Utility Billing Schedule
- Meters are read remotely from a utility vehicle driving down the street anywhere from 2-4 weeks before a property is scheduled to be billed.
- The Utilities Office sends out bills to 1/3 of the customers every month so each customer is billed quarterly. To find out which months your property will receive a bill, contact the Utilities Office.
- Billing statements are typically mailed around the 5th of the month and due upon receipt. Bills are delivered via USPS or e-mail for those who have opted out of paper bills and signed up for e-billing.
- Utility bills become delinquent on the 21st day following the original bill date. Late fees are charged at the rate of 1% per month, applied to the total unpaid balance of utility charges.
Understanding your Utility Bill
To help you better understand your La Crosse Utilities Bill, here is an example of a typical residential bill.
Details on how Utility Rates are set can be found on the Water, Sewer & Stormwater Rates Page. Additional resources include:
Detailed Rate Information
Paying your Utility Bill
There are multiple ways to pay your utility bill with the La Crosse Utilities. Whether in person, by mail, by phone, online or mobile. For details on all payment options, visit Pay My Utility Bill.
Responsibilities of the Property Owner
The La Crosse Utilities Bill is a lien against the property. This means the property owner is responsible for all La Crosse Utilities charges issued for the property. If you own the parcel, you own the La Crosse Utilities bill charges that are attached to the parcel whether it is owner occupied or a rental.
Note to Landlords (Property Owners)
Renters do not have their lease with the La Crosse Utilities. If the utility bill is in the tenant's name, and they do not pay the La Crosse Utilities bill, utility arrearages will ultimately become the responsibility of the landlord-property owner.
We encourage property owner-landlords to arrange visit the Landlord & Tenants page for further details on managing a rental property related to municipal utilities.
Non-Delivery of Bill
Late or non-delivery of utility bills by the post office or e-mail does not void the utility billing and payment policies. If you have not received your bill by middle of the month you are billed, you may contact the Utilities Office to determine the amount due. It is the customer's responsibility to contact the utility with mailing address changes or update changing email addresses associated with their online e-billing in a timely manner. If placing your payment in the mail, it is recommended it be mailed a minimum of 10 days before the due date to ensure it is received in time.
There is always a quarterly bill associated with a property, unless the property has no impervious area and no water service. For example, properties with the water turned off at the curb are still subject to a quarterly stormwater fee and the quarterly fixed charges for water and sewer.
Mailing Address Change
It is the customer’s responsibility to ensure the Utilities Office has the most current mailing address on file for the Utility billing. Please call or e-mail the Utilities Office when updates are needed.
Sharing Account Records
Account information can only be shared with the account holder and property owners. Customers may allow other individuals access to their utility records by signing an authorization form or providing legal documentation. For details, visit the Customer Privacy page.
Tax Transfer of Delinquent Balances
Utility charges become a lien on the real estate property if delinquent. Each year, a Pre-tax notice is mailed to any customer who has unpaid bills as of October 1st for the previous year providing time to pay before they transfer to taxes on November 15th. This applies to rental properties as well. For further information on the Tax Roll Process visit the tax roll process page.
The La Crosse Utilities currently does not disconnect water service for non-payment. However, services can be disconnected if the customer:
- Tampers with the meter
- Has a safety hazard affecting water supply
- Fail to respond to utility correspondence related to scheduling of required inspections or meter exchanges
- Fail to provide utility access to your meter
- Any code violation where disconnect authority is given to the utility
The Utility provides notification, shown below, before service is disconnected, unless the disconnection is due to a safety hazard or self-reconnection. The disconnection notice will clearly state the reasons for the disconnection, when the disconnection will happen, and how to contact the utility to try and resolve any issue that may exist. The utility will make reasonable attempts to work together with our residents to resolve any problems.
- Written Notice - mailed at least 10 days before disconnection
- Posting - 24 Hour Notification door hanger
- Personal or Phone contact attempt - when dropping the 24 hour notice, and attempt will be made to speak to someone at the property. A phone message may also be left.
If you cannot resolve a problem with the utility, you may contact the PSC Consumer Affairs Division at 1-800-225-7729 or on the web.
Seasonal Utility Customers
The following is the PSC Water Division policy on charging water service upon disconnection or temporary vacancy of property.
Seasonal customers, often referred to as "snowbirds", are general service customers who voluntarily request disconnection of water service and who resume service at the same location within 12 months of the disconnection, unless service has been provided to another customer at that same location in the intervening period.
Under the La Crosse Tariff with the PSC, we must bill seasonal customers the applicable fixed service charges (meter charges) year-round, including the period of temporary disconnection or non-use, whether or not the meter is removed. In addition, if the water service was shut off at the curb box, there is a service re-connection fee when the utility turns it back on.
The reasoning behind the PSC's rule is that the water utility's investment in the water meter and all of the infrastructure necessary to provide service does not somehow disappear when a customer temporarily does not take water service. Therefore, it's reasonable that non-variable costs should continue to be paid by the customer.