Understanding Your Utility Bill
Utility Bills Explained
City utility bills, including charges for water, sewer, street lights, and storm water are mailed quarterly for residential customers. Commercial and industrial customers are billed monthly, as well as schools, public and multi-dwelling customers. The city's water and sanitary sewer are handled as enterprise funds. This means the amount you pay for those utilities covers the entire cost of providing the service, maintenance and repair of each system, and any improvements to the system. Your property taxes do not fund anything related to those utilities.
Decoding Your Bill
- Service Dates: the period of time for which you are being billed
- Number of Days: the number of days in your billing period
- Current: Date and current read for this billing period taken at the property address
- Previous: Date and previous read from the last billing period
- Meter Usage: Current usage for which you are being billed. Meter Usage is in thousands of gallons.
- Total Usage: Combined usage for all meters at the property.
- Water: The amount owed for water depends on the number of gallons used during the billing period.
- Sewer: This is your sewer charge.
- Sewer Charges for Residential and Multi-Family Customers: the amount you owe for sewer is based on your actual winter quarter water consumption, and remains the same for the entire year
- Sewer Charges for Commercial, Industrial, and School Customers: sewer is billed monthly based on actual water consumed for that period
- State of MN (Water Test): this is a federal government charge for protecting the health of people consuming water from public water supplies
- Storm Water Fee: A utility fee for storm water run-off.
- Street Lights: Residents who directly benefit from standard street lights in their development are charged for the cost of operating the lights
- Current Bill: this is the amount due for all services for the current service period.
- Amount Due: This is the amount due including any balance forward.
- Amount Due After Due Date: This amount is the amount due, including penalty, if received after the due date. This is also listed on the top portion of the bill
Meter Reading Explanations
Current Reading: Your meter measures the water you use in 1,000-gallon units. If your reading is 1200, that means you have used 1,200,000 gallons of water since your meter was installed.
Previous Reading: This is the reading taken three months earlier. The difference between your previous reading and your current reading is the amount of water you have used during the billing period.
Consumption: This is the amount of water you have used in the three-month billing period.