Utility Frequently Asked Questions

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1.  What utility services does the City provide?
Water, sewer, electric and refuse, among other services such as outside area lights, etc. are supplied to City residents and surrounding areas.  Not all locations that are served by the City are provided all of the above-mentioned services.   Contact Customer Service at 252-639-2750 to identify the services that are offered to your specific location.

2.  Why aren’t there reduced rates for senior citizens? Lower income customers?
Senior citizens can receive a reduced rate for refuse determined by Craven County Government based on income and age. Contact Public Works at 252-639-7501 for more info.  Although the City does not provide reduced rates for lower income households, it will allow customers to make reasonable short-term payment plans for past-due bills on an occasional basis.  Payment plans are a privilege and will be granted upon a customer’s ability to pay, in addition to a customer’s history of abiding to agreements in the past.  The City works with a number of public and private organizations that help customers pay their utility bills.  Please contact a Customer Service Representative at 252-639-2750 for further informa-tion.

3.  Am I inside or outside the City limits and how is that determined?
Legislature designates City boundaries as approved by the Aldermen, who are elected by the citizens.  Contact Customer Service at 252-639-2750  to find out if you are inside or outside the City limits.

4.  Why does the City charge deposits?
Payment for utility service is collected after it has been provided.  Deposits are collected as security so that all bills will be paid in full by their due date.  Although most customers pay their bills in full and on time, the requirement of deposits protects good-paying customers from the detriment of uncollectible accounts by other customers.

5.  Why do I need a copy of my lease or sales agreement to get service?
The requirement of a lease or sales agreement protects good-paying customers from the detriment of fraudulent accounts being established that are uncollectible. An inhabitant of the dwelling must live at the location to have their name on the account.  Landlords may have the account in their name if the residence is vacant.

6.  Is a budget plan for utility bills available?
Yes.   The Budget Billing / Equal Payments Plan helps residential customers eliminate billing swings due to higher usage during the heating and cooling seasons.   The plan brings your highest bills down and your lowest bills up to the same amount each month by averaging your bills over the last 12 months.   Please contact Customer Service at 252-639-2750 for more information.

7.  Where do I get gas, water, sewer and electric service if not provided by the City?
There are different providers of these services throughout the area depending on where an individual resides.  The New Bern Area Chamber of Commerce supplies a listing of the providers and can be contacted at 252-637-3111.

8.  What will it cost me to get service?
There are many different variables involved in this question regarding type(s) of service, new or transfer of service, deposit required etc.  Please contact a Customer Service Representative at 252-639-2750 who can best answer this question for you.

9.  What is my bill? When is it due? How do I change my address, start or end service, pay by credit card?
Please contact a Customer Service Representative at 252-639-2750 who can best answer this question for you.

10.  Why am I being billed for water/sewer/electric/refuse when I haven’t had any usage?
The bill includes charges for availability of the services.  Meters still need to be read and the services are in place ready for customers to use.  Refuse trucks visit all locations with active accounts each week, regardless of whether you put your trash cart out.

11.  Why does the City have tap fees?
The City collects tap fees to offset a portion of the capital expense of building the infrastructure of the systems.  The water system has five wells, four elevated storage tanks, two ground storage tanks, one booster pump station in addition to over 200 miles of pipe in the ground as well as over 12,000 water meters.

12.  Why does sewer service cost more than water service?
Sewer requires the wastewater to be processed and the sludge (grit and solids) to be removed and disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.  Water is less expensive because it requires less treatment.

13.  What kinds of trash can I put out?
Please click here for this information.

14.  How do I get a trash can? Recycling bin?
Please contact Public Works at 252-639-7501.  Allow one week for delivery.

15.  How can I be using so much service when I’m not home all day?
Energy is still used to heat and cool an empty building.  The building could be poorly insulated.  Adjusting thermostats more than 3 degrees at a time can cause heat strips to run unnecessarily which can result in an unusually high bill.   Using an appliance (electric stove) to heat the building not designed for that purpose contributes to high bills and is very unsafe.

16.  What are your electric rates?

Please click here for this information.

17.  How often do you estimate bills rather than reading the meter?
Bills are seldom estimated unless staff can’t get to the meters.  For example, access is sometimes limited because of dogs, fences, or a car parked on a water meter lid.  You can always request that your meter be read again, free of charge. The City tries to read each meter every month.

18.  How can I get an energy-efficiency discount on my residential bill?
Please click here for this information.  For additional information, please click here.

19.  How can I get my electric bill lower?
Please click here for this information.


City of New Bern
PO Box 1129
New Bern, NC 28563-1129
  Finance Dept. Main # (252) 639-2711
Citywide Phone Directory