CFPUA explains why some might see higher-than-usual bills following monthly switch

(Source: WECT)
(Source: WECT)(WECT)
Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 2:17 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Cape Fear Public Utility Authority (CFPUA) made a big switch from bi-monthly billing to monthly billing in October. While most people would assume that would mean bills would be half of what customers previously paid, some recent bills are showing that isn’t happening.

Cammie Bellamy, a spokesperson for CFPUA, said customers might notice a bill that is a bit higher than half of what they typically pay, but it’s not rates that have gone up.

Instead, there is an explanation for the anomalies. She said it has to do with the billing cycles and the routes that meter readers are on. Essentially, some of the drivers’ routes and the dates that they read meters shifted due to the billing cycle change, leading to some of the higher bills.

“And with that adjustment of the route schedules, we had several customers — several hundred actually — whose billing date changed. So their first monthly bill and their final bi-monthly bill, that transition may have resulted in them getting a final bi-monthly bill that was a little bit longer than usual, in some cases, a little bit shorter than usual. But, essentially, during this transition period you might have a bill that’s a little unusual but it’s going to normalize after this month,” she said.

So why the change now? Since 2008, CFPUA has used bi-monthly billing, which is generally unusual for bills, and, apparently, it’s been a thorn in the side of customers since its inception.

“Pretty much since that time, we’ve had customers requesting ‘Could you please make it monthly? It’s harder to remember if it’s coming every two months. It’s not really in line with my other bills.’ So this is something we had looked at doing for a long time,” she said.

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