FAQs


Customer Account FAQ
 

Q: I'm moving within the Winchester Utility System service area. What do I need to do to get service turned on?
A: Please bring the following to our office:

 
  • Lease or purchase agreement
  • State or federally issued photo ID
  • Cash or check for connection fee(s) and deposit(s). See Rates & Fees for information.
    • *Note: credit/debit cards can not be used for fees and deposits.*

Our hours are 7:00AM-4:00PM. We cannot guarantee new service connections after 2:00PM. We can do paperwork for new service connections for the next day until 3:45PM.
Q: I'm moving and need my services turned off. What do I need to do?
A: You will need to do one of the following:

 
Your form must be submitted at least 3 days prior to your requested cutoff date.
Q: How are deposit amounts determined for residential customers? 
A: Deposit requirements are based on credit history received from Online Utility Exchange. You have the option to determine your deposits on the results of the credit history inquiry or to pay the maximum deposit. If you elect to pay deposits based on credit history, you will be required to pay a $6 non-refundable fee as set by the Online Utility Exchange.
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Q: How are deposit amounts determined for commercial or industrial customers? 
A: Deposits are equal to twice the monthly historical bill. If the office/building/business does not have a billing history, then the deposit will be based on similar businesses in the area.
Q: Will I get my money back on the deposit?
A: When services are terminated, a FINAL bill will be generated. If the account is paid in full through the final bill, the deposits will be refunded. If there is an unpaid balance on the account, the deposits will be applied to that balance. If the deposits exceed the unpaid bill amount, you will be issued a refund. You are responsible for paying any remaining unpaid balance.
Q: Will my deposit earn interest?
A: Interest will be calculated annually for those active accounts that have deposits retained longer than 12 months and will be credited to the account. The rate of interest will be based on interest being received by Winchester Utility System from the local bank.
Q: How do I add a phone number or sign up for text alerts?
A: If you wish to add a phone number or update a phone number on your account, complete the Customer Information Update Form, print it and return it to the utility main office.

If you wish to agree to text alerts, you can call the main office at (931) 967-2238, select option 4, and follow the prompts. Instead of calling, you can also complete the Customer Information Update Form, print it and return it to the utility main office.
Q: What if I have a medical hardship requiring power or water? 
A: Proof of medical hardship requiring utilities must be supplied to Winchester Utility System. A Medical Emergency Certificate Form must be completed by a licensed Physician or Nurse Practitioner stating a well-defined illness and the medical necessity. The completed form must be returned to Winchester Utility System. This certificate must be updated annually.

We will always work to get unplanned service outages back on as soon as possible, but sometimes this is out of the utility's control as to how long the service might be out.

***If your condition is serious, be sure to have backup power on-hand at all times.***
Q: Are Winchester Utility System customers paying for the power used by the City Christmas lights?  
A: The City of Winchester pays the bill for power used by the Christmas lights as well as the power used by the city street lights within the city limits. Winchester Utility System is part of the city charter and does assist in hanging the lights because of the equipment needed and does so as the equipment is available.
Q: Do I have to pay the sewer charges if I use water for irrigation, landscaping, or to fill my swimming pool? 
A: Yes, unless you have a separate water meter installed just for irrigation use. See the Rates & Fees page for information on an irrigation tap.

Swimming pools greater than 7,000 gallons may qualify for a sewer adjustment. Customers must notify Customer Service in advance and provide pool dimensions. Total sewer charges must be at least $100 for the month that the pool was filled in order to qualify for the adjustment. After billing, $75.00 will be credited towards the sewer charges. Only one swimming pool adjustment in a 12 month period is permitted.


Billing FAQ
 

Q: What options do I have to pay for my bill? 
A: The following are options for paying your Winchester Utility System bill:

 
  • Bring your payment into our office
  • Use our convenient drive-thru
  • Mail your payment
  • Visit your local Citizens Community Bank where they can accept your payment
  • Drop off at our night deposit located at the drive-thru
  • Fill out a bank draft authorization form for automatic payments
  • Pay thru your bank's online bill payment system
  • Pay online with credit/debit card. We accept Visa, Discover, and Mastercard. We do not accept American Express. 
Pay Online
Q: How do I determine my utility account number? 
A: Your account number is found in the upper left hand portion of your utility statement. It has a format similar to 999999-999999 (six numbers dash six more numbers).
Q: Can I receive my bill via email? 
A: You have the option of receiving your bill by email. If you are interested in this option, please fill out the top portion and the email section of the Customer Information Update Form and return to the Winchester Utility System main office.
Q: How can I set up my account payment through a bank draft? 
A: Bank drafts can only be set up using a bank checking account. We do not draft bank savings accounts, credit or debit cards.

To begin your recurring automatic bank draft print and complete the Automatic Bank Draft Authorization Form.

Next, choose one of the following methods of getting your information to Winchester Utility System:

 
  • Bring the signed bank draft form and a blank check to the main office
  • Mail the signed bank draft form and a copy of a blank check to Winchester Utility System
  • Fax the signed bank draft form and a copy of a blank check to Winchester Utility System at 931-962-4214
Q: How do I cancel my automatic bank draft payment? 
A: You must notify Winchester Utility System in writing to cancel your automatic bank draft payment. Your options are:

 
  • Come by our main office and sign a bank draft cancellation form
  • Print a copy of the Bank Draft Cancellation Form, fill it out, sign it, and fax it to Winchester Utility System at 931-962-4214
  • Print a copy of the Bank Draft Cancellation Form, fill it out, sign it, and mail it to Winchester Utility System

Email a copy of the completed Bank Draft Cancellation Form to Winchester Utility System at customerservice@winchesterutilities.com 
Q: If I am getting assistance to help pay my utility bill, what does Winchester Utility System require from me? 
A: If you receive a voucher, ticket, or letter from the organization assisting you, you must bring it to the main office in order to make us aware of the pending assistance. Some organizations fax something to us, but you will need to call and verify that we have received the information. If we are unaware of the pending assistance, you may have utility services disconnected.

If you are getting assistance after services have been disconnected, you must pay the reconnect fees up front before services can be turned back on.
Q: How do I avoid paying penalty charges on my account? 
A: If the net amount due on the account is paid on or before the due date, you will avoid paying penalties.


Service Disconnection FAQ
 

Q:  What are "Rights and Remedies?"
A: If you wish to dispute any portion of a bill, you must request a hearing in writing and it must be received no later than one business day before the disconnect date.
Q:  If I do not pay my bill by the due date, will my utilities get disconnected?
A: You have up to ten (10) days after the due date to pay the bill. However, you will be charged a penalty for late payment. After the ten (10) day period, the utility services will be disconnected.

Residential disconnections may be postponed due to inclement weather. Weather conditions for Winchester are monitored daily at www.weather.com If the forecasted high is 32 degrees (F) or lower during the day and/or below 20 degrees (F) during the night or a high of 95 degrees (F) or above during the day, the disconnection will be postponed. The postponement will not extend beyond the extreme weather condition.
Q:  Will Winchester Utility System notify me prior to disconnecting my services? 
A: If you have signed up to receive text alerts or have a primary phone number on your account, Winchester Utility System will send a text alert or phone call 3-5 days after the bill due date and also the day prior to disconnection to remind you of the past due statement. It is the customer's responsibility to make sure there is a valid phone number on the account.

If no phone number is available on the account or you have not agreed to receive text messages, a letter will be sent to the mailing address 3-5 days after the bill due date. This will be the final notification prior to disconnection of services.
Q:  What happens if I pay my account after receiving a disconnection notification
A: Once the service personnel is dispatched to disconnect services, the services will be disconnected unless the customer can show proof of payment or the main office informs the service personnel of payment. The service personnel cannot take your payment. Once disconnected, reconnection fees apply in order to be reconnected.
Q:  How do I avoid having my services disconnected? 
A: If the past due amount on the account is paid within 10 days of the bill due date, you will avoid services being disconnected.
Q:  If my utilities get disconnected for not paying my bill, what do I need to do to get them turned back on? 
A: If services are disconnected for non-payment, you will have to come into the office to request a reconnection. Business hours for requesting reconnects are Monday-Friday, 7:00am-4:00pm. The request will be processed and completed within 48 hours of receiving the request. You will have to pay the following:

 
  • Past due bill amount
  • Reconnection fee of $40 during normal business hours.
    • Please note, the reconnect fee is higher after normal business hours.
Q:  What happens if my payment is returned for insufficient funds? 
A: If your check is returned to Winchester Utility System for insufficient funds, a customer service representative will attempt to contact you by phone. We can only reach you if your phone number is provided on your account.

Services will be disconnected the morning following the return of the check if the account is past the 10 day grace period (10 days after your statement due date).

If services are disconnected due to a returned check, you will have to come into the office to request a reconnection.
You must bring CASH to pay the following:

 
  • Amount of the returned check
  • Maximum $30 NSF fee (if check < $30, then NSF fee will match check amount)
  • $40 reconnect fee

Disconnection due to a returned check can only be reconnected during the normal work hours between 7:00 AM-3:00 PM on Mon-Fri.


Service Issues FAQ
 

Q: Whom do I call if I have a utility problem after office hours? 
A: Please call our main office line at 931-967-2238 and an after-hours service will contact the appropriate utility employees right away.
Q: Who do I call if I questions or concerns about my garbage pickup? 
A: Please contact Waste Management for these concerns at 931-967-2081.
Q: I received a letter from Winchester Utility System saying I have high water usage. What does it mean? 
A: As a courtesy to our customers, Winchester Utility System will review water usage following each read cycle to determine if there is any water consumption that is considerably above normal. If we notice an unusually high consumption and a notice has not already been left at your residence, we will send a notice letter to you by mail. If you are aware of the increased usage, just ignore the letter.
Q: I have a higher than normal water bill from a water leak and I have fixed the leak. May I get an adjustment to my bill? 
A: Yes, you may qualify for an adjustment if you meet the following criteria:

 
  • If the leak causes a water bill that is greater than $50.00 normal usage as compared to the previous years' same month water usage, then you may qualify for an adjustment.

An adjustment can be made only one time in a 12 month rolling period and will cover only two consecutive bills. To request an adjustment on your bill:
 
  • Customer must come to the main office and request an adjustment
  • Customer must provide a copy of the bill for the leak repair or a receipt of the parts used to make the repairs (if made by the customer)

Once the Customer Service Representative determines if qualified for an adjustment, they will calculate the adjustment and the customer must sign the form. The adjustment will be made to the bill.

Contact Us

You can contact our customer service representatives by calling (931) 967-2238 or completing the form below.