District took a significant step towards promoting inclusivity and supporting its diverse workforce by officially implementing bilingual pay at their February 20 meeting. This new policy recognizes the valuable skills and contributions of employees who are fluent in both English and Spanish, allowing them to be compensated appropriately for their language abilities. 

In accordance with the 2024-2026 Memorandum of Understanding, the Imperial Irrigation District (IID) has recently introduced a comprehensive bilingual pay policy for regular full-time Customer Service Accounts and Service Representatives. This policy outlines the procedures for bilingual designation and testing, ensuring fairness and transparency in recognizing employees’ bilingual skills.

Under this policy, full-time Customer Account & Services Representatives with a minimum of one year of full-time employment are eligible for bilingual designation. Those interested in receiving bilingual pay must submit an application to Human Resources and undergo a bilingual proficiency examination. The district has set a cap on the total number of eligible positions, ensuring equitable distribution of bilingual pay among qualified employees.

Testing and Certification procedures are conducted by Human Resources, with Spanish Language Proficiency Exams based on third-party standards. Eligible candidates will undergo proctored testing, with a limit of two testing opportunities. Examination results are final but can be appealed through the Complaint Procedure under Policy 4351. Human Resources oversees the administration of the Bilingual Pay policy, conducts periodic reviews, and reports on bilingual staff.

The Bilingual Pay Designation includes capping the number of employees receiving bilingual pay at fifty percent of the total eligible classification. Call Center Employees assigned to the Spanish Line receive $0.65 per hour for designated bilingual service work, with preference given based on seniority. Rotational eligibility lists are maintained to indicate the order of rotation for bilingual pay designation. Reap and Division Offices designate bilingual pay based on operational and customer needs, ensuring efficient allocation of resources.

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