Over the past few months we've heard from you regarding some concerns with your water bills. We've heard that you're concerned with the variance in the number of days in each billing cycle. We've also heard from you that the due date changes each month. You’ve expressed your concern about late fees and notices prior to water being shut off for non-payment. We hear your concerns, we are listening, and we want you to know that we take all of them very seriously.
Based on your feedback you’ve provided us, here are some immediate steps we are taking to better serve you:
Beginning in December 2017, we will incorporate a short grace period after the bill due date, before charging the late fee. We understand that situations arise and sometimes people just forget to pay their bill. It is important to us that we accommodate you and the fact that sometimes life is just hectic.
We are implementing an Automated Meter Reading system, also known as AMR, by the beginning of 2018 to try to better address billing cycles. In the past, utilities staff had to physically go to each home and business to read meters. AMR will allow staff to drive through the community and collect data by radio from nearly all metering devices and then transfer that data to a central database for analysis and billing purposes. This will help us increase our speed, cutting down the variance in the number of days in billing cycles.
In early 2018, we will be introducing an improved billing format. The new format will be able to better help you understand your usage patterns and any changes you may see.
We will also be implementing a new check processing system known as lockbox which will help speed up the processing of your payments made through your financial institution.
We will be increasing our outreach and educational programs. We know understanding our water system is complicated and trying to find ways to conserve water and reduce your bill can be overwhelming. We will be coming to you throughout 2018 with learning opportunities as well as different ways we can engage you in conversations to hear your questions and concerns.
We will be increasing our efforts to help new customers feel welcome to our community, understand their bills better, and take much of the guesswork out of what to expect with our utility department as they settle into their new homes or businesses.
As always, customer service is our highest priority. We are committed to continuing our focus on high standards of customer service and making sure our employees are equipped with the knowledge they need to serve you.
In addition to these changes you will see in the near future, we want to remind you of some great programs we already have in place to help you.
- Direct Pay: This program is for those residents who prefer to have their water bills automatically deducted from their checking account. The deduction is automatically taken out of your checking or savings account in the exact amount due, and on the due date shown on your monthly statement.
- E-Statements: Conveniently receive your water bill and reduce paper waste with E-statements sent directly to your email inbox, without the hassle and waste of a paper bill.
- Budget Billing: This option aims to equalize monthly water service billing based on averaging pervious annual usage. It is offered to homeowners that have been current with payments on their monthly water bills for a period of 12 months. New homeowners may apply based on previous annual average consumption at their current address.
- Good Neighbor Program: Brighton’s Good Neighbor Fund Program provides emergency utility bill payment assistance to individuals and families in Brighton facing a temporary financial crisis. The Good Neighbor activities are funded through voluntary contributions from participating City of Brighton utility customers who choose to be a good neighbor and roundup their bill to the next dollar in order to donate funds to the program.
- WaterSmart: Brighton is proud to partner with WaterSmart software to provide customers with an innovative engagement portal and tailored home water reports to learn more about their household water usage and ways to save water and money.
- Rebate Program: Inefficient or old household water appliances use an excessive amount of water, adding extra costs to your monthly bills. The City of Brighton offers water efficient appliance rebates to residents for high efficiency toilets and washing machines.
Your input is important to us. We are continuing to evaluate the systems and programs we have in place and our processes for doing business in order to ensure that we are doing everything we can to provide you the best service possible. We ask that you share you concerns and suggestions with us so we can continue to improve what we do. We value your communication and look forward to the opportunity to improve your confidence in us. If you have questions about your water bill or need assistance with your account please call us at 303-655-2009. If you have suggestions about how we can better serve you, we encourage you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.brightonco.gov. We look forward to hearing from you.
Your concerns matter.