Do I have to make a deposit for my utility account?

A deposit is required for the following accounts:
  • Renter
  • Commercial
  • Any returning customer (renter or homeowner) who left a bad debt with the Town.


Additional information about utility deposits is available on the fee schedule or by calling the Town Office at 828.396.3131.

 What is the REPS fee listed on my utility bill?

The Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (REPS) fee is mandated under North Carolina law under NCGS § 62-133.8. The Town is required to collect the REPS fee and remit the fee to our power provider who uses the fees to invest in alternative, environmentally friendly sources of energy.

 Why is my utility bill so high?

There are several factors that impact the cost of utility services from month to month and season to season. 
• Utilities are billed in arrears for services provided at least 45 days ago. For example, a July 1 bill covers the service period from approximately May 15 through June 15 (based on the dates that your meter was read).
• Weather conditions are always a huge factor in determining the cost of electric utility services. You can track historic weather conditions by using the ElectriCities TempTracker.
• All utility rate changes must be approved by the Town Council. When utility rate changes are approved by the Town Council, the new rates normally become effective July 1 of each year.
• Customers often believe that they are being overcharged for utility services due to improperly working meters. This is usually not the case as meters tend to slow down, not speed up, when it is time to replace the meter.
• Higher than normal water bills might indicate that there is a water leak in your toilets or in the line between the meter and the house or business. The Town is not responsible for the condition or repair of water lines between the meter and your house or business.

 What forms of payment do you take?

The Town accepts payments by cash, check, or money order at the Town Office. Payments may be made in the Town Office lobby or at the drive-thru window. Customers who do not have their utility bill may not utilize the drive-thru window. We also accept after hours payments at the drop box located beside the drive-thru window. 
Customers may set up automatic drafts to have their utility bill payments deducted from their checking or savings account. Customers must complete an authorization form and attach a voided check to set up automatic drafts. The authorization form and voided check may be mailed, faxed, or hand-delivered to the Town Office, or placed in the drop box. Payments will be drafted on the 15th of the month or on the following business day when the 15th falls on a weekend or on a holiday.
There will be a $25 charge for each returned check or drafted payment.

Credit and debit card payments can only be made online or by calling 828.386.9726. You may pay by MasterCard, VISA, or Discover card. There is a convenience fee of 3.70% or $2.50 minimum assessed by the credit card companies. You will see this fee on your payment screen. We cannot accept credit or debit card payments at the Town Office.

If you are paying a past due bill by credit or debit card you may pay your bill and late fee online. However, any applicable non-payment fees must be paid in the Town Office to avoid the disconnection of services or before services will be reconnected.

 Can I pay over the phone or online?

The Town accepts debit or credit card payment for property taxes and utility services by phone at 828.386.9726 or online. You may pay by MasterCard, VISA, or Discover card.  All phone or online payments to the Town are made through a third party vendor and are posted within minutes to your account with the Town. There is a convenience fee of 3.70% or $2.50 minimum assessed by the debit and credit card companies for each transaction. You will see this fee on your payment screen. The Town does not receive any of the transaction fee and does not have access to any of your debit or credit card information at any time. We cannot accept credit or debit card payments at the Town Office.

 If my account is already off for non-payment, can I pay online to be reconnected?

No. Please come to our office during normal office hours to pay the amount due to have utility services reconnected. You may call 828.396.3131 during normal office hours to find out the amount you need to pay before utility services can be reconnected.

 What happens to my utility deposit?

Your deposit stays on your utility account until it is closed unless you move to another location in Town and continue to have utility services with the Town. In this case, we will transfer your deposit to your new account for a $10 transfer fee. In order to transfer your utility services, your account must have a $0 balance. If you close your account and no longer have utility services with us, we will apply your deposit to the account balance. If the account has a credit balance after the final bill is processed, the Town of Granite Falls will mail a refund check for the credit balance to the name on the utility account.

 Does my bill go up in December and January to pay for the Town's Christmas lights?

The costs associated with having Christmas lights in the downtown area do not cause an increase in your electric bill. You are only billed for electricity that goes through the electric meter at your residence or business.

 Are water customers required to pay a monthly minimum charge for lawn sprinkler/irrigation service even if the system is not used or turned off for a period of time?

When a water customer pays for, and has a lawn sprinkler/ irrigation service installed, the customer must pay a monthly minimum charge, plus any applicable charges for actual water used, for this system regardless of whether or not the system is used in any given month since the Town has committed available water system capacity for this service. The Town can cut the water off at the meter so the irrigation system can be winterized but the customer must pay the minimum monthly charges during the winter months. The only time a water customer would not have to pay at least the minimum monthly charges for the irrigation system year round would be if the customer requests that the irrigation system be permanently disconnected. Once the Town permanently disconnects a customer’s irrigation system, the irrigation system cannot be reconnected until the customer has paid all applicable reconnection fees.