CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM
Meeting Date: September 13, 2005
Subject/Title: Accept an Informational Report on the Balanced Billing
Prepared by: Doug Alessio, Business Services Manager
Submitted by: Pamela Ehler, Director of Finance and Information Services
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
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.