NEWBERRY — The City of Newberry’s PayGo prepaid billing option offers a lot of benefits to city residential customers.
With prepaid billing, city residential utility customers can pay for their utilities how and when they choose. By purchasing their utilities before they use them, this system allows the customer to manage their budget and pay how much they want when they’re able.
Instead of a monthly billing statement, City Finance Director Shannon Smith said utility usage is calculated daily and customers can track that usage by smartphone or online.
Because the utilities are paid for in advance, the prepaid billing program does not require its user to have a deposit and there are no monthly bills or late fees.
“You never have to worry about getting a paper bill in the mail again,” Smith said.
Smith said that those who took part in the city’s pilot program for the system found another benefit; they enjoyed being able to choose when their bill was “due.”
If a customer gets paid on the fifteenth of the month, they can put money on their account that day instead of being made to pay their bill by the fifth of the month, Smith said, making it easier on the customer to pay their utility payments on their terms.
Utility Director Tim Baker said it offers customers the convenience of being flexible in the way they pay and the amount that they pay. It also allows customers to make payments at convenient locations.
“For example, a customer can put money towards their utilities at the same time as running other household errands with the city’s retail partners,” Baker said.
While current retail partners for the program include Dollar General and Family Dollar, new partners are being added to include more in the future for added customer convenience.
As customers become more aware of their actual usage, they tend to conserve to save themselves more money. In similar programs across the country, prepaid billing participants typically see a 10-12% reduction in their monthly electric costs.
Paying a bill even when City Hall is closed, Smith said has also been something those in the pilot program have found helpful.
Payments can be made when the customer wants – whether online (www.newberryutilities.com), at City Hall or at one of the city’s retail partners. A customer’s account can be reloaded 24 hours per day online or at partner locations during their business hours.
For more information on the PayGo prepaid billing system, customers may contact the City of Newberry’s Finance Department at 803-321-1007 or come by City Hall, 1330 College Street.