2018-03-08 / Front Page

Town hall meeting will provide citizens with information, forum for comments

The Washington Mayor and City Council will host a “town hall meeting” next week in order to provide information, hear comments and discussion, and to explain to citizens all about the information contained on their monthly utility bills.

The meeting will be held beginning at 5 p.m., at the conclusion of the regular March meeting of the City Council on Monday, March 12, at The Pope Center.

Representatives from both MEAG (the Municipal Electric Association of Georgia, of which the City of Washington is a founding member) and ECG (Electric Cities of Georgia, which provides strategic and technical services to communities with utility operations) will be in attendance to make presentations on what it means to be a MEAG city and how the City of Washington formulates its utility rates.

Citizens are encouraged to attend and will be given the opportunity to sign in and have their concerns heard and questions answered.

In an effort to avoid confusion and to explain the finer points of its utility bills in advance of the meeting, the City published the following breakdown of the monthly bills as follows:

Your Utility Bill Broken Down

Top Left Corner Box – Your account number and PIN. You need this information to login online to check your balance and pay your bills. You should also pay special attention to the meter reading dates. This information will show the period you are being billed for your usage.

Account Summary Box – This box tells you your electric usage for the current period you are being billed for and shows you what you used the prior month and 12 months prior usage as a comparison. It also tells you how many days are in this billing cycle compared to the prior month and year. It breaks out your average daily use and average daily cost. If your bill is higher than the prior month, compare your usage and how many days this bill covers compared to the prior month.

Usage and Charges Box – This is where you will find the breakdown of all of your charges. The charges are for water, sewer, electric, street/ yard waste, and garbage pick-up. The Power Cost adjustment is calculated monthly and can go up or down based on the city’s cost of wholesale power on the market. It is based on projected power costs for the month and is calculated by ECG.

Messages – You should always read the message box for important information. It explains late fees, disconnection policies, and where to make your online payments.

Stub – You should always return your payment stub with your payment if you are mailing it or if you are paying your bill in person. It also shows you what amount you need to pay if you pay late.

Important Dates:

You should receive your bill in the mail the first week of the month. (If you don’t receive it, you should call City Hall and inquire about your bill).

Bills are due at City Hall on the 15th of the month.

However, you have until the 25th to pay without being charged a late penalty. The penalty for past due accounts is seven percent (7%).

Penalties are applied to accounts with outstanding balances at 5 p.m. the first business day after the 25th. The city bills the day after penalties are applied to customer accounts.

A pre-cutoff list is sent to the city’s answering service which begins notifying customers that they have an outstanding bill subject to cutoff. (The city can not notify you if there is not an active phone number on your account. Please call City Hall and make sure your most up-to-date information is on file.)

Cutoff takes place on the fourth of every month except on weekends. All accounts on the cutoff list are charged a $75 administrative fee. This fee must be paid along with past due amount in order to restore services.

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