Customer Services : FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Where do I look on my bill to find the late penalty date, the disconnect date, and the amount due?
 On the bottom right portion of your bill, you will find all of this information. Scheduled dates for non-payment disconnections are only printed on bills that reflect a balance forward amount. All bills have a date at which a late penalty will be added if amount due is unpaid.

Should I turn my gas meter off for the summer? I only use my natural gas for heating.

As warm weather approaches, customers that only use natural gas for heating should turn off their service by turning off their pilot lights. Do not change the on/off position on the meter. Federal Pipeline Safety Regulations require the City of Shelby to lock off all gas meters that have been turned to the "off" position. When a meter is locked, access to the meter is denied until city personnel are called to unlock the meter. If only the pilot is turned off, when cold weather returns you will be able to light your pilot without delay. With questions, please contact our Customer Services Department at 704.484.6866.

What utility services does the City provide?
Water, sewer, electric, natural gas and refuse, among other services such as outside area lights, etc., are supplied to City residents and surrounding areas.  Not all locations that are served by the City are provided all of the above mentioned services. Contact Customer Services at 704.484.6866 to identify the services that are offered at your specific location. You may also view the service area maps for each city utility:

Why aren’t there reduced rates for senior citizens and lower income customers? Although the city does not provide reduced rates for low income households, it will allow customers to make reasonable short-term payment plans for past due bills on an occasional basis. Pay plans are a privilege and will be granted upon a customer’s inability to pay, in addition to a customer’s history abiding to agreements in the past. The city works with a number of public and private organizations that help customers pay their utility bills. Please contact one of our Customer Services Representative at 704.484.6831 for more information.

Why does the City charge utility deposits? Will I get it back?
Payment for utility services is collected after it has been provided. Deposits are collected as security so that all bills will be paid in full. Most customers pay their bills in full and on time, the requirement of deposits protects good-paying customers from the detriment of uncollectible accounts by other customers. Deposits collected are returned to customers after twelve months billing if the customer has a payment history with no late penalties, no payments after disconnect day and no returned checks. Deposits are applied to final statements when the account is closed.

Why am I being billed for water / sewer / electric / natural gas when I had no usage?
The bill includes charges for availability of the services. Meters still need to be read and maintained and the services are in place ready for the customer to use.

Why does the City have tap fees?
The City collects tap fees to offset a portion of the capital expense of building the infrastructure of the systems.

Why does sewer service cost more than water service?
Sewer requires the wastewater to be processed and the sludge (grit and solids) to be removed and disposed of in an environmental friendly way. Water is less expensive because it requires less treatment.

What kinds of trash can I put out? (Click here for Public Works)

How do I get a trash can? (Click here for Public Works)

How can I use so much service when I’m not at home all day?
Many appliances in your home are operating even when you are away. Most heat or air conditioning units are still working, even though you may change your settings when you are away. During the summer months if the outside temperature reaches 95 degrees and your thermostat is set on 80 degrees, your unit is working to change the temperature by 15 degrees. Your refrigerator/freezer and your water heater are two other good examples of appliances that work when you are away.  Click here for Tips on How to Save Energy.

Does the City light gas pilot lights?
No, the City does not offer this service. The City will unlock your meter and supply a list of businesses that will light pilots.  Click here for a list of businesses that light pilots.

How much is my bill? When is it due? How do I change my mailing address, end service, pay by credit card?
 Please contact one of our Customer Services Representatives at 704.484.6866 who can best answer this question for you.

Why is my bill more than my neighbor’s bill?
You may have answered your own question. It’s YOUR bill and it reflects the amount of service consumed by YOUR family in YOUR home. Your neighbor may have a completely different set of circumstances….different number of people living at home, different lifestyles, different size home with different amounts of insulation and different appliances. These and many other factors make a comparison with your neighbor less than meaningful. Some questions you might ask yourself are:  

    Do I turn off lights when a room is not in use or do I leave them on?
    Does my TV set entertain the family or does it entertain an empty room?
    Do I leave the oven on “warm” for an extended period of time or do I cook many dishes at once then turn it off?
    When I take a bath, do I use hot water sparingly, or is the tub completely full of water?
    Do I take short showers, or do I stay in the shower until the hot water gets cold?
    Do I repair leaky faucets, or simply let them drip and waste hot water?
    Do I operate automatic washers and dishwashers with a full load or just whenever it’s convenient?
    (like one pair of jeans or just a half load of dishes)

These few differences in lifestyles can reflect on the utility usage in your home.  For more Energy Savings Tips, click here.

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