What is Budget Billing?
Budget Billing is a program offered by City Water & Light that allows customers to pay the same amount each month beginning with the customer’s bill for November service and continuing through the following year’s bill for October service.
Who is eligible for Budget Billing?
Residential customers who have been provided utility services at an address for at least 12 months and commercial customers who have been provided utility services at an address for at least 36 months. It is necessary to have a good payment history with CWL to be eligible for the program.
How is the budget billing amount calculated?
At the time a person signs up for budget billing, City Water and Light calculates the average amount of the bills over the most recent twelve months and adds a small amount to allow for fuel cost increases and government mandated requirements. For existing Budget Billing customers, we take in to consideration whether the customer has actually been billed more or less under the budget billing program than what the customer would have been billed each month for actual usage.
Will City Water and Light adjust my budget billing amount more frequently than once a year?
On a monthly basis, City Water and Light evaluates escrow balances (the cumulative amount by which the customer has been billed more or less than actual utility service). If the customer’s usage has increased significantly, CWL may determine it is in the customer’s best interest to adjust the Budget Billing amount to avoid larger increases when the Budget Billing amount changes in November. We will communicate that change to you.
When can I get out of the Budget Billing program?
A customer may choose to discontinue the program at any time. If the customer’s cumulative escrow account reflects an amount owed to City Water and Light, that will be reflected on the next bill. If the customer’s cumulative escrow account reflects an amount owed to the customer, City Water and Light will apply the escrow balance to the customer’s subsequent bills until the amount is completely used. Customers who discontinue the program would be eligible to return to the program in twelve months.
May I pay more than the Budget Billing amount?
The program is most effective if customers pay the actual budget billing amount. If a customer wishes to pay more than the calculated budget billing amount, please contact Customer Service and we will be glad to adjust the amount.
When is the best time to enroll in Budget Billing?
Generally the best time to enroll in budget billing is beginning with the November bill. Customers who enroll in the high summer or winter usage months often discover that more significant adjustments must be made to their accounts when we adjust all accounts in November.
How does CWL notify customers about annual budget billing changes?
City Water and Light will mail a letter to each Budget Billing customer after the billing for October utility service indicating what the new budget billing amount will be. We will also inform the customer of the 12 month average bill and the cumulative escrow balance.
How may I sign up?