Security Deposit Policy

Residential Customers

Winchester Utility System determines the deposit requirements based on credit history received from Online Utility Exchange. The deposit fee will not exceed twice the highest estimated bill for the residential location and rate classification.

Each residential customer will have the option to determine their deposit based on the results of the credit history inquiry or to pay the maximum deposit amount of $450. Once the credit check is processed, it will be valid for six months from that date. Any service needed that requires a credit check more than six months later will be subject to the applicable fees.

If the customer elects to pay deposits based on their credit history, they will be required to pay a nominal non- refundable service fee as set by Online Utility Exchange to recover the cost of the credit inquiry.

The Online Utility Exchange provides colors to identify the credit rating for the customer. The colors are defined as follows:

  • Green = The applicant has good credit.
  • Yellow = The applicant has moderate credit based on utility credit history received from Experian credit.
  • Red = The applicant has poor credit based on utility history received from Experian credit.

The CSR will print a letter for the customer with a toll-free number to call Experian if an explanation of the rating is needed.

The following deposit rates are effective immediately without notice:

  • Credit Response = Green
    • Electric $50
    • Water $25
  • Credit Response = Yellow
    • Electric $150
    • Water $50
  • Credit Response = Red
    • Electric $450 (Minimum $250)
    • Water $100

There may be occasions when our internet or the Online Utility Exchange website is temporarily not working. The customer may elect to pay the “Red” deposit amount. When the credit check is run and if it results in other than the “Red” response, Winchester Utility System will refund or credit the deposit difference.

Commercial & Industrial Customers

All commercial and industrial customers must deposit an amount equal to twice the monthly historical bill. If the office/building does not have a billing history, then the deposit will be based on similar businesses in the area. The General Manager may reduce this policy in extraordinary circumstances. In such cases, a letter will be written explaining the full details of the situation and then reviewed by the Board of Public Utilities.

The cash deposit on commercial/industrial customers may be waived if a “Non-Revocable Letter of Credit” is received from a valid commercial bank or institution. A separate file will be kept for such letters and waivers.

Interested Earned on Deposits

Interest will be calculated annually for those active accounts that have deposits retained longer than twelve months (after payment of the deposit in full) and will be credited to the account. The rate of interest will be based on savings deposit interest rate at Regions Bank.

Adequacy on Deposits

The deposit balance, as well as the adequacy of such deposits, shall be subject to review by the Customer and Winchester Utility System. Customers can request a review of the adequacy. Adequacy of such deposits is based on credit history and payment history.

Deposits can be reviewed after two years of active service with Winchester Utilities.

Adequacy of deposit(s) is based on the customer's credit and payment history.

If a customer had no late payments or disconnection of services, it may be determined that a deposit can be lowered. If the deposit is lowered, the amount will be credited to the customer account.

If it is determined that the customer deposit is not adequate, the utility will calculate the deposit needed. The customer will be given 30 days to pay the additional required deposit amount. If not paid, the utility services will be disconnected.

Deposit Refunds

Winchester Utility System does not hold customer paid deposits after a customer’s account has been finalized and settled. If there is an unpaid balance on the finalized account, any deposits will be applied to that balance. Any remaining credit on the account will be refunded to the customer.

Once a month, Accounts Payable will issue refund checks. Refund checks that are returned to Winchester Utility System or unclaimed will be sent to the state annually.

Contact Us

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