Electric and Water Accounts

Applications for Service or Cancellations of Service | Billing Inquires

Changes to Sewer Billing Coming in 2017 | Payments | Discounts

Collections of Unpaid Amounts | Landlords and Rental Properties

Utility Forms  | Utility Policies | Utility Brochures

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Applications for Service or Cancellations of Service

Applications for Service can be made in person at the Electric & Water counter at City Hall. Please be aware staff will request two pieces of identification upon application, and in the case of tenant accounts, a copy of your lease signed by both landlords and tenants. If you are unable to attend City Hall in person, application may also be made with the Application for Service [PDF - 427 KB] form by emailing the completed form along with scans of two pieces of identification to utilities@penticton.ca (include a scan of your lease agreement if applicable as well).  Please apply at least two business days in advance of your desired date of connection to ensure a reduced application fee, and be aware that dates of connection must fall on regular business days.

Disconnections of Service can be also be made in person at the Electric & Water counter at City Hall. Please be aware staff will request two pieces of identification to verify your identity and protect your account. If you are unable to attend City Hall in person, application to disconnect may also be made with the Application for Disconnection [PDF - 400 KB] form by emailing the completed form along with scans of two pieces of identification to utilities@penticton.ca. Final reads and closing of accounts require at least one business day’s advance notice, and be aware that dates of disconnection must fall on regular business days.

Until notification of cancellation is received by the Utility Department and a final meter reading is obtained, you are responsible for all charges incurred. Private arrangements will not be recognized. Please ensure you close your account when moving.

To review the full Customer Service Policy regarding Account Information and Histories, After Hours Call-Outs, Application for Service, Customer Payment Options, High Risk Premises/Tenants, Illegal Power Diversion, Prompt Payment Discount, and Service to More than One Premise, please click here [PDF - 337 KB].

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Billing Inquiries

City Utility bills are mailed monthly with electric and water accounts read or estimated each month. If there appears to be an error on your bill, please contact our utility staff at (250) 490-2489 within five (5) days of receipt of your bill.

Help conserve the environment and save money at the same time by registering for e-billing services through MyCity! Full instructions are available in the E-Billing Instructions [PDF - 887 KB] brochure.

Take control of your bills and reduce waste by using these handy conservation tips:

Current rate schedules are available by viewing our Fees & Charges Bylaw (Electric – Appendix 7; Water – Appendix 29; and Sewer – Appendix 25) or at the Electric & Water counter in City Hall.

To review the full Billing Policy regarding Bed and Breakfast Facilities, Cycle and Walk Sequence Assignments, Estimated Billings, Final Billings, and Meter Readings and Billings, please click here [PDF - 247 KB].

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Changes to Sewer Billing

Sewer Fees have moved from a property assessment and fixture-based charge on Property Taxes to a water consumption-based charge on the Utility Bill. The new sewer charge will be structured similarly to how water is currently billed – you will see a Basic Charge based on your water meter size, and a variable charge that fluctuates with your water consumption. The changes were recommended to ensure that people were charged more in line with their use of the sanitary sewer system with heavy users paying more of the costs of operation. To review the full Utility Rate Study presented in November 2015 of the assessments made of the City’s electrical, water, and sewer utilities, please click here.

Letters were mailed first in June 2016 and then again in October 2016 to residents holding a water utility account with the City. In October 2016 letters were also mailed to residents of strata or mobile home park properties who may pay for water through their strata or pad fees:

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Payments

The City offers the following payment options to customers:

  • Pre-authorized Payment Plan; a convenient way to have your utility bill withdrawn from your bank account each month Pre-Authorized Payment Plan Application form [PDF - 169 KB] or Pre-Authorized Payment Plan change / cancel form [PDF - 126 KB]
  • Telephone or Internet Banking (sign up with your financial institution)
  • Payment by Mail or Courier
  • In Person to the cashiers at City Hall (8:30 AM - 4:30 PM Monday - Friday, except holidays)
  • City Hall External Drop Box (24 hours/day, 7 days per week)
  • Drop Boxes in the Shopping Centre Financial Institutions (CIBC in Cherry Lane, Valley First in Peachtree - during banking hours)

The City accepts the following tender types: cash, cheques, debit cards, money orders, bank drafts, travelers' cheques and electronic bank transfers. When paying in person, please present the entire bill to the City Hall cashier. If paying by mail, courier or drop boxes, please write your account number on your cheque or money order and include the payment stub portion of the bill with your remittance.

Please note that payments are applied firstly to any arrears owing and secondly to current charges. The due date shown on your bill is the date when Current Charges are due. Any Arrears should be paid as soon as you receive your bill.

To review the full Customer Service Policy regarding Account Information and Histories, After Hours Call-Outs, Application for Service, Customer Payment Options, High Risk Premises/Tenants, Illegal Power Diversion, Prompt Payment Discount, and Service to More than One Premise, please click here [PDF - 337 KB].

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Discounts

A 10% discount will be applied to current charges (excluding taxes) providing payment is received by the due date shown on your utility bill. Please allow sufficient time for payments to reach City Hall by the due date; payment must be received by the City on or before the due date shown on your utility bill in order to qualify for the discount.

To review the full Customer Service Policy regarding Account Information and Histories, After Hours Call-Outs, Application for Service, Customer Payment Options, High Risk Premises/Tenants, Illegal Power Diversion, Prompt Payment Discount, and Service to More than One Premise, please click here [PDF - 337 KB].

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Collections of Unpaid Amounts

Customers have 22 days to pay their utility bill and receive the prompt payment discount.

The amended Collections/Disconnections Policy takes effect August 23, 2016.  Please see below for a summary of how the collections process is changing:

Current Policy Amended Policy (effective August 23, 2016)
1 Day After Due Date
  • Arrears balances of any amount are viewable on registered MyCity tax account properties.
2 Days After Due Date
  • Customers with an arrears balance greater than $50.00 that have never been late or twelve months have passed since their last late notice, with a valid phone number in the utility system receive an automated phone call advising them they have missed   payment.
  • All other customers with an arrears balance greater than $50.00 are printed a Blue Notice advising of payment due to avoid disconnection.
5 Days After Due Date
  • Customers that received the reminder phone call and payment remains outstanding are   printed a Blue Notice advising of payment due to avoid disconnection.

 

7-9 Days After Due Date

  • A further warning notice of arrears is printed on the next month’s billing.
1 Day After Due Date
  • Arrears balances of any amount are viewable on registered MyCity tax account properties.
3 Days After Due Date
  • All account holders with an arrears balance greater than $75.00 and a valid phone number in the utility system will receive an automated phone call advising them they have missed payment.
  • For tenant accounts, all property owners or their designates with a valid phone number or email address in the utility system will receive either an automated phone call or email advising the account has entered an arrears status with an arrears balance greater than $75.00.
6 Days After Due Date
  • Any account holder with an arrears balance greater than $75.00 are printed a Blue Notice advising of payment due to avoid having the account officially referred to the property owner for review or transferred to property taxes at the end of the year.
7-9 Days After Due Date
  • A further warning notice of arrears is printed on the next month’s billing.
14-21 Days After Due Date
  • Disconnections of active accounts with arrears balances greater than $50.00 commence.
 
14-21 Days After Due Date
  • In the case of tenant accounts, an official notice will be mailed to the property owner or their designate advising of the continued unpaid status of the account for arrears balances greater than $75.00.
  • In the case of owner accounts, owners are considered duly notified of the consequences of non-payment via Blue Notice and warning notice received prior.
  • The account becomes eligible for disconnection if the City determines the account is in an irregular or extreme non-payment situation.
End of Year End of Year

The City of Penticton will continue to disconnect or refuse new services for non-payment of delinquent accounts. By definition, delinquent accounts are any previously finalized and closed utility account with a balance left outstanding by the account holder. The City will not knowingly provide further services to a customer if that customer owes on a previous account.

To review the full Collections/Disconnections Policy regarding Cold Weather Policies, Delinquent Accounts, Accounts in Arrears, Returned Cheques, Transfer to Taxes, and Unpaid Final Accounts, please click here [PDF - 699 KB].

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Landlords and Rental Properties

For tenant properties, landlords have three options available to them when considering the utilities portion of the tenancy agreement:

  1. Require the tenant to sign on for utilities in their name;
  2. Keep the utilities in the landlord or property manager’s name and present the utility bill to the tenant for repayment; or
  3. Keep the utilities in the landlord or property manager’s name and include an average bill amount in the monthly rent.

Option 1: Require the tenant to sign on for utilities in their name

This option is currently the most popular practice of landlords and provides the least amount of control and information for the landlord. As required by provincial legislature, the only information that can be released by the City is the amount in arrears, the service address, and the utility customer account number. If this option is chosen, it is recommended that the landlord take the following steps in order manage their risk:

  • Register the property tax account with MyCity in order to gain access to tenant account arrears information that is updated daily (see Owner-Landlord Information [PDF - 987 KB] brochure for instructions).
  • Register for the Landlord Utility Arrears Notification [PDF - 178 KB] in order to receive regular notifications of tenant utility arrears.
  • Prior to signing a new rental agreement, require prospective tenant to purchase a City of Penticton Utility Credit Reference Request at the tenant’s expense. If the tenant is moving in from out-of-city, their previous utility provider will have a similar service and will be able to provide them with the same reference.  This will assist you to make a more fully informed decision before signing an agreement with a prospective tenant.
  • Ensure all parties that will be living at the rental property are listed on the tenancy agreement. This will allow the Utilities Department to actively monitor each tenant and collect any amounts left outstanding on the property after the tenancy ends from any of the tenants listed. The City monitors new applications for any amounts left outstanding to prior landlords for a time period of six years plus current and will collect and refund those monies owed to landlords before providing any further services to the delinquent customer.

Option 2: Keep the utilities in the landlord or property manager’s name and present the bill to the tenant for payment to the City or repayment to the Landlord

This option provides the greatest amount of control and information for the landlord. All information regarding consumption and transaction history is available to the landlord, and the landlord can ensure they always receive the discount by controlling when payment is made to the account. Using this option, the landlord also has the ability to treat unpaid utilities as unpaid rent under the Residential Tenancy Branch.  It is extremely important when using this option that you provide a copy of the utility bill to the tenant and document on what date the bill was provided to them.

Option 3: Keep the utilities in the landlord or property manager’s name and include an average amount in the rent

This option provides the landlord with similar control and information as Option 2, but with specific operational differences on the part of the landlord. Month-to-month tracking of collection of amounts owed by the tenant is easier as it is one payment of the agreed rental amount. However, if a tenant is consuming higher than average utilities the landlord will see a reduction in profit for the property as the rent would not necessarily compensate for the utilities.  Increases in rent are strictly regulated by the Residential Tenancy Branch and the allowable increase may not be enough to recover unexpected utility consumption by the tenant. The benefit of this option over accounts in tenants’ names is that landlords are always fully informed of utility costs for which they may ultimately become responsible.

To review the full Collections/Disconnections Policy regarding Cold Weather Policies, Delinquent Accounts, Accounts in Arrears, Returned Cheques, Transfer to Taxes, and Unpaid Final Accounts, please click here [PDF - 699 KB].

To review the full Customer Service Policy regarding Account Information and Histories, After Hours Call-Outs, Application for Service, Customer Payment Options, High Risk Premises/Tenants, Illegal Power Diversion, Prompt Payment Discount, and Service to More than One Premise, please click here [PDF - 337 KB].

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Utility Forms

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Utility Policies

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Utility Brochures

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Looking for more information? 

Please contact us in your preferred method:

  • E-Mail:     utilities@penticton.ca
  • Phone:     (250) 490-2489
  • Fax:         (250) 490-2422
  • Mail or Courier:
    • The City of Penticton
    • c/o Utilities Staff
    • 171 Main Street
    • Penticton, BC V2A 5A9

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