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City of Statesboro utility bills to change in April
Customer billing cycles to go from 30 days to 35
Utility Bills
Courtesy City of Statesboro / Finance Director Cindy West shared a proposed modified billing schedule for utility bills with Statesboro City Council members at the Feb. 20 meeting.

City of Statesboro utility customers will see a change in their utility bills starting in April. 

Currently, when a customer receives their utility bill, the total amount due is for services rendered almost two months previously. During the February 20 City Council work session, city Finance Director Cindy West shared a proposed modified billing schedule to help customers reach a point where their bills would reflect services rendered for the previous month.

“Our current service schedule is a holdover from a time when meter readers had to physically go out to each customer's meter, take a reading, then submit those readings to the finance department to be keyed for billing,” West said. “With the advent of digital meter monitoring, the city can now receive readings in real-time from a computer, which makes billing turnaround a lot quicker.” 

To get to a point where customers’ bills will reflect the past 30 days of service, the city will have to essentially “catch up” on their billing to bring it into compliance with the new schedule. The proposed schedule change will see customers being charged for 35 days of service instead of the usual 30 days of service in their monthly bills. Because the bill will include an additional five days of service, customers’ bills will be slightly higher than usual.

West shared a cost estimate presentation with the City Council which projected that a residential customer with average water and sewer usage would see an increase of roughly $6 to their monthly bill during the transitional period. In comparison, a residential customer that utilized average amounts of water, sewer, and natural gas would see an increase of around $23 a month. The cost estimate breakdown also included examples for commercial and industrial customers, as well. 

“It’s important to note that this is not a rate increase but a change in the number of service days billed,” said Statesboro City Manager Charles Penny. “This is a temporary change and will take around 10 months to complete the billing schedule transition. After 10 months, our utility billing cycles will be fully caught up and when a customer receives a bill, it will be for the previous month of service. This will ultimately be a benefit to our customers, though we acknowledge that there will be some growing pains during the transitional period.” 

Under the current service schedule, a customer could receive a higher-than-usual monthly bill only to discover that they had a water leak for almost two months and were unaware. City officials say this new schedule would help customers to have more active management of their utility usage and will help city staff to identify unusual usage readings more quickly. 

“We’ll have customers call and ask us why their gas usage was so high on their monthly bill and after some digging, we’ll discover that a few months ago we had two weeks of really cold weather,” West said. “Being able to bill our customers for the previous month will make for a better customer experience and will ultimately help our Public Utilities department with diagnosing unusual meter readings. It’s an improvement for our customers and the city’s service delivery, but it will take some time for us to get to this ideal schedule.”

For questions regarding the service date change, customers may contact the City of Statesboro Utility Billing Department at (912) 764-5468.

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