Riverside Public Utilities

Utility Bill

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Fees and Charges

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Payment Plans


Riverside Public Utilities offers two payment plans to help you budget and pay your water and energy bill.



Direct Pay Plan

The Direct Pay Plan offers all residential and commercial customers served by Riverside Public Utilities the ability to have their utility payment paid directly from their preferred checking, savings and loan or credit union account. You no longer need to write a check to pay your utility bill. You will save the environment, time and money and this convenient and secure service is absolutely free. See how it all works.

Here 's how it works:

  1. Completely fill out the Direct Pay Application with all the required information.
  2. Attach a blank check from your financial institution marked "VOID"
  3. Send it in!

Remember to send the application in with a blank voided check, otherwise it will delay your application. It takes about 6-8 weeks to activate your account in the program.

The check writer for the Riverside Public Utilities account must also be listed as a responsible party for the RPU utility account. If the check writer is not listed on the account, please call Customer Service at (951) 782-0330 and we'll add them to it.

Prior to your activation in the program, you will receive a pre-notification statement that must be paid. Bill statements following that statement will show you that no payment is due, but that Riverside Public Utilities will soon draft monies from your account. Payment draft dates may vary slightly from month to month depending on meter read dates and billing dates.

You can set the maximum payment level we take out (must be $25 or more) so you know exactly how much money Riverside Public Utilities is taking out of your account each month. Plus, you may increase or decrease your maximum payment level whenever you want (e.g., during seasonal high or low periods of use). Customers may drop out of Direct Pay at any time and return to normal billing procedures. To avoid any unwanted drafts, please notify the Customer Service Department at least 48hrs before your scheduled draft.

If you have any bills that are over your pre-set level, your account will be suspended from Direct Pay - which means you'll be responsible for paying your bill using an alternate method. If the bill is not paid, the account will be subject to normal collection activity. Once your bill is paid, we will resume drafting based on your Direct Pay options.

If your payment transaction is returned by your bank for any reason, including insufficient funds and closed or unauthorized accounts, you will be taken off the program. You will be required to pay the amount due and wait up to 6 months with a satisfactory payment history before re-establishing your account on the program.

Once your bill is paid, you will be put back on the Direct Pay program.

Level Pay Plan for Residents & Small Business

ATTENTION: RPU Level Pay Plan enrollment is on hold until further notice. For questions regarding your account, please contact Customer Service at (951) 782-0330 or email [email protected].

Level Pay Plan for Residents & Small Business

The Level Pay Plan helps Riverside Public Utilities’ residential and small business customers level out their utility bill payments over the course of the entire year. For example, instead of having larger bills in the summer, you will pay one flat rate all year round, thus offsetting higher summer bills.


How does the Level Pay Plan work?
Riverside Public Utilities will calculate a set amount for customers to pay, based upon the qualifying customers' past billing statements. Once the Utility account has been established for the Level Pay Plan, customers will begin to pay their set amount on the first bill statement after enrollment. Customer usage will be evaluated throughout the year and if average usage increases significantly, level pay amounts may be adjusted accordingly to avoid a large final settlement bill. At the end of 12 consecutive months*, customers will receive a settlement bill statement reflecting a debit or credit, based on the difference of actual usage versus amounts paid throughout the year.
* Settlements may be pushed out beyond 12 months by the Utility company as needed.


How do I qualify?
To qualify, residential customers must have a good payment history (no more than 2 late notices) and have had service at the same location for twelve consecutive months.


Can I combine plans?
For even more worry-free bill paying, customers can combine the Level Pay Plan with our Direct Pay Plan and have the same amount automatically deducted from their existing checking or savings accounts.

Level Pay Plan for Large Commercial Customers

To qualify: 

  • Usage must not exceed 8000 KwH per month
  • The account must have good payment history (no more than 2 late notices)
  • The account must have had service at the same location for 12 consecutive months

Business customers are eligible to sign up for this program any time during the year with the understanding they will receive a settlement bill every year in January.



Understanding Your Bill


If you have any questions regarding your bill for electric or water consumption and/or city services charges, you may request an explanation and/or investigation from Customer Service within 5 days after receiving the bill.



Bill Breakdown

See a breakdown of your utility bill.


Front of Bill Explanation

*Click image to view PDF.

Customer Service Call Center

For further questions or concerns about your utility bill, please contact our customer service call center at (951) 782-0330.

Delinquent Bills/Returned Check

Should you have any questions regarding this bill for electric or water consumption and/or city services charges, you may request an explanation and/or investigation from Customer Service within 5 days after receiving the bill.

Bills showing a previous balance are subject to termination proceedings under the terms and conditions of Riverside Public Utilities’ Rules and Rates Schedules. Past due accounts remaining unpaid may have service discontinued. To re-establish service, the Utility may require bill payment, a reconnection charge and a cash deposit or additional deposit not to exceed three times the estimated average monthly bill. A fee will be assessed on any item returned from the bank and may result in the termination of service.

Meter Reading

Your meter is read around the same time each month. Clear access to your meter is required. If we are unable to obtain a reading of your water or electric meter, your bill will be estimated.

Online Payments

You can pay your utility bill online using our Online Bill Pay system.  Please note that online payments may take a day to process before appearing on your credit card statement. Register for online payments.

Rules and Rates

Riverside Public Utilities’ Rules and Rates, under which service is rendered, are on file at City Hall, at the Customer Service Offices, and on the electric rates and rules and water rates and rules pages.


For energy and water conservation tips and programs call (951) 826-5485, Monday through Friday 8 AM to 5 PM.

Water General Fund Transfer

The Water General Fund Transfer is a component of every customer’s water bill, and is a transfer of up to 11.5% of revenues from the Water Fund to the City’s General Fund. On June 4, 2013, the voters of the City of Riverside approved the Water General Fund Transfer as a general tax, pursuant to Article 13.C of the California Constitution.

High Utility Bill: Common Causes

Is your water or electricity bill higher than you anticipated this month? Here are some of the most common reasons behind higher-than-anticipated utility bills and how to prevent them:




Repair leaky faucets and toilets and save as much as 20 gallons per day. You’ll save even more by installing high-efficiency toilets. See the rebate.


Repair sprinkler systems. Installing rotating sprinkler nozzles can properly direct water flow and use 20% less water than conventional spray heads. Installing a Weather Based “Smart” Controller can save as much as 100-150 gallons per day. See residential rebates and business rebates.




It can take a lot of energy to light your home or business. Here are some great ways to save energy when lighting your home or business.

Vampire Load

“Vampire load” refers to all of the appliances and devices around your home that are left plugged in around the clock, even when they’re not being used. Avoid vampire load by unplugging items like coffee machines, mobile phone chargers and microwave ovens when they’re not being used.

Major Appliances

Big appliances like washing machines and air conditioners account for a lot of your home or business’ energy load. Here are some useful energy-saving tips from energy.gov.


One of the easiest ways to save energy at home or at work is to assess your energy use behaviors and try to avoid the ones that use energy unnecessarily. This could include leaving the lights on after exiting a room or even turning multiple commercial-grade air conditioning units on at the same time. Here are some other common energy wasting behaviors.

Want to inform your staff about how to save? Energy Star offers a handy communications toolkit.

Utility Charges

To help you better understand the charges and fees that show up on your monthly utility bill, here is a brief explanation of each one:


Each month, RPU retrieves a reading from your water meter. The reading period can be found across from the Total Charges for Water on your bill.

This period is used to determine the actual days of service and to calculate your daily average use, measured in hundred cubic feet (CCF) of water used for the period. One CCF is equivalent to roughly 748 gallons.

Your used CCF/consumption is billed based on the usage allotted for each tier of your assigned service rate.


As with your water meter, RPU retrieves a reading from your electric meter each month. The reading period can be found across from the Total Charges for Water on the bill.

This period is used to determine the actual days of service and to calculate the daily average of kilowatt-hours (kWh) used for the period. One 100-watt bulb burning for 10 hours uses about one kilowatt-hour of electricity.

Your used kWh are billed based on the usage allotted for each tier of your assigned service rate.

Reliability Charge

A monthly flat charge which is used to recover the actual costs to improve the reliability of Riverside’s internal transmission system and provide internal generation of power and energy to service Riverside’s Customers. Such charge is calculated either by the Customer’s maximum rated electric service entrance panel capacity or through a combination of such panel capacity and actual usage, in accord with the Customer’s applicable tariff.

Customer Charge

Fixed charge assigned to each metered service, based upon service rate, used to cover costs directly related to providing monthly electric and water services.

State Energy Charge

A special assessment, based on energy usage, required by the state of California to fund ongoing energy programs and energy projects deemed appropriate by the Legislature.

Network Access Charge

Charge based on average daily electric usage designed to recover part of the costs for maintaining RPU's electric distribution system (poles and wires).

City Services

All other charges, which might include:

Utility User Tax

Paid by all utility customers in the city, the tax helps pay for things like street lights, park services, and city programs.

Electric Public Benefits Surcharge

State-mandated monthly surcharge of 2.85% of the total electric charge. Funds collected are used for low-income customer assistance, energy efficiency and conservation programs, renewable resources and energy research and development.


Sewer charges are based on customer type and size, and help cover the cost of maintaining the City’s sewer system.

Sewer Public Benefit Charge

This fee assists the Public Works Department in creating and supporting programs that encourage customers to implement technology and best practices that reduce their discharge into the sewer system.


Charges for trash, green waste, and recyclables collection.