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Utilities & Payments - Frequently Asked Questions

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City Utility Bill Payment Basics

What ways can I pay my City utility bill?

There are many ways to pay your utility bill. Setting up an online profile with Paymentus gives you access to the most payment options, your usage and online payment history, and will allow you to receive email notifications. However, you don’t need an online profile to pay your bill.

Do I have to create an online profile with Paymentus to pay my City utility bill online?

No, you can make a one-time payment through Paymentus without an online profile. You will need to know your utility account number and the phone number registered to your account. Of course, you can still make your payment in person, at a drop box, through the mail, or through other existing methods.

Does the online payment site use third-party cookies?

Yes, the Paymentus payment site requires third-party cookies be enabled for their site. When cookies are disabled you are unable to make payments or access bill information online, and you will see a message that you must have third-party cookies enabled in your web browser.

 See the Paymentus Privacy Policy for more information about their use of third-party cookies. 

What are cookies?

Cookies are small files which are stored on a user's computer. They are designed to hold a modest amount of data specific to a particular client and website, and can be accessed either by the web server or the client computer. This allows the server to deliver a page tailored to a particular user, or the page itself can contain some script which is aware of the data in the cookie and so is able to carry information from one visit to the website (or related site) to the next.

What are the benefits of setting up an online profile with Paymentus?

  • An online profile gives you the most payment options
    • Schedule automatic payments each month
    • Pay with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, debit card, or from your checking account (eCheck)
    • Call the 24-hour payment number to pay over the phone
    • Pay online from a computer or mobile device, such as a tablet or smartphone
    • Pay directly from a bill emailed to you in a monthly notification (COMING SOON)
    • Pay by text from a smartphone (COMING SOON)
  • You can view a copy of your paper bill
  • You can view your online payment history
  • You will receive an email notification to let you know when your bill is ready and when a payment has been received.

What information do I need to set up my online profile with Paymentus?

You will need your utility account number and the phone number registered to your account to create a new online profile. You can get your account number from a copy of your bill or by calling our Utility Billing Office at 630.377.4426. You also will need to create a password.

Utility Bills

How can I review my utility usage?

You can view your utility usage when you log in to your online profile with Paymentus and view a copy of the paper bill.

What choices do I have to receive my Utility Bills?

If you have an online profile with Paymentus, you can choose to get your bills by:

  • Email (pdf) (COMING SOON)
  • Paper
  • Text (COMING SOON)

If you have already opted for paperless billing, you will continue to be paperless. However, if you want to receive notification directly from Paymentus when new bills are ready, you will want to create an online profile with Paymentus.

What is paperless billing?

Paperless billing allows you to receive notice of new City utility bills in an email (or coming soon, by text). You can choose paperless billing when you set up an online profile with Paymentus. Please add BillPay@Paymentus.com to your contact list to be sure you receive emailed bills.

Payments

What forms of payment are accepted for utility bills?

Pay online with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, debit cards, or from your checking account (eCheck).

If you are paying in-person at the Utility Billing Office, you also can pay with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, debit cards, or eCheck.

No fees are applied for regular payments. However, late payment, returned check, and insufficient funds charges do apply.

Are there any payment fees for utility bill payments?

There are no fees for regular payments. However these charges will be applied for:

  • Late payment:    10%
  • Returned check: $20
  • Insufficient funds in your bank account: $20

Can I make same-day payments?

Payments made prior to noon Central time on a business day will be credited the same business day.

How Can I Request a History of Prior Year Utility Bill?

Requests must be submitted either by phone (630-377-4426) or in writing (send to City of St. Charles, 2 E. Main St., St. Charles, IL  60174) by January 30, for the previous year's Utility Bill history.

How can I see my online payment history?

You can view your online payment history when you log into your online profile with Paymentus. Only online payments made through Paymentus are available here. Payments made through the previous online system or through other payment methods will not appear in your Paymentus history.

How do I pay by phone?

Simply call the 24-hour payment toll-free number to hear your utility balance and due date and pay your utility bill using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, debit cards, or from your checking account (eCheck).

How do I set up automatic payments?

To set up automatic payment of your utility bill each month, you first must create an online profile with Paymentus. You can autopay on your choice of day using Visa, MasterCard, Discover, debit cards, or from your checking account (eCheck).

How often is my utility account balance updated on the Paymentus site?

Account balances are updated once per day. Normally, balances are updated overnight with balances as of the end of the previous business day.

I currently pay my utility bill from my checking account with Auto Pay established with the City. Do I have to set up an online profile with Paymentus to continue?

No. The City will continue to process existing Auto Pay transactions.

You can create an online profile with Paymentus if you would like to set up a new eCheck schedule or use new banking information. However, to avoid duplicate payments or payments made using old banking information, please contact the City Utility Billing office at 630.377.4426 or utilitybilling@stcharlesil.gov to discontinue your existing Auto Pay schedule. 

I currently pay my utility bill with Auto Pay from my checking account. I want to change the form of payment to a credit card. Do I have to set up an online profile with Paymentus to do that?

Yes. To have access to the additional forms of automatic payments, you must create an online profile with Paymentus. Please note your city established Auto Pay payment schedule will continue as a default payment method only if there is a balance due on your account on your due date. To avoid using this default Auto Pay, either

  1. Pay your account balance through Paymentus (or other means such as in person or through mail) prior to your due date, or
  2. Contact the City Utility Billing office at 630.377.4426 or utilitybilling@stcharlesil.gov to cancel your existing Auto Pay schedule prior to your due date. 

Is there a Penalty for Late Payment of my Utility Bill?

There is a 10% late fee on current charges for bills not paid by the due date.  We will remove one late fee per year. 

Please contact Utility Billing at 630-377-4426 for removal of a fee.

When will my online payment be credited to my utility account?

Payments made prior to noon Central time on a business day will be credited that same business day. Payments made after noon Central time will be credited the next business day.

Where are the City's Drop Box locations?

East side - 2700 block of East Main St., in the Foxfield Commons Shopping Center

City Hall Building - 2 E. Main St. near front entrance

City Municipal parking lot - next to the USPS mailbox

West side - 2529 Oak Street, across from Post Office (west of Randall Road)

Will I be able to view my historic payments and usage once the Paymentus system is activated?

No. If you need historic usage and payment information, download this information by 02/28/2018.  After the new system launches, you can contact the City Utility Billing office at 630.377.4426 or utilitybilling@stcharlesil.gov to request a printed copy of your usage and payment information.

Creating an online profile with Paymentus

I already have an online profile with Paymentus to pay my utility bill, but I’m moving to another house in St. Charles. Do I have to set up a new profile or can I just change the account number and address?

One of the additional benefits of the Paymentus service is the ability to add multiple accounts using the same profile. When you receive your new account number for the new address, simply add the new account to your Paymentus profile.

I already have an online utility payment account in the current system. Do I have to set up a new profile with Paymentus?

For security reasons, your current online profile cannot be transferred to the new system. You must set up a new online profile with Paymentus to take advantage of all of the additional benefits of the Paymentus system

I just moved into a home in St. Charles. What do I need to create my profile with Paymentus for online bill pay?

As a first-time bill payer, you can set up online payments after your receive your first paper bill in the mail. Once you receive your first bill, you will be able to create your profile with Paymentus for online payment.

Is there a fee for setting up an online profile with Paymentus?

No. This is a free service that gives you access to the most payment options, complete online payment history, and allows you to set up email notifications.

Utilities (General Questions)

How can I save on energy costs?

About 60% of your total energy usage comes from heating and cooling; another 20% results from heating your water, and the other 20% comes from appliances and lighting.

You can save energy costs by following some of these familiar steps.

A.   Turn off the lights when leaving the room, especially incandescent bulbs. The bulbs are only about 20% efficient. The rest of the energy is given off as heat. On the other hand, converting to modern compact florescent bulbs, which are lower in wattage and longer lasting, will conserve more energy.

B.   Lower your gas furnace thermostat a couple of degrees from your normal setting. This could translate into a winter monthly cost savings in electricity as well as gas, since your gas “forced air” furnace still needs a fan connected to an electric motor to push the air throughout the house. For example, every degree you dial back on your thermostat can save 2-3% on heating.

C.   As older appliances need replacement, purchase new appliances with higher efficiency ratings.

D. Reducing the temperature on the water heater down to its normal setting of about 110 – 120 degrees and insulating the heater will save energy.

E.   Save over 50% of your water heater usage by taking a few minutes off your shower time and using the cold water setting on the clothes washer whenever possible; about 80% of the energy used to wash clothes is for heating the water.

F.   Make sure your refrigerator setting is set at a reasonable temperature and not too cold. Recommended values per DOE (Department of Energy) would be in the range of 37 to 40 degrees for the fresh food compartment and about 5 degrees for the frozen food section.

G.   Swimming pool pumps draw a substantial amount of current. One way to save energy is to reduce the running time of the pump. Realizing that circulating the pool water keeps the chemicals mixed and captures floating debris through the skimmer, a study was done recently in Florida involving 120 residential pools. One of the outcomes of the study was that most people who reduced the pumping time to around 3-4 hours per day, while still happy with the water’s quality, saw a 60% reduction in their electric bill in pump usage.

H.   The U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency set the criteria for the Energy Star Label. Appliances having the energy star label are high-performance products, which should reduce operating cost of the appliance over the lifetime of the product. When shopping for an air conditioner, look for an EnergyGuide label with a high Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). The higher the ratio, the more efficiently it operates. In regards to clothes washers, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers, look for the EnergyGuide label that tells how much electricity in kWh (Kilowatt hours) these appliances will use in a year. The smaller the number, the more efficiently they work in using less electrical energy.

How much do I pay for electric, water and/or sewer services?

The charges for residential electric users can be found in Section 13.08.230 of the St. Charles Municipal Code
The charges for residential sewer users can be found in Section 13.12.830 of the St. Charles Municipal Code. The charges for residential water users can be found in Section 13.16.190 of the St. Charles Municipal Code.

Additional information about utility billing can be found at Utility Information section of the City website.

Questions about or problems with lack of heat in winter months.

This includes the months of October through March.

Questions regarding grant of easement and access to public utilities.

Please include as much detail as possible, as well as the general location.

Why is my utility bill (water, sewer, electric) so high?

Please include specifics and feel free to call 377-4426 during normal business hours to talk with a utility service representative immediately.
Customer Service

Whom do I contact if I have a question about my utility bill?

For questions about your utility bill, usage, payment due date, readings or service, contact the City of St. Charles Utility Billing Office at 630.377.4426 or utilitybilling@stcharlesil.gov.

Hours of operation are Monday thru Friday 8:00am to 4:30pm

Whom do I contact if I have a question about the Paymentus Customer Portal, the One Time Payment page, or an issue with the payment transaction?

Contact Paymentus Customer Care and submit your question on the Product Support / Customer Care form.

updated Feb 23, 2018