Common Questions

...about your utility bill from the City of Raleigh

Last updated Jul. 17, 2014 - 11:28 am
Behind a Waterfall

Do you have questions about your City of Raleigh utility account, or how your utility services are billed?

Since many customers share the same questions, the most common questions and answers are listed here to assist you.

If you don't find the answer to your question, check out other sections of this website or contact a Utility Billing Account Manager by email or call 919-890-3245 Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm.

My bill is really high this month. Is it possible I have a leak?

Yes, it is quite possible. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that most leaks within homes go undetected.

Fixing a leak can be quick and easy, and often doesn’t cost much. The water that is wasted can quickly add up to an expensive water bill, not to mention the wasted water and energy from just supplying that water to a home or business. A leaky toilet flapper can cost less than $5 to fix, but save more than 200 gallons per day.

For more information about pinpointing and fixing household leaks, read the Fix-a-Leak information section and view the Fix-a-Leak Brochure.

If you find and fix a leak, you may be eligible for a leak adjustment to your bill. Review the Leak Adjustment guidelines to determine if you may qualify, and how to submit a leak adjustment request to Utility Billing.

I made my payment. When will my services be reconnected?

If your services were disconnected for non-payment and you have made your payment online, by phone (919-890-3245), or in person at an Official Utility Payment Location for the full delinquent amount, the utility billing system automatically created a work order to have your services reconnected as soon as possible after your payment was received.

If your payment was made during normal business hours (weekdays before 5:00 pm), services are generally reconnected the same day. However, in the rare event of a public utilities emergency (such as a water main break, etc.), it may take up to 24 hours.

If your payment was made after 5:00 pm on a weekday, or on Saturday, Sunday or a holiday, services are generally reconnected during the next business day.

Any other method of payment will delay when the City of Raleigh receives your payment, which will also delay the reconnection of your utility services.

What if I need more time to pay my bill? Can I get an extension?

Contact a Utility Billing Account Manager at 919-890-3245 (Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm) and ask if your account is eligible for a Payment Plan.

What time will the services be turned on at my new residence?

Scenario #1: If the previous resident's account is scheduled to be turned off the same date as your service is scheduled to start, there should be no interruption of service. Our technician will only need to read the meter on that date so we can accurately bill for the services.

Scenario #2: If the previous resident has their service turned off prior to the date that your service is scheduled to start, unfortunately we cannot provide a time when the service will be turned on because the technician works these requests in the order they are received. However, your service will be started as early as possible on the scheduled date.

Was my bill calculated using an actual or an estimated meter reading?

On rare occasions (less than 1% of the time), a meter reading used to calculate a monthly utility bill is an estimated reading. If it was necessary for your reading to be estimated, it will be indicated on your bill with an "E" printed next to the meter reading.

Will the City of Raleigh increase utility rates this year?

Utility rate changes were adopted on June 9, 2014, to be effective with bills issued on or after July 1, 2014. For more details, visit the Utility Billing Services Rates, Deposits & Fees web page.

What is the billing cycle and how long do I have to pay my bill?

The billing cycle is monthly for all customers.

Payments are due 20 days from the bill date.

How do I sign up for E-Billing?

Sign up for E-Billing by registering through the Utility Billing Online Services site. Paperless billing provides an electronic version of your utility bill and is an exact replica of your paper bill. Each month when your bill is ready to be viewed, you will receive a notification email.

Can I pay my bill online? ... by phone?

Yes, you can make a utility payment using Visa or MasterCard online or by phone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

These payments are applied to your account real time and are convenient for most customers.

The City of Raleigh does not add any additional credit card fees to process these payments.

Can I have my utility bill paid automatically out of my bank account each month?

Yes. Our AutoPay option does just that. Go to Make a Utility Payment to learn more, or if you are ready to get started just fill out and submit the AutoPay Bank Draft Authorization form.

Is there a fee for requesting new service?

A $50.00 Service Initiation fee will be assessed for each address and each meter.

Apply for New Service

The Service Initiation Fee is waived for landlords who have registered the property with Utility Billing's Landlord Program. Note: The Landlord Authorization Form must be submitted prior to the establishment of the account in order to have the $50.00 Service Initiation fee waived.

What do I do if my services are interrupted for nonpayment?

  • You will be required to pay your FULL past due balance prior to reconnection of services (Municipal Code Sec 2-3004).
  • When full payment is received by the City of Raleigh, the utility billing system creates a work order automatically and a technician is dispatched to reinstate the utility services as quickly as possible. (There is no need to call Utility Billing Services to advise that payment has been made.)
  • In the rare event of a public utilities emergency (such as a water main break, etc.), it may take up to 24 hours after receipt of the payment for services to be restored.

Visa or MasterCard payments can be made online or by calling Utility Billing's automated voice response system at 919-890-3245. These payment methods post to your account in real time and are convenient for most customers. The City of Raleigh does not add any additional credit card fees to process these payments.

In addition, you can pay in person at any of our Official Payment Locations.

Ensure that all faucets are turned off and stoppers in sinks and tubs are open prior to service reconnection to prevent accidental flooding.

Do I need to stop my utilities account with the City of Raleigh when I move away?

Yes. If you are planning to move, remember to stop your City of Raleigh utilities account. Submit the Stop Service & Request Final Billing form, or notify a Utility Billing Account Manager by email or call 919-890-3245 (Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm) with the date you want your services stopped and your new mailing address. This will ensure that your final bill is processed correctly and that your account will be closed. If you don't contact Utility Billing, you could be responsible for paying the utility bills at your old address until a new account is initiated by a new resident or owner.

Why did I receive a service disconnection notice or a door hanger?

A service disconnection notice is a courtesy notification for accounts that are past due or delinquent.

A door hanger may be left at the premise location if a trip has been made to disconnect services for nonpayment.

If services are interrupted, additional fees may be applied.

Why would the City of Raleigh need a copy of my lease, deed, or any other type of documents related to residency?

The City of Raleigh may ask for these types of items to ensure accurate billing for the previous customers and for the new occupants of a residence.

Why am I being charged a late fee and how is it calculated?

A late fee of $5.00 or 1.5% of the past due amount (whichever is greater) is applied to any account with a past due balance. An account with a past due amount is also subject to disconnection of water or waste water (sewer) services.

To avoid late fees and service disruptions, be sure to pay the total amount due on or before the due date.

Where should I go to pay my bill in person?

When making your payment in person, you should ALWAYS go to one of the City's Official Payment Sites located at the town halls of Garner, Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell, Zebulon, or at the Raleigh Municipal Building. The Official Payment Locations accept payments by cash, check, money order, Visa or MasterCard.

Note: Cash payments can only be made in person.

*Locations not listed are NOT AUTHORIZED. If you pay at any unauthorized payment center, you may be charged a handling fee and your payment could be delayed several days or weeks.


What happens if my payment is returned by the bank?

The payment will be reversed off of your account, and a returned payment fee will be included in your next bill. Also, your credit rating with Utility Billing will be negatively affected.

Multiple returned payments will result in payment restrictions that require future payments to be made by other secured methods such as credit card, certified check, money order, or cash.

If the returned payment was made to restore disconnected services, upon notification by the bank of the return the City of Raleigh may disconnect your water or waste water (sewer) services immediately.

For more information, see the About Returned Payments section.

What is tiered billing?

Tiered billing is a method of billing that rewards customers for lower consumption.

Rates are calculated using average consumption figures across the service area and customers are charged more or less, as they move from tier to tier.

Only customers in Raleigh, Garner and Rolesville have tiered billing.

If I use 5 CCF’s of water, is all of the consumption billed at Tier 2?

No. The first 4 CCF's are billed at the Tier 1 rate and the 5th CCF is billed at the Tier 2 rate.

Rates, Deposits & Fees

Is irrigation billed in tiers?

No. All consumption on irrigation meters is billed at Tier 3 rates.

If my meter is read late or the billing period is longer than 30 days, will my consumption be billed in the next tier?

The billing system automatically bills consumption at the proper tiers if there is additional consumption due to a bill cycle greater than 33 days.

The system will adjust the tiers and prorate the calculations accordingly.

The utility account is in the name of a person who is now deceased. Does this need to be changed?

Yes. The account holder must be the responsible party (i.e., the surviving spouse or descendant, an estate or trust, etc.). Contact a Utility Billing Account Manager by email or call 919-890-3245 (Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm) to assist you with changing the account.

For more details, see the Name Changes section.

Can I reference the City of Raleigh's ordinances that govern utility services and payments?

For your reference, the City's ordinances can be found at the City of Raleigh Code of General Ordinances.

Can I get an adjustment to my water bill if I had a leak on my property?

Yes, under certain conditions water leak adjustments may be made for leaks that have been repaired, or for exceptional unexplained increases in consumption that have been validated by a plumber and/or Public Utilities Meter Operations staff. A leak adjustment may occur only after a leak has been repaired and may require a verified meter read by the City of Raleigh's Public Utilities Department. Administrative fees will not be adjusted. Leak adjustments will cover no more than a two-month consecutive period. Only one financial adjustment associated to billed usage will be allowed every two years per premise.

Water leak adjustments must be requested by contacting the Utility Billing Division and be accompanied by a plumber's receipt or other proof of repair. An exceptional unexplained increase in usage must be verified. A determination will be made and a letter will be sent (to the mailing address on file within the billing system) stating approval or disapproval of the leak adjustment request and the details.

Contact Utility Billing to determine if you qualify for a leak adjustment.

What circumstances will cause a water leak adjustment request to be denied?

No adjustments will be granted where the following situations exist:

  • Usage above the customer's average monthly consumption is due to seasonal usage such as watering of sod, gardening, filling swimming pools or whirlpools, washing vehicles, etc.
  • Leak was caused by a third party from whom the customer is able to recover their costs. Examples include, but are not limited to, theft, vandalism, and construction damage, unoccupied or vacant properties.
  • Leak continues for three (3) or more months
  • The meter at said property, has been accessed, tampered with, or turned on/off by anyone (including a licensed plumber) other than a City of Raleigh employee and resulting in further loss of water.

Contact Utility Billing to determine if you qualify for a leak adjustment.

Who can I contact for questions not answered here?

Utility Billing Services handles billing and billing services. All other issues, like discolored water, main breaks, low water pressure, impervious surface calculations, etc. will be addressed by one of the following:

  • For more information regarding Public Utilities Administration, Water Plant, Wastewater Treatment Plants, Reuse, Constructions, Sewer Maintenance, Water Distribution, Meters and Warehouse, visit Public Utilities.
  • Questions concerning permit fees for installation of water lines for new construction should be directed to the Inspections Department.
  • For more information regarding stormwater fees, see Stormwater Utility Fee.
  • For more information regarding solid waste charges, see Solid Waste Services.
Utility Billing Customer Service

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