Understanding Your Residential Utility Bill

Understanding Your Residential Utility Bill

This page has been created to help explain the residential water and electric charges on your utility bill.  The entire bill form is currently under review by the Utility Advisory Committee with the goal of creating a bill that more clearly highlights how the charges are calculated.  A new and improved version is expected before the end of the September.  Until then, this page will help answer some questions.  It may help if you print out the sample bill.

Line 1:  “Electric”.  This shows the electricity that flowed through your electric meter.  Consumption is measured in kilowatts per hour (kWh).  Residential customers are currently charged  $.1929 for 0 to 600 kWh consumed in a month.  For 601 kWh or higher, the customers are charged $.2039.

In the sample bill, the customer consumed 900 kwh, so the math is as follows:

600 kwh x $.1929 = $115.74
300 kwh x $.2039 =   $61.17
            Total Elec = $176.91

Electric rates for all service codes (commercial, residential, etc) can be found in Appendix A of Chapter 94 of the Borough Code.

Line 2: “Service Charge”.  A Service Fee of $4.86 per month is charged on all accounts.  This ensures that an account that consumes little or no electricity is charged a small amount to help defray the cost of the system.

Line 3:  “Dividend”.  During the budget hearings, Council endorsed an electric dividend to all customers.  This dividend will run from May 1, 2017, to April 30, 2018.  The ‘credit’ is based on current consumption and the amount credited back is $.0148 per kWh.

In the sample bill, the customer consumed 900 kWh, so the math is as follows:
900 kWh x $0.0148 = $13.32 

The dividend rate is slightly different for commercial customers.  For more information please visit Ordinance 65-2016 and Resolution 122-2017 for details.

Line 4:  “Water”. Water consumption is measured in cubic feet.   One hundred cubic feet equal 748 gallons.  The rate charged for water is the same whether the customer is residential or commercial.  The rate for 1 cubic foot of water is as follows:
0 to 1,000 = $.0303
1,001 to 3,000 = $.0319
3,001 and higher = $.0349

In the sample bill, the customer consumed 4,500 cubic feet of water.

To help defray the cost of the system, a minimum charge is applied to all accounts based on the size of the water service.  Customers with a 5/8” or 3/4" water service are charged a minimum of $20.29 per quarter.  Customers with 1” water service are charged a minimum of $52.07 per quarter.


Q: Why did the Council decide to give a ‘Dividend’?
A:  The Council has determined that the electric utility should be operated more in line with a business.  The financial performance of the utility can fluctuate from year to year based on various costs and other expenses.  At the end of 2016, Council decided that there is an excess revenue and as such, they voted to give each electric customer a credit or dividend on their bills.

Q: What does “ESTIMATED” mean?
A: The Borough makes all efforts to get actual reads for all utilities, however, there are rare occasions when we are not able to read your meter.  This can be due to manpower issues.  It can also be caused by the Borough not having access to the meter.  The bill is self-corrected the next time there is an “actual” read.  An example may help.

Customer A has the following monthly reads and consumption:
Date Previous Read Current Read Consumption
January 5 6100 6800 700
February 5 6800 7400 (estimated) 600 (estimated)
March 5 7400 8200 800
The customer received an estimated on February 5 and based on that estimated read the customer was billed for 600 kWh of electricity.  The following month, an actual read was taken and based that read the customer was billed for 800 kWh of electricity.  The customer typically consumes 700 kWh per month.  The estimate of 600 kWh for February was low, but the actual read the following month ‘self-corrected’ the issue and over the two months of February and March the customer averaged 700 kWh consumption per month.