Customer Service FAQ
Customer Service – Frequently Asked Questions
Does RMU pay interest on security deposits?
Does RMU accept a letter of credit in lieu of a cash deposit?
Does RMU accept credit or debit cards for payments?
Can a security deposit be used to pay a monthly bill?
Does RMU offer a level payment plan?
Why did my monthly Budget Bill amount change?
Can I have my utility bill deducted from my checking account?
Do I have to read my own meter?
Can I pay my bill after normal business hours?
Why do I have to pay a deposit?
Once I contact your office, how quickly can I get my electric and water turned on?
When is my bill due?
Who do I call for garbage pick up or to get recycling information?
Why is my bill unusually high this month? Or, Why is my bill generally higher than my neighbors’?
Why does RMU have a Service Availability Fee?
What does it mean to be a “Cost of Service” Utility?
If my account is scheduled for disconnection due to nonpayment, is there anything I can do to avoid disruption of service?
Yes. RMU pays interest at a rate established by the Rolla Board of Public Works.
No, RMU does not accept letters of credit.
Yes. RMU will accept Visa card, MasterCard, or Debit Card transactions from a residential customer. Credit and Debit Card transactions are limited to a maximum amount per month as determined by RMU.
No. Security deposits are held for a minimum of five years and until a good credit rating is established. At which point the deposit will be credited to your account.
Yes. Budget billing is available to qualifying customers.
Monthly budget billing is based on twelve months of previous actual usage. The usage on your account is evaluated periodically. If a significant increase or decrease in usage occurs, adjustments to your budget bill will be made accordingly. Changes in rates can also effect your mothly budget billing amount.
Yes. Qualifying customers may have their utility bill deducted directly from their checking accounts.
No. RMU employs meter readers that read your meter(s) on a monthly basis.
Yes. RMU has two payment drop boxes: One on the front of the business office building located at 102 West 9th Street; the other on Elm Street between 9th & 10th Streets which may accessed from the convenience of your car.
All customers who have not previously established a good paying record with RMU are required to pay a deposit. Security deposits are designed to reduce the amount of money that is lost due to customers that terminate service and don’t pay their bills. In the end, all customers share the cost of those who do not pay.
In most cases RMU can provide same day service, however, during busy times, service orders taken after 3:00 p.m. may have to be done the following day.
Not all customer bills are due at the same time. RMU is currently billing on eighteen different days during each month. Your bill date and due date will vary according to where you live in the city.
Sanitation and Recycling are services provided by the City of Rolla. RMU provides billing services as a convenience to the Citizens of Rolla. Please contact the City Sanitation Department at 573.364.6693 or visit the City of Rolla website for more information.
Although we try to keep the billing cycle as close to 30 days as possible, occasionally your billing cycle may be greater than 30 days. This can result in a higher bill that month.
Have you considered some of these factors when comparing your bill to a previous bill or to your neighbors’.
- The size of your house or apartment
- Has it been unusually hot or cold?
- number of occupants living in the household,
- living habits,
- appliance efficiencies
Almost every utility has a preset daily or monthly fee to help cover the cost of fixed expenses. Rolla Municipal Utilities calls this monthly charge a “Service Availability Fee.” RMU implemented the service availability fee as a separate billing line item in October 2002 for water service and October 2004 for electric service.
The purpose of the service availability fee is to recoup fixed expenses that are equally common to all customers, and unrelated to the actual energy or water each customer consumes. The monthly amount helps cover the cost of maintaining an active meter at your location for fixed, non-energy or non-water related expenses in the fairest way possible. Examples of these expenses include:
- Customer service and accounting departments
- Engineering department
- Meter reading, testing and installation
- Serviceman and troubleman labor and equipment
- Postage and office supplies
- Power line and transformer maintenance
- Water main and fire hydrant maintenance
- Locating and marking underground cable and water lines
- Power restoration
- Pole inspections
The RMU Board of Public Works, made up of Rolla Citizens, determines the amount of the service availability fee as well as all other fees and rates.
The term cost of service means exacly what you would expect it to – the cost involved in providing a service to a particular customer. Ideally, utility rates would always reflect the cost of service, not a penny more or less. A cost of services evaluation is the process of reasonably determining the cost of providing services to classes of customers that have similar characteristics and assigning costs so that rates can be designed that are nondiscriminatory and closely meet the cost of providing service to each customer class. A rate structure that is reflective of the cost of service percentages does not necessarily guarantee revenue adequacy for a utility, but it does ensure that the charges made to each user class are fair.
That’s the long way to say that a “cost of service” utility collects the revenue necessary to provide the requested service and maintain the fiscal stability of the utility. No more and no less.
Yes, RMU will try to work with customers to avoid disconnecting utility services. RMU has policies in place to help. Please contact the Business Office prior to the date your services are scheduled for disconnection. Services will be disconnected if payment or other arrangements are not made.