Utility bills higher than normal? You’re not alone

SAVANNAH, Ga. – After a week of opening presents, thousands of people in Chatham County are opening up their utility bills and finding the amount due higher than normal.

“The reason why these last two bills of the year were higher than normal is because we missed a billing cycle last year,” CIty of Savannah Public Information Officer Bret Bell said.

The City of Savannah is currently implementing a new software billing system but it has experienced glitches during the 2016 billing year.

“It’s been a headache for everybody. We’re not happy. We know our residents aren’t happy,” Bell said.

Bell said there are 85,000 customers in the Savannah Chatham County area who are potentially affected by the skipping billing resulting in higher bills.

“You got an extra half a sanitation fee, you get an extra half a water base fee, they get an extra sewer base fee. That totals about 50 dollars more than they would normally see,” Bell said. “That’s a significant impact. We get it.”

But for people who are stuck with extra high utility bills, Bell gives customers three options.

“They can call two numbers. They can call the Utility Billing Services on their bill or they can call 311,” he said.

People can also work with the City of Savannah to develop an approved payment plan so their services aren’t cut off come the necessary due date. Enforcement has been suspended for 2016 and will resume in February of 2017.

Bell promises all billing payments will be back to the normal six payment system by the first quarter of 2017.

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