1. How do you calculate my monthly Budget
Billing amount due?
Your monthly payment is based on three items:
Your electricity bill for the past 12 months, divided by 12 and
rounded to the nearest whole dollar.
Your water bill for the past 12 months, divided by 12 and rounded
to the nearest whole dollar.
Fixed monthly charges for wastewater, solid waste and storm water
For example, suppose during the last 12 months
you paid $1,365 in electricity bills and $250 in water bills, and that
your other monthly charges are $24.20 for solid waste (30-gallon can)
$29.67 for wastewater, and $10.99 for surface water. This is how we would
calculate your monthly payment for the Budget Billing Plan:
$1,365 ÷ 12 = $113.75
$250 ÷ 12 = $20.83
Budget Billing Plan monthly charges
During the year, we will automatically evaluate
your account after the fourth month and after the eighth month to make
sure your budget plan is on track so there are no surprises when it is
time to reconcile your account at the end of your 12-month Budget Billing
Plan. If your actual charges result in more than a $5 per month difference
in your bill, your budget amount will be recalculated automatically and
will appear on the next bill.
2. Why are the reviews after the fourth month
and eighth month necessary
We make adjustments after the fourth and eighth
month so there are no surprises — particularly unwanted surprises — at the
end of your Budget Payment Plan year.
The review will make sure your payments are on
track with your previous 12-month billing history. Most people see little
or no change in their Budget Billing Plan after the four-month and
eight-month reviews. Some customers, however, may experience events that
significantly change their Budget Billing Plan amount:
Customers who heat their homes with electricity may use more during
colder-than-usual winters and may use less during warmer-than-usual
winters. Customers who use air-conditioning in the summer also will use
more or less electricity than “normal” based on weather.
Water use may increase during a particularly hot, dry summer.
House guests for an extended period or the arrival of a baby can
cause water and electricity use to go up significantly.
Electricity and water use may go down significantly if a child
moves away from home.
You may increase or decrease the size of your garbage can
Rates for utility services may change.
The review after the fourth and eighth months
will incorporate changes such as the above in your Budget Billing Plan
3. What happens in the 12th month?
At the 12th month, which is the anniversary of
when you started, we’ll conduct an annual review of your account. You’ll
either have a credit due or you will owe money to bring your account
balance to zero.
If you have a credit, it will automatically be applied to your 12th
month payment. Any additional credit will be used to pay your next utility
bills until it is used up.
If you owe money on your bill, it will be divided by four and added
to your next four Budget Billing Plan bills.
We’ll also calculate your next Budget Billing
Plan amount for your new 12-month plan.
4. Can I include a deposit in my Budget Billing
No. If you are required to pay a deposit, the
amount and a due date will appear on your bill under the heading
Adjustments/Deposits. While it will be calculated into the amount due, it
is not part of your Budget Billing Plan. Similarly, items listed in
Miscellaneous Charges are not included in your Budget Payment Plan.
5. When will my monthly payment be due?
Your monthly payment will be due 10 days after
the bill is mailed. The due date will be stated on each bill. The 10-day
time frame is consistent with other utility bills. You will receive the
benefits of your Budget Billing Plan only if you make each payment when it
If payment is not received, the next bill on the
regularly scheduled date will contain a special note in the Information
Center indicating that the previous bill is past due and payment must be
received within seven days to remain on the Budget Billing Plan. Failure
to pay within the seven days will cancel the Budget Billing Plan and
normal billing will resume. If the Budget Billing Plan is cancelled for
non-payment, or if you chose to discontinue the plan, all outstanding
charges will become due and payable immediately.
6. What if I am a renter?
If you rent and are living in a new location,
your monthly calculation will be based off the previous tenant’s last 12
months at your rental location. For the most accurate payment you should
live at a location for a minimum of 12 months before requesting the budget
7. How can I pay my utility bill?
Tacoma Public Utilities offers six ways you can
pay your bill.
You can continue to tear off the stub at the bottom of the bill,
write a check and mail the check and stub in the self-addressed
You can pay online at
www.tacomaservices.org. Regardless of
what payment method you use, you can track your payments online at this
You can use any of nine PayStations located throughout the
Tacoma Power service area. One is at the Public Utilities Administration
Building, South 35th Street and Union Avenue; the others are in Safeway
stores. For a list, check our Web site at
call our automated information line, 253-502-8608, and then press 3. You
will need your account number to use a PayStation. PayStations accept
cash, checks and money orders; residential customers also can use Visa and
MasterCard credit cards. You will receive a receipt for every transaction.
You can pay with a Visa or MasterCard using Service+, our
automated telephone system. Call 253-502-8608, and then press 2. You
will need your account number and your credit card number.
You can use AutoPay to have your payments automatically
withdrawn from your checking or savings account. You can enroll for
AutoPay at www.tacomaservices.org
or by calling our Customer Services
Office at 253-502-8600.
You can pay in person at the Public Utilities Administration
Building, South 35th Street and Union Avenue, during regular business
8. Who can I call if I have questions about my
Budget Billing Plan?
If you have any questions about the Budget
Billing Plan, call our Customer Service Office at 253-502-8600.
Telephone hours are 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday
through Friday and the lobby is open from 7:30 a.m. to
5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
If you are currently enrolled
in Budget Billing, you will notice several
improvements in the Budget Billing Plan billing statement:
For easier tracking, we’ve separated the Account Balance
Summary (on the lower left portion of your bill) and the Budget
Billing Summary (on the lower right side of the bill) so you can track
your actual account balance and track your budget billing payments,
Your payments throughout the year will be more uniform
because we’ve changed how we calculate your bill.
You’ll be able to see any adjustments made to your Budget
Billing Plan amount after the fourth and eighth months of your plan and at
your annual review (see questions 2, 3 and 4 above).