Utility Billing Information

Signing Up For Service?

Application for service should be made IN PERSON at the BPU Business Offices located at 92 Steele St.
Click for map.

Notes:
  • Customer Service personnel are available to assist you with completion of the application.
  • Please be prepared to present two forms of identification, one of which should be a photo ID.
  • You also will need proof of either ownership or a rental agreement. A deposit may be required.
  • You will be billed for your service once a month.
  • Payment is due 23 days after your bill is mailed to you.

Access to Your Meter

The utility reads your meter so that it can send you an accurate bill, based on the amount of electricity you use. If the BPU is unable to read a meter for four months in a row, it will send you a notice requesting that you either provide the utility with a reading or make an appointment for a special reading. You can phone your water meter reading to the utility or you can mail it to the BPU on a meter reading card the utility will provide at your request. The BPU can arrange to read a meter both during and after normal working hours. If you do not control access to your meter, please arrange with the building owner or manager to let BPU meter readers in.

If, after eight straight months, you haven't made an appointment or provided the BPU with a meter reading, you or the individual who controls access to the meter may be subject to a charge of $25.00.


Diversion of Service or Shared Meter

If you rent an apartment and pay your own utility bills, you pay only for the energy you use in your dwelling. The BPU cannot charge you for electricity used elsewhere in the apartment; nor can the BPU turn off your service for failing to pay for service outside your apartment - unless you have agreed with your landlord to pay for such other service. If you believe you are being wrongly charged for energy that others are using, call the BPU Customer Service. The utility will investigate and settle the matter.

Third Party Notification

All residential customers may choose a third party to be notified regarding service disconnection, by notifying BPU Customer Services at 661-1660. A third party notice may keep your service from being turned off by mistake.

You may choose a relative, a friend, a member of the clergy, or an agency (such as the Department of Social Services) to be a "third party" for copies of any Final Disconnect Notices the utility sends to you because of overdue utility bills. The third party can contact the utility on your behalf and help you work out payment terms; but the third party is not responsible for paying your bills.

Owner Never Off Request

Request for Utiltity Services to be transfered automatically into an owner's name when a tenant moves out

As rental property owner, you have the option of setting up an account to transfer utility service(s) automatically into your name when a tenant moves out of the property (vs. turning the utilities off). Owners somethimes find this beneficial during cold weather months when the heating source may be affected ny electricity being turned off.

Terms of Service:

If you sell the property, you must contact us to remove the service from the account(s).

Services may be disconnected if a tenant is still residing at the property but has neglected to make payments or proper payment arrangements.

You must be specific as to what accounts you would like transfered into your name at the rental properties.

Your utility bill reflects your personal electric, water and sewer usage habits, solid waste removal and recycling, and private area lighting. Bills can vary significantly from month-to-month and are affected by weather, appliance efficiency, home insulation, days in the billing cycle and other factors.

The most likely reason for a change in your bill may be due to a change in how you used energy. Typically, a home is equipped with many energy-using appliances that are not always used the same amount each month. You may have had guests, which could have contributed to higher water usage (causing your electric water heater to run more, more lights being used or being used longer), more laundry, cooking, etc.

The time of year is another possible reason for changing bills. During the summer months, there are appliances that run a great deal more such as dehumidifiers, air conditioners, fans and swimming pool pumps. In the winter, most heating systems use electricity to circulate the heat. We also tend to spend more time indoors, running appliances and lighting for longer hours.

Finally, a bill may be higher or lower because there was a difference in the number of days between readings. It states on your electric bill the number of days between readings.

If you think your bill has changed drastically and none of these factors seem to apply, call our Customer Service representatives at 661-1660. One of our representatives may be able to offer an explanation or make arrangements for a reread of your meter.

YOUR UTILITY BILL IS FOR SERVICES YOU HAVE ALREADY USED.

Therefore, utility bills are due and payable when received. Payment is overdue 23 days after the bill is mailed to you.

Each customer has his/her own account number, which is located at the very top of the bill along with the address of that service. When inquiring about your bill, it is very helpful if you have your account number or the correct address of the service.

IF YOU ARE ENROLLED IN AUTO PAY, A STATEMENT ABOVE THE SUMMARY WILL INFORM YOU THAT YOUR BILL WILL BE DEDUCTED FROM YOUR BANK ACCOUNT ON ITS DUE DATE.

The PERFORATED bottom third of your bill provides you with an account summary. This includes the current amount you owe for electric, water, sewer, sanitation and the total. It also includes the amount for those utilities that may be past due and the total of your bill.

A late fee of 1.5% is charged for bills that are more than 23 days owing. If your bill is not paid before you are billed a second time, penalties are added.

Your utilities may be disconnected 15 days after written notice has been mailed to the customer. This notice may not be issued until at least 20 days have elapsed from the due date.


The Detail Summary of Charges Includes:

  • The Basic Service Charge of electricity, water and sewer. This is the cost of meter reading, record maintenance, billing, and other customer services and is charged every month even if there is no product used.
  • The per unit charge for water (a unit = 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons) and sewer. Sewer charges are based upon measured units of water used each month.
  • Demand and reactive demand charges which relate to a customer's maximum hourly rate of energy use or load requirement during the billing period (usually for commercial and industrial customers)
  • The energy charge (per KWh) is multiplied times the number of kilowatts used as read on your meter.
  • The fuel cost adjustment charge per KWh fluctuates each month and reflects the change in actual cost of fuel or energy to the utility.
  • Various charges relating to off-street lighting, temporary services and transformer rentals and discounts.
  • Sales tax

The BPU has a responsibility to supply electricity to its customers in a reliable manner, and the customer has a responsibility to pay utility bills promptly. Here are some important points about billing:

When to Pay

BPU bills are due and payable when received. Payments are considered OVERDUE 23 days after the bill is mailed to you. The due date is printed on the bill. If you pay after that, you will have to pay a late charge. If you have a question regarding your bill, call 661-1660 immediately.

HOW TO PAY

  1. PAY BY MAIL:
    Board of Public Utilities
    P.O. Box 700
    92 Steele Street
    Jamestown, NY 14702-0700
  2. PAY ONLINE:
    Log into http://www.jamestownbpu.com; click on the “Pay Your Bills Online Here" under “Quick Links” on the right side of the BPU homepage or click here. Follow directions to set up your account to pay by credit/debit card or e-check.
  3. PAY BY PHONE:
    Call (716) 661-1660
    Select option/extention 3 and follow the prompts.
    Spanisgh and English options available
  4. PAY IN PERSON:
    BPU Customer Service Office
    92 Steele Street, Jamestown, NY
    9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
    8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday
    City Treasurer’s Office
    Jamestown City Hall, 1st Floor
    9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
    Town of Ellicott Building
    215 South Work Street, Falconer, NY
    8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
  5. PAY BY DROP BOX LOCATIONS:
    CHECKS ONLY!
    BPU Office Building—glass enclosed area at the corner of the “D” building and driveway;
    City Hall Tracy Plaza Entrance;
    City Hall Police Station Entrance;
    Town of Ellicott Building, 215 South Work Street, Falconer.
  6. PAY BY AUTO PAY ELECTRONIC TRANSFER:
    With Auto Pay, the amount of your bill can be automatically deducted from your checking account each month on its due date. Sign up using our online payment system at https://account.jamestownbpu.com as described above in "Pay ONLINE".
  7. BUDGET BILLING

    The Budget Billing Program makes managing your utility bills even easier! This payment method is available for all qualified customers and may be established at any time during the year. Customers are required to have been a resident for one year at the current address. The budget amount will be established at the time of enrollment and for 11 months of the year, you will make equal payments. The program goes through a yearly refresh, beginning with the July bill, possibly causing an increase or decrease in the monthly amount based on the current account balance. No interest will accrue on overpayments. The BPU will monitor utility usage of balanced billing customers and suggest changes in the budgeted amount should it be significantly different than the historical data. If there is a rate increase mid-way during the customer’s budget year, the budgeted amount will be increased by the percentage of the rate increase. Either party can request an adjustment at any time.

    You may withdraw from the Budget Billing option at any time, however, you may not re-enter the program for one year. If you miss two consecutive monthly payments, you will be removed from the program and the full amount owed will be due immediately, including all penalties. Re-enrollment will not be allowed for one year. Contact Customer Service at 661-1660 to request more information or to enroll.

PLEASE BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR BILL STUB WITH YOUR PAYMENT.


Billing Accuracy and Estimated Bills

Everything possible is done to bill your account accurately. Under certain circumstances, the BPU may issue you an estimated bill if it cannot read your meter, or if it appears that the reading may be wrong. The procedure used to estimate your bill is one approved by the Public Service Commission. Each estimated bill clearly states that it is based on an estimate. If, by using estimated bills, the amount you owe the BPU is understated by 50% of the actual usage or $100 (whichever is greater), you must be notified of that fact, in writing and you may make monthly payments on the difference.

If you are not satisfied you can write to:

NEW YORK STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (PSC)
Consumer Services Division
Three Empire Plaza
Albany, NY 12223

Or you can call:

PSC Helpline at: 800-342-3377
  • Available normal business days, 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

  • Emergency PSC Hotline for residential customers, concerning the turn-on or shut-off of electric service.
  • The number is: 1-800-342-3355
  • Available normal business days, 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • A recording machine is available at this number after-hours. A representative will call you back the following business day. If your call is answered by a recording, be sure to leave your phone number with area code and your BPU account number.
  • For additional information, visit:

    www.AskPSC.com

    The BPU cannot turn off your service for your failure to pay the amount in question while your complaint is being considered by the Public Service Commission. All other amounts and bills are payable when rendered.



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