Late Payment Fee for Utilities Water Bills

Paying on time saves you money. Every two months, we send the bill for services you have already used. Every customer is then given three weeks to send in their payment. By the Delinquent After (due) date, we’ve carried the cost of providing you service for 11 weeks. We’re OK with that. However, in order for us to pay our bills on time, you need to pay yours on time, too.

If your payment has not been received and credited to your account by the Delinquent After (due) date, you will be charged a late payment fee for any balance greater than $5. This fee is 10% of your bill with a minimum of $1 and maximum of $500. Payments “in the mail” are not exempt from this late payment fee. Your payment must be posted to your account.

Paying on time will prevent the added expense of a late payment fee and save you from being billed a delinquent deposit. One of the best ways to always make your payment on time is with our Autopay program. This program credits your payment on the date it is due – no sooner and no later.

Additional Late Payment Fee Information

Other Payment Options

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a late payment fee? 

The late payment fee is a charge to a customer’s account when a payment has not been posted by the “Delinquent After” (due) date shown on the billing statement.

How is my due date established?

As approved May 19, 1987, Resolution #87-198, Section 7.2.A established that “Bills are due when rendered and become delinquent twenty-one (21) days after billing.”

When is the late fee charged to my account?

It is charged after the “Delinquent After” (due) date passes and a payment has not been received and posted to your account. This will typically occur on the 22nd day after billing.

The following schedule is an example of when an account is past due and the payment due date is July 2, 2018.

  • 2 days after due date: A courtesy call is made if a phone number is on file.
  • 3 days after due date: A delinquent bill is mailed to the mailing address on file and a late fee is added to your account.
  • 8 days after due date: A pre-termination notice is mailed to the mailing address and the service address on file. A fee of $18 is also charged to your account.
  • 15 days after due date: The account is disconnected with a $21 fee.
  • Once you make the payment to restore service: A reconnection fee of $32 for same-day service or $19 for next-day service is charged to your account.

How much is the late payment fee?

The late payment fee for balances greater than $5 is 10% of charges with a minimum of $1 and a maximum of $500.

What happened to the grace period?

There never was a grace period. Your payment must be received and posted by the “Delinquent After” (due) date.

If my payment is mailed or placed in the drop box on the "Delinquent After" (due) date, will my account be charged a late payment fee? 

Yes. If you are paying on the “Delinquent After” (due) date, you need to deliver the payment to staff at the Clearwater Office Payment Processing Center at 14 S. Fort Harrison Avenue. Your payment must be posted to your account in order to avoid the late payment fee. 

What payment options are available to avoid the late payment fee?

The best method is to register for the Automatic Bank Payment plan. Another option available is to pay online with Visa or MasterCard. You can also continue to pay by mail, use our drop boxes or walk-in payment center. It is important that the method you use will ensure the payment is received no later than the due date.

Are late payment fees common?

Applying a late payment fee is common practice in the utility industry. Pinellas County Utilities is a latecomer in adopting this practice. Most public and private utilities have charged a late payment fee for years.

Why is the fee added to my account?

By the time this fee is charged, Pinellas County Utilities has carried the cost of providing utility services you for almost three months.

What revenue is expected to be generated from the late payment fee?

The late payment fee is not charged to generate revenue, so there is no expected amount. The fee is merely a tool to ensure customers pay on time.

Where does the revenue from the late payment fee go?

Pinellas County Utilities will use the revenue to recover the costs of maintaining each delinquent account including billing, collections and field service work.

Who is impacted by late payments?

Every customer is impacted by those who pay late. All customers share in the costs of delinquent accounts.

How does the deposit charge work?

If your account previously required a deposit, a second deposit will not be charged. However, delinquent accounts may be charged a deposit if there is not one currently on the account. Accounts which continue a delinquent pattern may be subject to an increased deposit.