Late payment fees on electricity bills are an unnecessary cost to avoid when running your business. Unfortunately however, sometimes late penalties are unavoidable due to cash flow problems or other business issues. This article details the ins and outs of energy bill due dates, late payment penalties, and what you can do to avoid overpaying on your electricity bill.
Paying Your Energy Bill Late
If you happen to be behind on your bills, the electric bill is one to prioritize paying first! When you do not pay your energy bills on time, utility companies and retail energy suppliers selling electricity in deregulated states will charge you for your overdue bills. And, these late fees can start to add up too! If you do not clear your balance in a given time period, you might even risk having your electricity shut off by the utility company for non-payment. It’s always best to seek help when you are behind paying your energy bill to avoid unwanted headaches.
How To Calculate Utility Bill Late Fees
Each utility company and energy supplier has a different method for charging late fees. Some utility companies, such as PECO in Pennsylvania and ConEdison in New York charge a percentage of your total bill as a late penalty (2% and 1.5% respectively). Most companies allow customers a window of ten to fifteen days to pay their bills from the date of issue until the bill is marked as being unpaid or late.
Third party energy suppliers, on the other hand, can be an entirely different animal. If you have an electricity supplier and you are billed using utility consolidated billing (supplier charges are on your utility bill), then the billing rules of the local utility tariff apply. If you happen to receive a separate bill, or dual bill, from your supplier, then you are at the mercy of the terms and conditions of the energy contract. Many times supplier late penalties emulate those of local utility companies.
What To Do If You Receive A Late Fee
If you happen to get charged a late fee on your electricity or natural gas bill, there are some remedies available. Use these tips to avoid paying past due penalties on your energy bills so you can save.
Negotiate A Refund
If you do not make a practice of paying your bills late every month, then most utility companies and energy providers will be willing to negotiate. Afterall, you are their customer and they want to please you! You can negotiate the removal of late penalties from your bill by calling the energy company directly or by utilizing the services of an energy broker or consultant.
Request More Time To Pay
When you know that you are not going to be able to make your payment on time, communication is key! It’s best to contact your utility provider before the bill is due to request more time to pay. Most companies will allow you a grace period where no late penalties are assessed. During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, many utility companies even allowed customers to enact payment plans and waived all late fees from their invoices.
Get Organized With Auto Pay
Sometimes your bills go unpaid because you are simply too disorganized! We get it. Running a business is challenging. And, if you don’t have the right systems in place, it’s simple to let a bill go unpaid. Signing up for automatic payments with your utility company or energy provider is a great way to avoid this problem. Many auto-pay arrangements allow you to put a credit card or bank account on file that is simply charged each month on the bill’s due date. Auto-pay makes the bill fees go away!
Need Help Managing Late Billing Fees?
In conclusion, late penalties on your energy bills are never a good thing. And, you could even run the risk of having your energy supply turned off so your business becomes inoperable. It’s best to have a plan in place for managing bill payments. And, if you have multiple locations, an organized approach is critical to your success in managing your utility accounts. At Diversegy, not only do we help our customers negotiate with energy suppliers and set up billing arrangements, we can help you better manage your utility invoices. Contact us today to speak with an energy professional who can help!