Billing Department Frequently Asked Questions
1. How do I read my bill?
2. I am moving to Benton, what do I have to do in order to get service connected?
Requirements for New Residential Service
- Lease or Rental Agreement from landlord showing:
- Service address
- Start date
- Name of occupant(s) over 18 years of age
- Landlord’s mailing address
- Landlord’s phone number
- Landlord’s signature
- Tenant’s signature
- Valid English photo I.D. for all adults, such as:
- Driver’s license
- I.D. card, military or medical
- Deposit is based on several factors:
- Good credit history for customer: $100 elec. & $50 water 3/4 or 5/8 meter.
- Adverse credit history for customer: $200.00 electric & $100.00 water.
- Additional Deposit will be added if account is paid late 3 consecutive times or 6 times in a 12 month period or if account is on the collections/shut-off list.
3. Can I apply for new services on-line?
No, however, you may print out this application immediately below and fill it out prior to your arrival at our office for your convenience.
4. I am opening a business in Benton, what do I have to do to get services connected?
Customer Service Requirements for Establishing New Commercial Service
- Present approved privilege license.
- If leasing building, provide copy of lease from owner.
- Photo ID
- Federal Tax ID# (not required for non-profit)
- Pay deposit. (Call or come by Customer Service for a quote while waiting for approval of privilege license.)
5. Why must I have a deposit?
Deposits are required for all new customers and customers with an adverse credit history. Since utilities are billed 1 month in arrears, the deposit is meant to offset the final bill. A “high-risk” or double deposit will be required for customers with an adverse credit check and may be imposed at any time payments are past due.
***MAKING PAYMENTS LATE MAY CAUSE ADDITIONAL DEPOSITS TO BE BILLED***
In the next few months you may see deposits billed to your account. By City Ordinance all residential accounts must have a deposit unless they have had 12 months of on-time pay at which time the deposit will be applied back to the account. If payments are made late at any point after the deposit has been applied back to the account, a "normal" deposit will be billed to the account. If Payments are made late 3 consecutive months or 5 times in a 12 month period, a "high risk" deposit will be required. A "high risk" deposit is also required if the account has been at "shut-off" status in the last 12 months. A "normal" deposit is $100 for electric and $50 for water. These amounts double for "high risk" accounts. If your account is assessed an additional deposit, it will be billed at $50 per month until the deposit on the account reached the required amount.
For commercial accounts, deposits mus remain for the life of the account. Late payments will result in double deposits. Commercial deposits are based on the average usage of the account. City Ordinance requires that commercial accounts be audited to make sure that deposits are adequate for the recent usage. That audit was completed in February. If additional deposits are required on commercial accounts, they will begin to be billed in the March billing cycle each year.
6. When do I get my deposit back?
Deposits are credited back to your account after 12 consecutive months of on-time payments for residential customers. Commercial accounts must maintain cash deposit or other approved form of deposit as long as the account is active.
7. When can I expect my first bill?
Depending on when your service was connected, you should generally receive your first bill in 2-8 weeks and it will be due approximately 3 weeks after you receive it. It is advisable to make a payment toward your first bill even before you receive it since it could include your usage for up to 60 days. Call our office at 776-5923 and we can help you estimate what you might want to pay.
8. What other charges will I have to pay?
You will be billed a $15 connect fee on your first bill and a $15 disconnect on your last bill. Other possible charges include: $30 reconnect fee or $80 after hours reconnect fee if you are disconnected for non-pay; $30 return check fee if your check is returned by your bank; if meter-tampering is found at your residence, you will be charged for actual usage, any damages to equipment plus a charge equal to 3 times the highest monthly bill in the last 12 months (meter-tampering will be prosecuted and court costs would be charged to the offender along with any fines imposed by the courts).
9. Who do I call if I have an electrical or water outage?
All utility service outages should be reported to 776-5930. This is a 24-hour number.
10. Why do I have to come into the utility office to connect or disconnect service?
City of Benton Ordinances require that utilities service be in the name of the adult persons living in the residence, therefore we must see photo I.D.’s. We also require personal information such as Social Security numbers. This information needs to be closely guarded for your protection, so sending by fax or other means is unacceptable. Having the customers come into the office also prevents practical jokes and malicious acts by other people toward our customers.
11. How is my Electric Rate Figured?
Electrical Rates (Effective 1/1/2019 )
12. How is my Water Rate Figured?
Click here: Water Rates (Effective 1/1/2019)
13. How is my Sewer Rate Figured?
Click here: Sewer Rates (Effective 4/1/19)
14. What is a New Connection Fee?
A new connection fee is the amount paid to get an electric or water meter set or a sewer connection at a residential or commercial property without existing service.
15. How much does a New Connection cost?
Builders, Contractors & Plumbers
New Connection (Tie-On or Tap) Fees:
Benton Utilities Electric Department will charge customers actual costs for electrical meter installation and connection fees prior to installation within their service area. Actual costs include expenses for materials, equipment use and labor.
Residential 3/4 - 5/8 Connection: Tap fee of $500-$1500 (must be quoted by Water Dept.)
Residential 1" Connection: Tap fee of $500-$1500 (must be quoted by Water Dept.)
Commercial 1"+ Connection: By Quote
Residential Connection: $1,000 ea.
Commercial Connection: Per Unit/Occupancy/Type
Please note: Prior to paying the above connection fees, you will need to secure the necessary permits available at the City of Benton Community Development Department Office. You can reach them by phone at: 501-776-5938 or in person at the Benton Municipal Complex, 114 S. East St., Benton, AR.
16. Does Benton Utilities offer trash pick-up?
No, Benton Utilities does not offer trash pick-up. You should be able to find a local trash hauler in your phone directory listed under garbage pick-up.
17. Can I pay my bill by credit card? debit card?
Yes, but only through this web-site (CLICK HERE) and follow the instruction on that page. There is a $4.00 convenience fee added. If you experience problems making your online payment, contact our Customer Service office at 501-776-5923, or you may visit it person at: 1501 Citizen's Way, Benton, AR 72015
18. Does Benton Utilities offer Nightwatcher or Security Lights?
Yes, Benton Utilities does make available to our customers Nightwatchers or Security Lights for a fee. They are lights installed by Benton Utilities Electric Department and paid for by the customer. To have one installed, you need to come into the Billing Service Department, sign a contract for a minimum of one year, and our department will forward the appropriate paperwork to the electric department to get it installed.
19. I had a water leak, will you adjust my bill?
Oftentimes, our personnel are asked if we offer adjustments due to major leaks at your residence or business. Yes, if the customer brings in receipts from purchasing supplies or paying a plumber, our department will reduce their water bill back to the wholesale rate. During the October through March months, the account will also be noted to prevent this leak from affecting your sewer rate.
20. Does Benton Utilities offer Surge Protection on your electric meter?
The Benton Utilities Billing Service Department does make available to our customers surge protectors, the customer is required to come in and sign a contract for a minimum amount of time and pay the monthly fee to get it installed. The contract length is a minimum of 24 months, and there is a $5 per month charge on your bill for the duration of the time the surge protector is installed.