Your current utility services bill may indicate a “One-Time Water Refund Credit” due to a City Council action to return an overpayment of water charges to paying customers who were active during the time between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2012. The refund credit is determined from your water consumption and meter size serving your residence or business. The meter size is indicated on your utility services bill. To determine if you have a refund credit, your bill will indicate a “One-Time Water Refund Credit” under Detail of Charges & Adjustments. A typical refund credit for a single family home is in the range of $20 to $100.
The city’s water utility infrastructure is aging and is rapidly reaching its 70-year life expectancy. To help fund future capital repairs and rebuild the water utility infrastructure, the city is providing an opportunity for those that would like to participate by directing their refund credit to the water utility infrastructure fund. If you would like to contribute your full refund credit to this fund, please indicate it by marking an “X” in the “Yes, I want to opt out of the Water Refund Credit” on your remittance and your credit will be applied to the Water Utility Infrastructure fund.
To accept or receive the credit, simply remit payment as indicated in “Total Due” and the refund credit amount will be applied to your account.
Frequently Asked Questions - Water Refund
Q: How did the water refund come about?
A: Prior to 2012, the City of Fullerton had a 10% fee on all water bills. This fee was stopped on April 30, 2012, and adjusted to a lower rate. The City Council approved a water refund to qualified customers based on a 3-year period (July 1, 2009 - June 30, 2012).
Q: How is an account qualified for a water refund credit?
A: In order for an account to receive a Water Refund Credit, the following conditions must be met:
· Must have been an active customer any time between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2012- Approved by City Council on July 3, 2012 via Resolution No. 2012-58.
· Must have been charged/billed for Customer (Meter) Charges and Commodity (Water Consumption) Charges.
Q: When is a customer considered “Active” or “Inactive”?
A: · Active (current customer) - A customer is active (current) if they have an open account and if
they lived at the service address at any time during the 3-year refund period.
· Inactive (former customer) – The City will send a letter to all “inactive” customers who provided a forwarding address. A customer is considered inactive if they have a closed account and lived at the service address any time during the 3-year refund period.
Q: What is being refunded?
A: The part of the water bill charges being refunded is a percentage of the customer (meter) charges and commodity (water consumption) charges.
Q: What is the average water refund credit?
A: Most customers will receive a credit in the range of $20 to $100. The water refund credit ranges from a few cents for customers who used little water for a short period during the 3-year period to thousands of dollars for very large corporations that used a significant amount of water during the same time. All refunds use the same formula and are based on the actual amount of the water bills paid during the 3-year period.
Q: How do I file a refund claim if I am an inactive customer?
A: Inactive customers must contact the Utility Services Division to file their refund claim in order to receive their refund check. Customer would need to:
· Sign claim form stating that a refund is owed and the information is true and correct, and
· Provide customer social security number, driver license number or other form of predetermined identification, and
· Provide customer current mailing address and phone number, and
· Show proof of Fullerton residency. If more than one address, customer shall show proof of residency for each address.
Q: How do you file a refund claim for a deceased customer?
A: In order to receive a refund for a deceased family member, proof (a death certificate) must be provided along with the family member’s proof of relationship.
Q: How much time do I have to file a claim?
A: Customers have one year to file a claim.
Q: How would I dispute my refund amount?
A: A customer wanting to dispute their water refund must file a Water Refund Dispute claim with the Utility Services Division (USD) Manager. The form is available at City Hall or Water Refund Form.
· The USD Manager shall review the claim and render a decision in writing to the customer within ten (10) working days of receipt of the dispute. If the customer is not satisfied with the USD Manager’s decision, an appeal may be filed with the Energy and Resource Management Committee (ERMC) ), a citizen Committee appointed by the Fullerton City Council.
· The ERMC shall hear the appeal with the customer present and render their decision at the time of the hearing and shall mail their written decision within seven (7) working days of the appeal hearing.
· If the customer is not satisfied with the written decision of the ERMC, an appeal may be filed with the City Council who shall make the final determination on any unresolved water refund dispute.
Q: What is the “Opt-Out” Option?
A: Customers may contribute their water refund credit towards the Water Utility Infrastructure program. Customers must check off the “Opt-Out” box to reflect their wishes. The “Opt-Out” box is located on the coupon portion of your utility services bill, or you may go to the City’s website where you may complete, sign, print and mail the form to the Utility Services Division at 303 W. Commonwealth Avenue, Fullerton, CA 92832.
Q: If I am a renter or a tenant am I elegible for a water refund credit?
A: If you are the responsible party and the water account is in your name then you will receive a one-time water refund credit on your bill. However, if you pay for water to a property manager/landlord or a property owner as part of your monthly rent, you are not eligible for the water refund credit. The water refund will be credited to the bills paid by the property manager/landlord or the property owner.
Q: What if my water refund credit is greater than the total due?
A: If your water refund is greater than your total bill due the remaining credit will be applied to your future utility services bill.
Q: What if I want a check instead of a water refund credit?
A: The City Council approved a one-time water refund credit in lieu of a check to active water customers. If, however, a check is preferred over a refund credit, the customer must add back in the water refund credit to the total amount due when paying their utility services bill. If that credit is not added back in to the balance due a check shall not be issued. The customer should contact the City to request a check instead of a one-time water refund credit. A check will be processed and mailed in approximately 2-3 weeks.
For more information:
City of Fullerton
Utility Services - Water Refund Resolution Center
303 W. Commonwealth Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832