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Danville Utilities responded today to questions from customers who attended the last Danville Utility Commission meeting to voice complaints about high utility bills.
More than 125 people attended the meeting held on Feb. 26 in City Council Chambers. Twenty-two citizens spoke during a public comment period.
“We appreciate our customers who attended the meeting to express their concerns and to ask questions,” Utilities Director Jason Grey said today. “We are a public service utility and we want to be partners with our customers.”
Grey said staff compiled a list of questions that were asked during the meeting.
“As promised, we have provided answers to those questions,” Grey said. “The questions and the answers are available online. We also will be reviewing the questions and answers with the Utility Commission at its next meeting.”
The Utility Commission will meet at 4 p.m. on Monday, March 26, in the City Council Chambers, which is located on the fourth floor of the Municipal Building.
The list of questions and answers are available online at www.danvilleva.gov/utilitiesquestions.
City Manager Ken Larking encouraged any customers with additional questions on their city services bill to contact utilities customer service staff at (434) 799-5155 or to contact Grey at (434) 799-5270.
“We understand the concerns of our customers,” Larking said. “We take their concerns seriously and we want to be as transparent as possible in responding to those concerns.”
In addition to answering customer concerns, Danville Utilities has put in place policy changes that will allow more residential and small general service commercial utility customers to enroll in the equal payment plan. A total of 100 customers have enrolled since the policy changes were put in place.
With the changes, which received the support of the Utility Commission, customers no longer are required to have a zero balance before they can enroll, and they can enroll even if they do not have a good payment record for their most recent six-month payment history.
The equal payment plan is a pre-authorized payment plan that makes it easier to budget household utility expenses. The plan allows customers to pay equal monthly amounts and avoid seasonal spikes such as the one they have experienced this winter when prolonged and severe cold in December and January led to sharply higher energy consumption for heating.
The monthly payment is determined by averaging a customer’s most recent 12-month bill history, including previous balance and applicable utility taxes. After the first year with the equal pay plan, the monthly amount will be re-calculated based on the customer’s most recent 12-month usage history.
Customers who use the equal payment plan continue to receive a monthly statement showing actual energy usage and charges, but pay only the fixed equal pay amount as shown on the statement.
For more information or to enroll, call the Danville Utilities’ customer service office at 434-799-5155.
In addition to the equal payment plan, Danville Utilities offers HomeSave, a rebate program that offers cash rebates to customers who purchase qualifying new energy efficient upgrades for their home.
After the purchase, customers can obtain the rebate by filling out the HomeSave application, then sending the application – along with required proof of purchase documentation – to Danville Utilities by mail, fax or email. A check will be mailed upon approval.
Rebates are offered on qualifying central air conditioners, heat pumps, HVAC tune-ups, attic insulation, wall insulation, floor insulation, crawlspace insulation, Energy star windows and smart thermostats.
For more details, visit www.danvillehomesave.com. In addition, a rebate program hotline is available. The phone number is 888-599-0450.
Danville Utilities provides natural gas, water, wastewater and telecommunications services in Danville and distributes electricity to approximately 42,000 customer locations in a 500-square-mile service territory covering Danville, the southern third of Pittsylvania County, and small portions of Henry and Halifax counties.