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MRSC Insight Blog

Posts for Utilities - Billing and Collection

Close up of a hand turning off a main water valve

New Bills Address Utility Connection Charges, Service Disconnection for Non-Payment

Recent legislation impacting utilities includes SHB 1326, allowing city and town utilities to waive connections fees for certain organizations, and ESHB 1329, prohibiting electric and/or water utilities from terminating service during periods of high heat. 

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Utility Late Fee/Shutoff Moratorium Expires September 30: Now What?

With the expiration of Governor Inslee's moratorium on utility shutoff drawing near, local governments are wondering what comes next. 

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A Quick Guide to Utility Account Overcharges, Undercharges, and the Statute of Limitations

This blog explores the role of the statute of limitations in connection with utility billing, including undercharges and overcharges. 

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Landlord/Tenant Issues for Water and Sewer Utilities

In this blog post, we provide an overview of utility billing in the landlord/tenant context per Washington State regulations.  

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Past Due Payments and Use of Collection Agencies

This blog post provides an overview of the requirements for use of a collection agency and will address some frequently asked questions that arise when doing so. 

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Does the Shutdown Mean Shutoffs?

For utility deferments and fee waivers, the key is to have policies in place to avoid gifting of public funds, and to ensure that the jurisdiction is not being arbitrary in its decision-making. 

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Sewer Rate Structure Alternatives for Utilities

What options are there for utilities in determining how to structure sewer usage rates, depending on the customer type? A volume-based rate option for all consumers is one, but an agency must consider which approach to take and it must make sure that such an approach aligns with organizational policy objectives. 

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Who Should Receive the Utility Bill, Landlords or Tenants?

Who should receive a utility bill is just one of the many complexities local governments must determine in their utility billing procedures. This blog highlights our survey of how numerous jurisdictions handle this issue.

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Collecting Delinquent Water Bills and Terminating Service

Many cities and towns operate their own public utilities, including water service. Unfortunately, sometimes utility customers do not pay their bills. What can be done to collect unpaid or delinquent accounts, and when can water service be shut off?

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Utility Billing and Termination in the Landlord/Tenant Context

MRSC frequently receives questions regarding the responsibilities of city utilities, particularly water, where the utility service is provided to a tenant. Here are some general considerations and some specific requirements that apply in this context that a city utility should be aware of to ensure compliance with state law and to respect the rights of both landlord and tenant:

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