The Goleta Water District’s major billing system upgrade at the end of last year has resulted in late bills to customers.
“We wanted to exercise due diligence to make sure customer data was correct so we didn’t produce incorrect bills, so there was a three-week average delay for January billing and bills are hitting mailboxes today through the weekend,” assistant general manager David Matson said.
Officials explained the delay to customers in a letter with the most recent bills, and have extended the payment deadlines.
The new system can handle pay-by-phone, automatic bill pay, online payment and electronic billing, so customers have more options to pay, Matson said.
People can still pay at the front counter or by mail. Goleta Water District employees will also be using the new system to help customers monitor their water usage and find conservation tips.
He said the district spends about $100,000, and 100,000 pieces of paper, on mailing bills every year, and the move to online billing and payment will save the district money, time and paper resources.
The district hopes to get 20 percent of the 87,500 customers signed up this year, and 1,000 customers already have.
It’s all part of the district’s efforts to lower its operating expenses.
“We have a fairly aggressive capital program,” Matson said. “We’re making investments we need to keep our system sustainable for the long haul.”