Billing Questions

How are utilities billed?
My bill shows a credit. How do I get that back?

What if I did not receive my bill in the mail?

Can I get copies of my monthly bills for the last year?

How is my due date determined, and can I change my due date?

How do I dispute a bill amount?

Why is my bill estimated?

What can I do if my bill was estimated or is not correct?

I am going south for the winter; do I still need to pay my water bill?

Does the City issue an adjustment for leaks?

What is a Service Address Lien?

Why does the water bill stay with the property when the property is sold?

What if I know I won't be able to pay my bill on time?

What charges are renters responsible for?

Do you offer any special billing programs?

Why haven't you turned off my neighbor who owes much more than I do?

How are utilities billed?

Utilities are billed monthly. Water is billed based on monthly meter readings or estimated according to historical usage if no reading is obtained. For residential properties with three or less dwelling units, the sewer charge for December through March is based on water usage, the other eight months of the year, sewer is based on the average winter consumption (AWC). For commercial, mixed use properties, and residential greater than three dwelling units, sewer is based on monthly water usage. Solid Waste & Recycling is a flat fee based on number of dwelling units and containers. Stormwater is a flat fee based on impervious area.

My bill shows a credit. How do I get that back?

If your account is active, the credit is applied to the current balance. Otherwise, contact customer service to request a refund.

What if I did not receive my bill in the mail?

Log into your Premium Access account, select Update Mailing Address under Account Services and verify that the mailing address is correct. You may also view your bill by selecting Billing details.

Can I get copies of my monthly bills for the last year?

Yes. Log into your Premium Access account where you can view up to 18 months of history. You can save the bill as a PDF file or print it out.

How is my due date determined, and can I change my due date?

Due dates are established by City Ordinance and fall 21 days after the billing date. The billing date is typically determined by the geographic location of the property and the type of meter reading equipment. Due dates cannot be changed.

How do I dispute a bill amount?

You may question the basis for one or more of the charges shown on your bill. Log into your Preimum Access account and select Questions and Comments under Account Services, submit a request for an explanation of the charges. If, after explanation, you still dispute the charges, you must notify the Treasury Operations Office, in writing, stating the reasons and the dispute amounts. The dispute form and any payments pertaining to the dispute must be sent to the Treasury Operations Office, Room 230, 250 S. 4th St., Minneapolis MN 55415-1328 within 90 days of the bill date.

Why is my bill estimated?

The bill may be estimated because the meter is stopped, the Automatic Meter Reader/Meter Interface Unit (AMR/MIU) and/or the telephone is not working, or a service worker is not able to get to the meter. If the meter or AMR/MIU is not working, schedule a repair appointment. If the telephone is not working, have it repaired and set an appointment to connect the AMR/MIU. Sometimes a demand read (a call from the utility office to the service address through the AMR/MIU) can be used if it's within four days either side of the reading date. Estimated bills are based on previous history at the service address.

You must allow the department to read the meter at least once every 3 months or whenever there is a change in customers. Water service may be turned off if the department is unable to read the meter once every 3 months.

What can I do if my bill was estimated or is not correct?

Log into your Premium Access account, select Request Meter Reading under Account Services. In the comments include a reading from your meter, which is located in the basement of your property. We can check this against our readings to see if it is correct. If the meter is not working, you can make an appointment to have the reading device fixed.

I am going south for the winter; do I still need to pay my water bill?

If the water remains on at the street, you will receive a monthly bill for any usage and a meter fixed charge for water and sewer and normal monthly solid waste charges.

To stop billing charges for water, sewer and solid waste, the water must be turned off at the street. The total charge for turning water off and back on when you return is $90.00 (turn-off charge $45.00, turn-on charge $45.00). An additional charge of $50.00 will apply if you request to have your meter removed and drained. During the winter months (Nov. 15 - Apr 15) there is an additional $25 fee for turn off and turn on. Please contact customer service if you have any questions or if you simply want to schedule a meter reading and stop your water service while you are away.

During the time you are away, stormwater charges will still apply.

Does the City issue an adjustment for leaks?

If you have a significant water leak at your property, resulting in a large bill increase, an adjustment may be considered in some circumstances. Contact customer service.

What is a Service Address Lien?

This is the unpaid amount owing from previous bill payer(s) at this service address. This amount remains with the service address property according to state statutes and city ordinances. The City may assess this amount to property taxes.

Why does the water bill stay with the property when the property is sold?

In Minneapolis, as well as with many cities across the nation, unpaid amounts owed by a previous bill payer at a service address (a lien balance) remain with the property, and the new owner of that property is responsible for those charges. This is in accordance with state and city laws.

When you sell a property the realtor, buyer, or seller contacts Treasury Operations. The city reads the meter and sends a final bill to the occupant. The previous owner pays the bill or it is negotiated at the closing. The title insurance company involved with the sale might also be contacted as they sometimes check with utilities to make sure no outstanding debts are attached to the property. If there is a dispute, the new owner may be able to take legal action against the previous owner for non-payment. In most cases, this can be done through conciliation court.

The new owner is ultimately responsible for resolving the situation. Water service will not be turned off because of the former owner's outstanding debt. However, service can be discontinued if you fail to pay charges that you incur. If you cannot pay the full delinquent balance, an installment agreement may be set up.

If you can't negotiate a satisfactory installment agreement, the lien balance from the previous owner may be added to your property taxes.

What if I know I won't be able to pay my bill on time?

If you cannot pay your bill, or can only pay part of it, please contact customer service to determine whether you are eligible for a payment agreement. Eligibility for an agreement depends on your payment history, history of the account or any other relevant circumstances. You may be able to set an installment agreement (IA) with two or more payments. A promise to pay agreement (PPA) is for the full amount to be paid in one payment. The bill statement indicates that all charges are due and payable 20 days after billing. You must pay current charges in addition to the installment agreement.

We will work with you to avoid turning off your water service.

What charges are renters responsible for?

Properties with 2 or more dwelling units must remain in the owner’s name. Single family homes the bill payer may be a renter if stated in their lease. Renters are not responsible for charges prior to their lease date. As long as the renter’s bill is current the water will not be shut off.

Do you offer any special billing programs?

No, we do not offer any special billing programs such as budget plans or senior discounts.

Why haven't you turned off my neighbor who owes much more than I do?

If you know that your neighbor has a large delinquent bill and they have not been turned off, it is usually because the stopbox (control valve) is out of order and the water cannot be turned off. The customer, however, is notified to repair the stopbox. If it is not repaired, the city repairs it and turns off the water. The repair charges are added to the customer's bill.

Last updated Mar 11, 2013