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Current Council Agenda and Past Meeting Information

 

CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM NO. 13

Meeting Date: September 13, 2005

Subject/Title: Accept an Informational Report on the Balanced Billing Program

Prepared by: Doug Alessio, Business Services Manager

Submitted by: Pamela Ehler, Director of Finance and Information Services

RECOMMENDATION
None.

PREVIOUS ACTION
On March 22, 2005, by Resolution No. 2005-68 City Council adopted the Balanced Billing Program. The Balanced Billing program significantly reduces the seasonal peaks in customer utility bills without reducing utility revenue. Customers who participate in this program receive a monthly utility bill that is more predictable. The current month’s actual utility charges are added to the prior 11 month’s actual charges; that sum is divided by 12. Because customers will not be paying for their actual usage each month, their account will typically have a small balance at any given time, either owed to or owed by the City. In order to keep this balance from getting too large in either direction, the customer’s monthly bill also includes a small percentage of this balance. This total amount is the amount of the “balanced bill”.

BACKGROUND
We currently have 386 Utility Billing customers enrolled in this program. To date, we have not had any participants leave the program once they have been accepted. 81 additional customers have applied but were not eligible for participation in the program because they currently do not meet the qualifications. We have, however, put a system in place that allows us to notify these customers once they do qualify.

Informational packets about this program are currently available on the Internet. Additional promotional ideas for the program are being discussed. These ideas include re-advertising this program through the use of billing inserts and printing promotional information directly on customer bills in the special announcements section.

As is generally typical during the summer months, the Utility Billing Division has not experienced the usually high call volume regarding water bills; in fact, our call volume is down from last summer.

Overall, we feel that this program, while still in its infant stage, is successful and will continue to grow over time.

FISCAL IMPACT
None

City Administration
City of Brentwood City Council
150 City Park Way
Brentwood, CA 94513
(925) 516-5440
Fax (925) 516-5441
E-mail allcouncil@brentwoodca.gov