Frequently Asked Questions

Click Here To See What Electricity Costs

1.  What utility services does the City provide?
Water, sewer, electric and trash pickup/recycling, 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 the Utility Business Office 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 trash pickup 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.  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 information.

3.  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.

4.  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.

5.  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 the Utility Business Office at (252)639-2750 for more information.

6.  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.

7.  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.

8.  Why does the City have Capital Recovery and Connection Fees? 
The Capital Recovery Fees are designed to recover the future capital cost of replacing the water and/or sewer treatment and infrastructure capacity that is being consumed by new users of the system.  The fees are calculated by the City based on the projected water and sewer demand of the proposed user.  The Connection Fees are designed to recover the actual material costs for the City crews physically making the new connection.

9.  Why does sewer service cost more than water service? 
Sewer or domestic wastewater is required to be treated or processed in strict accordance with various EPA and NCDENR rules and regulations.  After the treatment process is complete, the effluent and bio-solids must be properly disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.  The City's water production process is less complex and therefore, water is less expensive to produce because it requires less treatment.

10.  What kinds of trash can I put out?
Please click here for this information.  If you need a trash can or recycling bin, call Public Works at (252)639-7501 & allow one week for delivery.

11.  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.

12.  What are your electric rates?
Please click here for this information.

13.  How often do you estimate bills rather than read 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.

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

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