In an effort to assist customers with managing their water use, Padre Dam will be converting from bi-monthly to monthly billing beginning in January 2014. Padre Dam has received many suggestions from customers over the years to receive bills monthly. Monthly billing will assist in household budgeting, identifying water leaks or other plumbing issues faster, as well as reduce confusion about what month the water bill is due.
Padre Dam is also moving to a new customer billing system, which will allow us to provide higher quality and more efficient service.
Benefits of Monthly Billing
We expect that this change will lead to more timely information and better customer service by:
• Allowing customers to better align payments with other bill schedules
• Providing more frequent consumption data to help make adjustments to water usage
• Identifying unusual water usage such as leaking pipes or toilets, allowing for prompt repairs and thereby reducing the magnitude of high bills caused by leaks
When will I receive my first monthly bill?
All customers will receive a bill in the month of January and will receive a bill each month thereafter. The first bill may be for more or less than 30 days initially. As part of the transition to monthly billing, customers may receive bills that reflect approximately 20 to 60 days of service because billing cycle adjustments are necessary to align current bi-monthly meter reading cycles with a monthly cycle. Bills after the January bill should reflect 28-35 days of usage on average.
Will my meter now be read each month?
Yes, meter reads will be collected monthly for billing purposes. Padre Dam installed an automated meter reading (AMI) system in 2009. The AMI system allows Padre Dam to read twice as many water meters per month without any additional Meter Technicians. This system
collects reads hourly and can be seen as soon as the next day online through our ‘My Water Use’ website program. Frequent meter readings allow customers to identify high usage and possible leaks sooner. If the meter cannot be read via the AMI system or by a Meter Technician visiting the property, we will estimate consumption based on historical usage until the reading issue can be resolved.
To assist customers in keeping an eye on water use between bills, customers can also view water use online. Our system allows you to see your water use on an hourly, daily and monthly bar graph format. Reviewing your water use will help you confirm your water use shows zero when you were not using water. If you see unexpected use, you may have a leak. Go to My Water Use at www.padredam.org to begin. All you will need is your account number and street address number.
Are rates going up because of this change?
No, rates will not increase due to monthly billing. Padre Dam customers will see an increase in water and sewer rates in January 2014 as part of the District’s previously approved 5-year Business Plan and Budget. Rates have been set to ensure reliable high-quality water and fund capital improvement and infrastructure maintenance programs at the lowest and most efficient cost.
When the billing was bi-monthly, occasionally I would receive a late notice reminding me I had not paid my bill. Will I still receive a late notice?
No. Padre Dam will no longer be issuing separate late notices as reminders for accounts with outstanding balances. Any unpaid balance will appear as a balance forward on the next month’s bill. However, if your account goes to the shut-off process, you will still receive a discontinuance of service notice which will include additional fees.
I'm enrolled in AutoPay. How will this affect me?
AutoPay customers will continue to have their account charged on the “amount will be deducted on" date shown on the bill. The account will be billed each month and Padre Dam will submit bank payment requests to the proper financial institution each month.
I use Online Bill Payment at my bank. Will I need to make any changes?
Yes. Payment is due each month rather than every other month. Also, please note that all account numbers will change in the new billing software from a 10-digit number to a 14-digit number. Customers will need to update their financial institution of the new account number.