Utility Billing Information

Signing Up For Service?

Application for service should be made IN PERSON at the BPU Business Offices located at 92 Steele St.
Click for map.

  • Customer Service personnel are available to assist you with completion of the application.


  • Please be prepared to present two forms of identification, one of which should be a photo ID.


  • You also will need proof of either ownership or a rental agreement.


  • A deposit may be required.



Electric Deposit

The electric deposit amount is based on two times the average monthly bill for the previous twelve months. The Public Service Commission rules govern electric deposit policies as follows:

  • New Accounts
    The BPU may charge a deposit for all residential electric customers who are seasonal or short-term customers (requesting less than one year of service).


  • Existing Accounts
    Existing residential electric customers who have had their services disconnected for non-payment in the preceding six months, or who have accumulated two consecutive months of arrears without making reasonable payment, or have filed bankruptcy, may be charged a deposit by the BPU.

  • Public Assistance
    If you receive public assistance such as Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) benefits or Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or additional state payments, the BPU cannot require you to pay an electric deposit.


  • Deposit Request
    If you are required to post an electric deposit due to bankruptcy, the BPU will give you 20 days notice before the deposit becomes due.


  • Refund
    The BPU can hold a security deposit for the length of the bankruptcy. If you maintain a good payment record during that time, the utility will refund the deposit plus interest at a rate set by the PSC. The BPU will credit interest to your account on a yearly basis.

Water, Wastewater, Solid Waste Deposit

  • New Accounts
    All new non-residential customers (commercial and industrial) will be required to pay a utility deposit for all applicable BPU utility services (water, wastewater, solid waste). The deposit will be required before service will be established.

    All other procedures will mirror those in place for electric, non-residential security deposits. All new residential customers without any history with the utility, you will be required to pay a deposit of $100 unless you can provide a letter from your previous utility that all utility bills owed it were paid on time for the past 12 months. In the situation where the customer does not receive all three water, wastewater and solid waste services, the deposit is calculated as $35 for Water, $40 for Wastewater, and $25 for Solid Waste, with a maximum total deposit of $100. The deposit will be returned if the customer has no disconnect notices for a period of 12 months.

  • Existing Customers
    Existing non-residential customers (commercial, industrial, and public authorities) will be required to pay the utility deposit if such customer meets the Public Service Commission definition of delinquent. A delinquent customer has made a late payment on two or more occasions within the previous 12-month period. The utility deposit will be based on twice the customer’s estimated average monthly usage for the applicable services. Existing residential customers who have been disconnected will be treated as a new customer.


  • Public Assistance
    Customers receiving public assistance such as Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) benefits or Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or additional state payments, CAN be required to pay a utility deposit.

Access to Your Meter

The BPU must have access to our meters for the purpose of maintenance, repair, replacement and reading of utility usage. Should access be denied for an unreasonable amount of time, a $50 monthly fee may be charged to the customer.

If you do not control access to your meter, please arrange with the building owner or manager to let BPU personnel enter your premises.

If the BPU is unable to unable to access your meter, a notice will be mailed to you requesting that you make an appointment for a utility worker to look at your meter.


Diversion of Service or Shared Meter

If you rent an apartment and pay your own utility bills, you pay only for the utilities you use in your dwelling.

The BPU cannot charge you for utilities used elsewhere in the apartment building. The BPU also cannot turn off your service for failing to pay for service outside your apartment, unless you have agreed with your landlord to pay for such a service. If you believe that you are wrongly charged for utilities that others are using, call the BPU Customer Service Office. The utility will investigate and settle the matter.


Net Metering

Net metering allows customers who generate some or all their own electricity, to transfer surplus power to the utility, allowing customers to offset the cost of power drawn from the Utility. In the Jamestown BPU electric territory, net metering refers to customers who generate electricity from solar electric or wind installations on their properties.

For more information, regarding net metering at the BPU please review tariff leaves 131 and 132 found at by clicking “Leaves” then “Effective” and searching for 131. Please contact Energy Efficiency Coordinator Dan Reynolds at 661-1684 if you he further questions.


Dual Water Meters

Jamestown BPU residential water and wastewater customers who use a lot of water outside the home in spring and summer months may save money by participating in our Dual Meter Program.

Your water meter is used to determine charges for wastewater. Most of the water used in your home eventually flows into a sanitary sewer. Water used to shower, wash clothes and flush the toilet, for example, flows into the sewer. Therefore, your BPU bill has two separate rates for water and wastewater.

Water that is used outside to water lawns, however, typically does not end up in the sewers. As a result, if you use a lot of outside water, you pay wastewater charges for water that ultimately does not end up in the sanitary sewer.

In an effort to save you money, the BPU allows the installation of a dual meter that attaches to an outside house spigot on one end and to a garden hose on the other end. When your water and wastewater bill comes, the wastewater rate will only be charged on water that is used inside the house.

The BPU Dual Meter Program generally runs in monthly increments from May 1 to September 30. An initial deposit of $50 is required when the customer picks up the meter. The deposit will be refunded to the customer’s water account after the program ends on September 30 and after the dual water has been returned in good working order to the BPU Customer Service office.

To qualify for the program, a customer must have both water and wastewater service through the BPU. Due to a limited number of dual meters, only one meter is allowed per residential customer.

The customer’s water account will be charged a fee of $7.50 for the first month the customer has the dual meter. The customer will be charged $2 for each month beyond the first month that the dual meter is used. At the end of the program, the customer’s wastewater credit will be calculated and applied to the wastewater account.

Customers with dual meters must return the meter to BPU Customer Service by a certain date in October which is provided in information distributed with each dual meter. Deposits and any wastewater credit earned may be forfeited if the meter is not returned or if the meter is damaged.

Residential water/wastewater customers who accumulate a wastewater credit of more than eight units per month (eight units x 748 gallons = 5,984 gallons per month) find this program most helpful. Residential customers who are watering a newly planted lawn or doing extensive landscaping should save money using a dual meter.

Residential dual meters are available at the BPU Customer Service Office on 92 Steele Street each spring, beginning in May. For information, call the Customer Service Office.


Electric Meter Tampering

What is electric tampering?

Tampering is when an electric meter has been unsealed by anyone who does not have permission from the BPU to do so.

Examples include:

  • A customer turning the power on at a new residence


  • A customer turning power on after being disconnected by the utility


  • A customer moving a meter from one residence to another

What happens when electric tampering is discovered?

The BPU will remove the meter, install a blank and barrel lock the meter channel. If it is a one-meter dwelling, the line truck will come and disconnect service at the pole as well. A report will be filed with the police for theft of service, if applicable.

What needs to happen for the power to be restored?

The owner of the building will need to fill out a “New/Upgrade Residential Service” application and return it to the BPU. (Please make sure the “Customer Information” section is filled out with owner’s information. The “Electric Service Information” section should be completed for the building in which the tampering occurred. The owner must sign the document in order to process it.)

The BPU will send out a representative to look at the service. The representative will decide if the service is eligible to be turned back on or not.

If it is eligible and all of the tampering and past due fees have been paid, the electric will be restored for the customer.

If the meter is not eligible for restoration, a new service will need to be installed* and inspected.

  • *Please note, that within the City of Jamestown a licensed electrician is REQUIRED for ALL electrical work with the exception of an owner occupied one or two-meter dwelling. See the city code for more information on this.
  • What tampering fees will occur?

    A $50 tampering fee will be added to the customer’s account any time tampering is discovered.

    If a line truck disconnects the power at the pole, the fee will include a charge for the time for the truck.

    Who is responsible for the tampering fees?

    The customer of record at the time the tampering occurred will be responsible for all fees. These fees follow the customer and not the address.


    Water Meter Tampering

    Tampering with BPU water meters and related water supply equipment for the purpose of obtaining water without the permission of the BPU, is illegal and has a high cost to the BPU and its Water Division customers. The BPU has implemented policies and procedures to detect, prevent and deter such tampering.

    The customer of record will be responsible to pay a minimum charge of $250 for a tampering or theft of service offense and a minimum charge of $500 for each additional offense.

    More information is available under the “Water Division Tampering and Theft of Services Policies” in the Provisions Applicable to All Consumers document.

    Budget Billing

    The Budget Billing Program makes managing your utility bills easier – especially for customers who heat with electricity!

    Budget Billing estimates what you will pay in utility bills in one year, then divides that annual amount into 12 equal payments to be paid during each month of the year. If you heat with electricity, Budget Billing prevents you from having to pay high electric bills for heating during the winter months. Instead, those higher heating amounts are averaged out to be paid throughout the year.

    To sign up for Budget Billing, you have to be a resident for one year at your current address so that electric use can be estimated for the following year. The budget amount will be established at the time of enrollment and for 12 months, you make equal payment amounts. The program runs from July to June, so it’s best to enroll in July.

    The program goes through a yearly refresh, beginning with the July bill, possibly causing an increase or decrease in the monthly amount based on the current account balance. No interest will accrue on overpayments.

    The BPU will monitor utility usage of Budget Billing customers and suggest changes in the budgeted amount, should it be significantly different than historical data. If there is a rate increase midway during the customer’s budget year, the budgeted amount will be increased by the percentage of the rate increase. Either party can request an adjustment at any time.

    Third Party Notification

    All residential customers may choose a third party to be notified regarding service disconnection. By filling out the Third Party Notification Form and notifying BPU Customer Service at 661-1660, a third party notice may keep your service from being turned off.

    You may choose a relative, a friend, a member of the clergy, or an agency (such as the Department of Health and Human Services) to be a "third party" for copies of any Final Disconnect Notices the utility sends to you because of overdue utility bills. The third party can contact the utility on your behalf and help you work out payment terms; but the third party is not responsible for paying your bills.

    Owner Never Off Request

    Owners may request that utility services be transferred automatically into the owner’s name when a tenant moves out by completing the Owner Never Off Request Form.

    As rental property owner, you have the option of setting up an account to transfer utility service(s) automatically into your name when a tenant moves out of the property instead of turning off the utilities. Owners sometimes find this service to be beneficial during cold weather months when the heating source may be affected by turning off electricity in a building.

    Terms of Service:

    If you sell the property, you must contact us to remove the service from the account(s).

    You must be specific as to what accounts you would like transfered into your name at the rental properties.

    Your utility bill reflects your personal electric, water and sewer usage habits, solid waste removal and recycling, and private area lighting. Bills can vary significantly from month-to-month and are affected by weather, appliance efficiency, home insulation, days in the billing cycle and other factors.

    The most likely reason for a change in your bill may be due to a change in how you used energy. Typically, a home is equipped with many energy-using appliances that are not always used the same amount each month. You may have had guests, which could have contributed to higher water usage (causing your electric water heater to run more, more lights being used or being used longer), more laundry, cooking, etc.

    The time of year is another possible reason for changing bills. During the summer months, there are appliances that run a great deal more such as dehumidifiers, air conditioners, fans and swimming pool pumps. In the winter, most heating systems use electricity to circulate the heat. We also tend to spend more time indoors, running appliances and lighting for longer hours.

    Finally, a bill may be higher or lower because there was a difference in the number of days between readings. It states on your electric bill the number of days between readings.

    If you think your bill has changed drastically and none of these factors seem to apply, call our Customer Service representatives at 661-1660. One of our representatives may be able to offer an explanation or make arrangements for a reread of your meter.

    YOUR UTILITY BILL IS FOR SERVICES YOU HAVE ALREADY USED.

    Utility bills are due and payable when received.

    Each customer has his/her own account number, which is located at the very top of the bill along with the address of that service. When inquiring about your bill, it is very helpful if you have your account number or the correct address of the service.

    IF YOU ARE ENROLLED IN AUTO PAY, A STATEMENT ABOVE THE SUMMARY WILL INFORM YOU THAT YOUR BILL WILL BE DEDUCTED FROM YOUR BANK ACCOUNT ON ITS DUE DATE.

    The PERFORATED bottom third of your bill provides you with an account summary. This includes the current amount you owe for electric, water, sewer, solid waste (garbage/recycling) and the total. It also includes the amount for those utilities that may be past due and the total of your bill.

    A late fee of 1.5% is charged for bills that are more than 23 days owed.

    Your utilities may be disconnected 15 days after written notice has been mailed to the customer. This notice may not be issued until at least 20 days have elapsed from the due date.


    The Detail Summary of Charges Includes:

    • The basic service charge of electricity, water and wastewater. This is the cost of meter reading, record maintenance, billing, and other customer services and is charged every month even if there is no product used


    • The per unit charge for water (a unit = 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons) and wastewater. Wastewater charges are based upon measured units of water used each month


    • Demand and reactive demand charges which relate to a customer's maximum hourly rate of energy use or load requirement during the billing period (usually for commercial and industrial customers)


    • The energy charge (per KWh) is multiplied times the number of kilowatts used as read on your meter


    • The fuel cost adjustment charge per KWh fluctuates each month and reflects the change in actual cost of fuel or energy to the utility


    • Various charges relating to off-street lighting, temporary services and transformer rentals and discounts


    • Sales tax

    Billing Accuracy and Estimated Bills

    Everything possible is done to bill your account accurately. Under certain circumstances, the BPU may issue you an estimated bill if it cannot read your meter, or if it appears that the reading may be wrong. The procedure used to estimate your bill is one approved by the Public Service Commission. Each estimated bill clearly states that it is based on an estimate. If, by using estimated bills, the amount you owe the BPU is understated by 50% of the actual usage or $100 (whichever is greater), you must be notified of that fact, in writing and you may make monthly payments on the difference.

    HOW TO PAY

    PLEASE BE SURE TO INCLUDE YOUR BILL STUB WITH YOUR PAYMENT.

    • PAY BY MAIL:
      Board of Public Utilities
      P.O. Box 700
      92 Steele Street
      Jamestown, NY 14702-0700
    • PAY ONLINE:
      Log into http://www.jamestownbpu.com; click on the “Pay Your Bills Online Here” on the top middle column of the homepage or click here. Follow directions to set up your account to pay by credit/debit card or e-check.
    • PAY BY PHONE:
      Call (716) 661-1660, follow the prompts and use our automated payment system.
      Spanish and English options are available.
    • PAY IN PERSON:
      BPU Customer Service Office
      92 Steele Street, Jamestown, NY
      9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday
      8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Thursday, Friday
      City Treasurer’s Office
      Jamestown City Hall, 1st Floor
      9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
      Town of Ellicott Building
      215 South Work Street, Falconer, NY
      8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
    • PAY BY DROP BOX LOCATIONS:
      Pay by check only.

      BPU Office Building—glass enclosed area at the corner of the “D” building and driveway;
      City Hall Tracy Plaza Entrance;
      City Hall Police Station Entrance;
      Town of Ellicott Building, 215 South Work Street, Falconer.
    • PAY BY AUTO PAY ELECTRONIC TRANSFER:
      With Auto Pay, the amount of your bill can be automatically deducted from your checking account each month on its due date. Sign up using our online payment system at https://account.jamestownbpu.com as described above in "Pay ONLINE".


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