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Billing & Collections

Manitowoc Public Utilities is regulated by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSCW).  As a regulated entity, our billing and collection policies are set by the PSCW and applied consistently to all customers.  Learn more here!

Billing

Billing Terms & Descriptions

Gain a better understanding of the charges and rules that determine your monthly bill. Below is a listing of terms you'll find on your bill from MPU.

Billing Period
This is the range of dates between meter readings. Normally, we try to schedule reads every 30 or 31 days, but sometimes due to holidays, weekends, or inclement weather, the billing period could be as short as 25 days or as long as 35 days. A larger number of days on a read will also result in a higher bill, but the following month will be shorter, averaging out to a normal bill.

Account Number
This 12 digit number is unique to your account. When calling for information on your account, have this number available to assist the Customer Service Representative.

Meter Number
This number is stamped on the face of your electric and water meter. If you live in multi-family housing, you can identify your meter by looking for this meter number.

Previous Read, Current Read
These two values are compared to calculate your net consumption for the billing period. Each month, our meter reader records the meter reading, just like you would record the odometer reading on your car before taking a trip. These dials are never reset.

Multiplier
Some meters have a multiplier. Most commercial and industrial accounts will have a multiplier value based on the metering arrangement. Most residential accounts where the electric meter is in the basement, and a remote register is located outside, will have a multiplier of 10.

Rate Schedules
Applicable rate schedules are furnished each calendar year with your bill or upon request. You can also view rate schedules and learn more about electric or water tariffs on the Public Service Commission's website.

Utility Tariffs
 Water Utility Rates - Download PDF  |    Electric Utility Rates - Download PDF

PCAC -Power Cost Adjustment Clause
The adjustment reflects the increase and/or decrease of the current months cost of coal and or purchased power from the amount included in the energy charge.

CCF
This is the measure of your water use. One CCF equals 100 cubic feet of water. One cubic foot of water is equal to about 7.5 gallons.

KWH
Kilowatt-hours is the measurement of electric use. One 100 watt light bulb burning for ten (10) hours will consume one kwh.

Public Fire Protection
This user fee is based on the water service size, and covers the cost of water mains and hydrants used for public fire protection in the City.

Heating Degree Days, Cooling Degree Days
This a measurement of relative weather trends, comparing last year's billing period to this year's billing period. Heating degree days reflect the sum of the average daily temperature below 65 degrees Fahrenheit for the billing period. Cooling degree days is the sum of the average daily temperature above 65 degrees Fahrenheit for the billing period.

Public Benefits
This is the fee each customer contributes toward energy efficiency, energy assistance, and weatherization programs offered in the community.

Service Charge
This is the monthly fixed meter charge per tariff.

Late Payment Charge
This is a 1% charge added to the unpaid balance if the bill is not paid within 20 days.

Sales Tax
A 5% sales tax charge is added to electric charges only. Residential accounts are exempt from sales tax during the winter months of November through April.

Cut-off & Reconnections
If your account is past due, you will receive a disconnection notice printed in RED on your MPU bill. The notice clearly indicates when payment is required, and the amount necessary to avoid disconnection. Service may be disconnected on or within 10 days of the disconnection date printed on the notice.

Billing Dispute Procedures

If you have an issue with your bill, please contact MPU directly at 920-683-4600 to discuss. If your account is past due, our customer service staff will let you know the options available to you.   If the issue is not able to be resolved, you may call the Wisconsin Public Service Commission at 1-800-225-7729.   While the PSC reviews your dispute, you must still promptly pay any charges not in dispute.  For a copy of the customer bill of rights, please click here.

In the event that MPU becomes aware of an overbilling, MPU shall promptly correct the billing error and notify the customer of the circumstances surrounding the overbilling.  MPU shall then determine the time period during which the overbilling occurred and calculate the amount that it has overbilled the customer. MPU will make a refund to the customer of the amount of the overbilling, with interest, as calculated pursuant to Wis. Admin. Code ch. PSC 113.  Except as otherwise provided in Wis. Admin. Code ch. PSC 113, the maximum refund to the customer shall be for a time period not to exceed six years from the date the overbilling was discovered.  All overbilling disputes arising under this section shall be taken to the PSCW for resolution.

Billing Due Dates

MPU reads meters in the City of Manitowoc based on four main quadrants.   The areas below are read approximately in the following manner:

Southeast Beginning of the month
Southwest Second week of the month
Northwest Third week of the month
Northeast Last week of the month

 

Your due date is listed on the bottom payment stub section of your monthly statement. We are required to provide 20 days to pay a bill before it is considered past-due. Your due date cannot be changed.

Paperless E-Billing

Signing up for paperless billing is simple!   Log into your account established on our Customer Portal.  Click on 'Profile' and update to Paperless billing.  You have the option to either receive an email or text notification to a cell number (customer is responsible for any data or text charge incurred) when your bill is ready.  See our brochure for more details on how to access and use the Customer Portal.

Collections

Customer accounts that are past due will be subject to our collections processes.  MPU prints past due notices with future collections actions in red directly on the monthly billing statement.  Separate letters are sent out to notify owners of collections actions when accounts are in tenant names (occupant name is different than what is listed on the tax roll or property is contractor occupied).  We encourage owners to notify MPU of a change in occupancy to avoid improper collections actions from being taken.  A courtesy call will be attempted prior to additional action being taken.

Deferred Payment Arrangements

If you’re having trouble paying your bill in full, you may request a deferred payment agreement to receive additional time to fulfill your payment obligation.  Any deferred payment agreement must be negotiated in such a way that it is acceptable to both parties, and a down-payment will be required at the time of negotiation.  Deferred payment agreements will only be offered to residential customers; no payment agreements shall be offered or given to non-residential accounts, including commercial, income/rental, or industrial properties.

MPU will not offer a deferred payment agreement to a residential customer who is a tenant if any of the following criteria applies per the PSCW approved Service Rules:

  1. The residential tenant has greater than $100 of account arrearages that are more than 90 days past due.
  2. The tenant has defaulted on a deferred payment agreement in the past 12 months. This criterion only applies to deferred payment agreements and not to other types of payment extensions or agreements.
  3. The residential tenant is responsible for account arrearages that were placed on any property owner’s tax bill in the utility’s service territory in the past 24 months.
  4. The residential tenant has a balance that accrued during the winter moratorium that is more than 80 days past due. 

Minimum Payment Option (MPO)

MPU will offer a Minimum Payment Option (MPO) to residential customers beginning with the first disconnection cycle following the winter moratorium time period, which ends on April 15.  The MPO allows customers to avoid disconnection by paying a fixed percentage of the total bill (past due and current bill).  The fixed percentage will be 30% of the total bill for the first disconnection notice.  The fixed percentage will increase up to 10% for each succeeding month. At no time will the minimum payment exceed 60% of the total bill.  If the customer does not make the minimum payment amount by the stated disconnection date, the customer may be disconnected, or may enter into a deferred payment agreement as applicable.  If the minimum payment is made, the customer will be offered the MPO in the subsequent month. The MPO will be available during the peak collection periods throughout the collection season as determined by MPU.

Payment Assistance

There are several charitable organizations that may be able to assist with bill payment.  Wisconsin Home Energy Assistance Program and Crisis Funding may also be available.   Energy Assistance may be reached at (920) 683-4300; learn more about their programs by clicking here.  For more information about Crisis Funding, please contact MPU customer service at (920) 683-4600 or during normal business hours.

Disconnection of Service – Non-Payment

MPU will always mail a notice of disconnection at least ten days prior to service shut-off to service address or mailing address on record.  This notice will include the reason for disconnection, date when service is scheduled for shut-off and how to contact us.  A notice will be posted at the service address if it is not the same as your home or mailing address.  If a property is a residential rental property and bills are paid by the landlord, all tenants will be notified five days prior to any scheduled disconnection. 

MPU also attempts to contact you by phone before service is disconnected.  MPU will make an automated call to the phone number on file prior to any service disconnection.  Note - it is the customer's responsibility to make sure MPU has the most recent and accurate phone number for the party responsible for billing.

If service is not shut off within 20 days after the notice is mailed, MPU will post an additional notice at the property 24-48 hours before service is disconnected.

To avoid disconnection, any past due balances or deposits must either be paid in full, or, if applicable, the customer may enter into a Deferred Payment Agreement to clear the past due charges.  If your service is disconnected, a reconnection fee will apply, and must be paid prior to reconnection of service.

Your service can be shut-off if:

  • You fail to pay your bills,
  • You fail to pay installments as agreed,
  • You fail to post required deposits,
  • A prior customer living at your address has an unpaid bill,
  • You fail to pay the utilities’ cost for collecting an overdue bill,
  • You tamper with your meter,
  • There is a safety hazard.

PSCW rules allow a utility to transfer a landlord’s unpaid bill from a rental residential property to the office or home of the landlord or property manager.  If the bill continues to go unpaid, service can be shut off at the landlord’s or property manager’s office or home.

MPU field technicians are prohibited from accepting any form of payment in the field.  If anyone claiming to be from MPU visits your home or business and threatens disconnection if they are not paid on the spot, please contact the police department immediately.  

Collection of Closed Accounts

Final bills sent to customers vacating a property are given 20 days for payment prior to being considered past due.  Customers with an outstanding, past due final billed account(s) need to pay the balance in full prior to service being established at another property.  Once a final billed account has gone past the due date, a customer will be sent a final reminder letter.  It is important for customers to make sure MPU has the correct address information so all notices are received in a timely manner.  If no payment is received, MPU takes the following collections actions:

  • Outstanding owner or commercial tenant’s water and sewer bills will be placed on the property tax bill.  Outstanding electrical charges may either be sent to the State's Tax Refund Intercept Program (TRIP) or the State Debt Collections (SDC) agency.  Any additional fees incurred will be the responsibility of the customer.
  • Outstanding residential tenant bills (electric, water, and sewer) will be sent to the TRIP or SDC as appropriate.   Fees incurred will be the responsibility of the customer.

MPU reserves the right to file for a legal judgement or lien for an outstanding debt.

Deposits

Customer Deposits - Residential 

MPU will not require a cash deposit as a condition of new residential service unless the customer has an outstanding balance with another Wisconsin electric utility.  For existing residential customers, MPU may require a cash deposit as a condition of continuation of service if any of the following circumstances apply per Statutes:

  1. The customer’s service has been disconnected within the last 12-month period for non-payment or violation of MPU’s utility rules and regulations.
  2. The customer’s initial application for service was falsified.
  3. The customer has the ability to pay, but accrues a balance over the winter disconnection moratorium that is 80 days or more past due.
  4. A new customer accrues charges that become 60 or more days past due within the first 8 months of service.

A deposit will be waived if the customer provides complete and accurate information showing that his/her gross quarterly income (before any deductions) is at or below 200% of the federal income poverty guidelines.  A customer must provide this information each time a deposit is requested.  For existing customers, the amount of deposit required will generally be equal to a 2 month average of bills over the previous 12-month period.  For deposits required due to winter non-payment, the deposit shall equal a 4 month average of bills over the previous 12-month period.

MPU uses Energy Assistance eligibility as the preferred method of determining if the customer is eligible for a deposit waiver.  If the customer qualified for Energy Assistance during the current heating season (defined as September through May), MPU will waive any pending deposit request, and refund any deposit already collected.  If MPU has reason to suspect that the customer’s income may have changed since the most recent Energy Assistance approval, additional information may be required from the customer.  When checking a customer’s proof of quarterly income, the customer will be required to provide their current year’s tax filing or homestead paperwork.

If a customer meets any deposit criteria set forth after a deposit has already been calculated, the deposit shall be recalculated annually using the specification above.  If the new deposit amount is higher than the previous amount on file, the customer shall have 30 days to pay the difference.  If the new amount is lower than the previously collected amount on file, the original deposit amount shall stand as is.  The time period specified for refund will start from the date of the new calculation.

Deposits shall accrue interest from the date a deposit is collected to the date it is refunded either by check or applied to an account balance.  MPU uses the annual interest rate determined by the PSCW for calculating payable interest.  MPU shall refund the deposit of a customer, less any customer balance outstanding, upon 12 consecutive prompt payments or upon termination of service after satisfying all arrearages.  If an account is reopened at a different address, the deposit shall be transferred to the new account.

Customer Deposits - Commercial 

MPU requires a cash deposit, irrevocable letter of guarantee, or personal guarantee for all new commercial customer accounts when the customer has negative or no commercial payment history with MPU.   Commercial deposits shall not be waived for any reason.

For existing commercial customers, MPU may require a cash deposit as a condition of continuation of service in any of the following circumstances apply:

  1. The customer’s service has been disconnected within the last 12-month period for non-payment or violation of MPU’s utility rules and regulations.
  2. The customer’s initial application for service was falsified.
  3. The customer has the ability to pay, but accrues a balance over the winter months that is 80 days or more past due.
  4. The customer has not made prompt payment of all bills within the last 24 months.

For deposits required on new accounts, MPU will use consumption data from a similar existing business to determine a reasonable deposit amount.  If, after 12 months of service, the deposit amount is greater than necessary based on actual consumption, the customer may request a refund of the difference between the amounts.

For existing customers, the amount of deposit required shall generally be equal to a 2 month average of bills over the previous 12-month period.  For deposits required due to winter non-payment, the deposit shall equal a 4 month average of bills over the previous 12-month period.

Deposits shall accrue interest from the date a deposit is collected to the date it is refunded either by check or applied to an account balance.  MPU uses the annual interest rate determined by the PSCW for calculating payable interest.

MPU shall refund the deposit of a customer, less any customer balance outstanding, upon 24 consecutive prompt payments or upon termination of service after satisfying all arrearages.  If the account is reopened at a different address, the deposit shall be transferred to the new account.

Payment Information

MPU accepts payments at our Main Office in the form of cash, check, money order, and debit / credit card.  Two kiosks are provided in the Main Office lobby for debit and credit card transactions; card payments cannot be accepted by the receptionist.  A service fee for debit / credit card transactions will apply.  Below are other convenient payment methods.

Recurring Payments

You can now setup and schedule recurring payments online through our new Customer Portal.  Click here to learn more about the portal and setting up your account.

Free One-Time ACH

MPU is now providing another payment option to our customers!  Make a FREE online payment by logging into your account at mpu.org.  Choose "Make One-Time Payment" and select the eCheck option.  This is a single payment only and is withdrawn directly from your bank account.

Easy Pay Plan

With the Easy Pay Plan you don't have to write a check or put your payment in the mail or bring it to the MPU office. Your bill will be paid automatically from your checking or savings account. To find out more information, view a copy of our Easy Pay Plan Signup (pdf).

Budget Payment Plan

This plan helps you budget your monthly energy cost by spreading out payments equally over 12 months. This will help you manage high winter bills due to electric heat or high summer bills due to air conditioning. While you continue to be billed for the actual amount of electric, water and sewer consumed, the payment amounts are averaged so you pay a fixed amount each month.  Then, every six months, the account is reviewed and the budget amount is adjusted to reflect any over or under payments.  For more information or to setup a budget payment plan, contact Customer Service at (920) 683-4600.

Gift Certificates

With a Gift Certificate from Manitowoc Public Utilities, it is now as easy as 1-2-3 to give someone special an unexpected gift that they will truly appreciate.  All you need to do is print out the form and then fill it out. You will then need to send or bring the completed form and your payment for the Gift Certificate to Manitowoc Public Utilities. If you choose to send it in, please use the following address:

Manitowoc Public Utilities
Gift Certificates
PO Box 1087
Manitowoc, WI 54221 - 1087

We will print out a Gift Certificate for the recipient as soon as we receive the completed form with your payment. According to the mailing instructions at the bottom of the form, we will either mail the actual Gift Certificate to you, the purchaser, or directly to the recipient, whichever you prefer.

Pay by Telephone

MPU customers have the option to pay by telephone with a credit/debit card, or bank check.  You can also check account balances.  To access the system call toll free 1-877-653-0380.  You will be asked for your 6 digit customer and 6 digit account number as it appears on your MPU bill.  The system will tell you your account status, and give you the option to pay by phone with a debit card, credit card or bank check.  Please note that a $3.50 convenience fee will apply to each payment made. Final Bill payments cannot be accepted by phone.

This service is only available for Residential Customers for transactions of $500.00 or less.

On-Line Credit Card Payments

To pay by credit card log into your account.

This service is only available for Residential Customers for transactions of $500.00 or less.  Please note that a $3.50 convenience fee will apply to each payment made.

Pay by Mail

A return envelope is sent with your bill.  Simply include your bill payment and stub with your check or money order and send it back to us.  The return envelope is missing?  Send your payment to Manitowoc Public Utilities, PO Box 41, Manitowoc, WI 54221-0041.

Bill Payment Stations

For your convenience, Manitowoc Public Utilities billing payments can be dropped off at the following locations:

City Hall:   900 Quay St.
Manitowoc Public Utilities:   1303 S. 8th St.

Other Information

Changing your Mailing Address

Please contact MPU if you need to change the address on your billing statement.   If you are going to be away from where the bill is currently being delivered, MPU can put a seasonal address for those who may go south for the winter or north for the summer.  It is recommend that MPU be contacted directly versus changing the information with the U.S. Post Office to avoid statement delivery delays.  Any late charges applied related to failure to notify MPU of an address change will not be waived.  Changing a mailing address will not affect the services MPU provides to you as a customer.

Customer Consent Form

MPU personnel cannot disclose any information about an account, including account balance, to persons not listed on an account.  Wisconsin Act 25 provides that Customer Information must be protected from disclosure.  Customer information may not be released by MPU to any person without the customer’s consent.  Customer information includes the following: Name, Address, Phone Number, Social Security Number, Payment History, Consumption/usage data, and Billing information (including past due amounts). MPU personnel have been instructed to not disclose any of this information without written authorization from the customer. A copy of this authorization form can be found at New Customer Consent Form.

Medical Needs Customers

If you use medical equipment that requires electricity, and if a loss of power would be life threatening, please be sure to have an emergency backup plan in place.   It is customer responsibility to know how long they are able to stay in their residence before needing to go to a location where there is electricity (family member, friend, or public location).  For those customers using oxygen equipment, it is critical for your safety, and, in the event of an emergency, the safety of responders, that the home is clearly stickered in the main windows or entrances stating that oxygen is present and in use.

Third Party Account Notifications

Upon customer consent, MPU will send a copy of a billing statement or disconnect notice for a relative, dependent, or other third party to you at no charge.  MPU can also contact you when a relative’s service is in danger of being disconnected for nonpayment.  If you are a landlord, you can request we provide you with the status of your tenant’s account delinquencies but we cannot share balances without the tenant's consent.