By Anna Skinner
At the Dec. 14 Westfield City Council meeting, Randy Edgemon, general manager of Westfield Utility/Citizens Energy, presented changes to the billing for water, wastewater and gas patrons.
One of the biggest milestones the utility is in process of achieving is switching the two bills – water and sewage bill and the gas bill – into a combined bill.
The last water and wastewater bill will be issued Dec. 29, and the conversion process will take place Jan. 27 and phase in until Feb. 2.
Some of the payment locations will also be closing, such as the one on 171st Street at City Services. Many other locations will be available, and Edgemon said with the combined billsl the group will send out a letter detailing all changes.
“These letters will describe the new payment locations, new payment options, website improvements and then some new communication options that customers can have with customer service representatives,” Edgemon said.
Among the improvements are no fee for credit cards payments – which currently costs $3.50 – no fee for online bill payment, budget billing plan options for eligible customers, smartphone access to the website, move in and move out orders and more. Alerts via text and email are available to help inform customers of outages or low pressure.
“We are working every day to do a better job at helping customers understand the utility enhancements we will make use of down the road,” Edgemon said, mentioning that sometime soon he will make use of social media sites to help communicate with customers.
City Councilor Cindy Spoljaric questioned Edgemon if residents will have to change their banking number if they have elected for automatic bank draft for their bills, especially those residents that do not have their gas go through Citizens Energy.
“Everybody that is using the automatic bank draft for water and sewer bills will need to tell the bank to change the account number,” Edgemon replied. More information was sent through a letter that was mailed Dec. 21 to all customers.