Because we are a unique utility in this state, several of our policies may be different from other utilities. We were reorganized in the 1930s as an Irrigation District, as of now, the only one in the state providing power for domestic use. We encourage you to become familiar with our policies (PDF).
You will receive your bill monthly. The bill includes the cost of energy used, the monthly electric base charge, the monthly water base charge, the monthly street lighting charge, the monthly sewer charges (when applicable) and any other charges that may be due unless you are on our Average Payment Plan. If you are responsible for paying water on your account, your bill will contain the monthly water base charge. This charge is typically for up to 2,000 cubic feet of water per billing cycle. If you live on a hillside area with a booster pump, the allowance is 1,500 cubic feet. Water used above that amount will be billed annually. In some rental homes and apartments, the landlord pays the water bill.
You should receive your first bill within 40 days from your move-in date. Your first bill will include a new account set-up charge. The set-up charge helps offset the cost of reading the meter, changing computer data and modifying our files. This charge applies even when you move within the district. Bills are due and payable upon receipt and become delinquent 30 days from the date they were printed. If you do not receive a bill, please call our office immediately.
Over and Under Billing
If your account is overbilled, you will receive, immediately upon determination that the error has been made, full reimbursement from the district for the amount over billed.
If your account has been under-billed, you will have the following options: (1) Make one payment to the district for the total amount owed because of the under billing, or (2) Enter into an interest-free contract with the district. The maximum term of the contract would be 36 months and the minimum monthly payment would be $10.
All bills issued by Vera are due and payable on receipt. Utility accounts become past due and delinquent 30 days from the billing date. If your bill becomes delinquent, the collection process will be initiated.
- You will receive an account reminder letter in the mail. This letter will give you 10 days to pay off the delinquent portion of the bill, but a $2.25 charge will be added to your account for the cost of the notice.
- If the bill is still not paid after the 10 days, a district representative will hang a collection notice on your door. This notification states that you have until the date and time specified on the door hanger to pay your bill before your service is disconnected. At that time an additional $20 collection fee is charged to your account.
- If your bill is not paid on the date and time specified by the collection notice, your service will be disconnected. When service is disconnected for non-payment, the past-due bill must be paid in full, plus a reconnection fee will be charged before service can be restored. Additional fees will apply: (a) $30 to $300 depending on circumstances during regular working hours (7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except holidays); (b) Up to $600 for non-standard after service hours.
If a bill is not paid after disconnection, the lien right will be enforced. The bill will be transferred to the delinquency roll and the property owner will be notified.
Once a bill is transferred to the delinquency roll, it is legally certified as delinquent. A fee will be added to the bill to cover the legal process, the labor costs, and other incidental costs. The bill will accumulate interest at the rate of 12 percent per year. Large general service accounts (commercial and non-residential electric customers whose demand exceeds 30 KW any one month during the eleven preceding months) pay actual costs. These costs include, but are not limited to, labor costs incurred while setting up and maintaining the assessment account in lieu of this fixed fee.
At the end of one year, the foreclosure proceeding may begin. In the foreclosure procedure, the property will be sold to the highest bidder and the proceeds will be used to satisfy our lien and all costs incurred in the foreclosure procedure.
Change of Occupancy or Ownership
When a change of occupancy or ownership occurs on any premises being served by the district, you must notify the district of the change. The notice must be provided in at least three business days prior to the date of transfer or closing. The district will not backdate any transfer or closing.
Notice of occupancy change will only be accepted from the property owner or the property manager. At the minimum, you must provide the transfer date, the names of all responsible parties, the contact information for the tenants and a forwarding address for the previous tenant, if applicable.
Closing requests will only be accepted from the closing agent or another responsible closing party. At the minimum, you must provide the closing date (the date the ownership changes), the names of all responsible parties, the contact information for the new owners and a forwarding address for the previous owner.
Release of Information
You must give Vera Water and Power written permission to share your account information with others. Please use the release form (PDF).
Basement Water Meters
Some of the district’s water meters are in the basement of the home. In these cases, the responsible parties must make an appointment giving our meter reader access to the basement to read the meter. At the sole discretion of the district, the property owner may authorize an estimated reading which will be $300 or five times the last actual annual excess bill, whichever is greater.
Estimated Bills for Transfer or Closing
The district will not provide estimates for services provided for dates beyond which we have actual meter readings.
Right of Access
The district, through its authorized employees, must have safe access to its equipment at all reasonable times for reading meters and testing, or repairing or replacing equipment. Clearance around meters must be maintained by the customer for maintenance and reading.
If the district determines that access is impaired or unsafe for any reason, the scheduled services will not be performed. The customer will be asked to call the office when access is clear and schedule an appointment so we can be returned during business hours. Only two appointments will be scheduled at one location. After this, the access problems will be considered a chronic problem.
Crews will read the electric meter occasionally to make sure it is accurately reporting. It is important Vera has clear access to your meter. In the rare case we are unable to obtain a reading, we may have to estimate your bill for that month.
Hearing prior to suspension for failure to pay charges
A customer will be provided an opportunity to request a hearing/conference before termination of service. Hearings will normally be provided in the following order for credit matters: (1) conference with the Credit Manager by telephone or in person; (2) conference in person or by telephone with the Controller or District Manager; (3) hearing before the Board of Directors. Since the customer has the opportunity for a hearing/conference with the Credit Manager, Controller or District Manager before termination, normally no termination will be delayed to arrange a hearing with the Board of Directors should the Board of Directors’ monthly meeting not allow a hearing in front of them prior to termination.
If the Credit Manager, Controller or District Manager finds that there is a good cause why the service should not be terminated, they may set the appropriate payment plan or adjust the account in conformity with Vera’s policies.
Hearing prior to suspension for service policy violation
Hearings will normally be provided in the following order for service policy violations: (1) conference with the District Manager; (2) hearing before the Board of Directors. Since the customer has the opportunity for a hearing with the District Manager before termination, normally no termination will be delayed to arrange a hearing with the Board of Directors should the Board of Directors’ monthly meeting not allow a hearing in front of them prior to termination. If the District Manager finds that there is a good cause why the service should not be terminated, he may set the appropriate payment plan or adjust the account in conformity with Vera’s policies.