Understanding And Paying Your Utility Bill

water meterCity utility bills (not to be confused with private utility bills), include charges for water usage, sanitary sewer, street lights, storm drainage, and recycling.

Paying Your Bill

Utility bills cover three months and are mailed quarterly. You can pay by mail, online, or in person.

  • By Mail or In Person: Tear off the top half of your bill and mail it to the City of Golden Valley (see address on the right side of the bill) or put it in the drop box located near the front door of City Hall along with a check or cash (no credit cards). Payment must be received on or before the date listed (postmark date is not acceptable) to avoid a 10% penalty fee.

  • No fees, it's free! View or pay bill online anytime. Multiple payment options available. Pay multiple accounts in one transaction. Sign up for email or text reminders.

Understanding Your Bill

+Account Summary

The information in the "Account Summary" box on the right side of your bill is an itemized report of the amount you owe.

  • Billing: This is the amount of your last utility bill. If your bill is higher this time, you are using more water.
  • Payments: This is the amount you paid on your last bill. More than likely, you have paid the bill in full and your payment will be equal to your previous bill.
  • Adjustments & Penalties: If there are any adjustments to your bill, or if you were late with your last payment, the amount you are penalized or credited will show up here.
  • Balance Forward: This is the total amount due since your previous bill, including payments, adjustments or penalties.
  • Current Charges: This is the amount you owe for current services used.
  • Total Amount Due: This is the amount you need to pay by the due date printed on your bill.

+Fee Breakdown

Besides the actual service (such as delivery of water), your fees fund maintenance and improvement of the City's utilities systems as a whole.

  • Water: Golden Valley buys its water from the City of Minneapolis. The amount you owe for water depends on the number of gallons you used during the billing period. There is a minimum charge based on meter size for the first 1,000 gallons used. After that, water rates are $6.60 per 1,000 gallons of water per quarter up to 79,000 gallons used. For usage over 79,000 gallons, the rate is $6.68 per 1,000 gallons per quarter. The Emergency Water Supply fee is 30 cents per 1,000 gallons.
  • Sewer: Residents are charged for each billing period to cover costs for the disposal and treatment of sewage via metrowide sewage treatment plants operated by Metropolitan Council Environmental Services. Sewer rates are based on how much wastewater residents put into the system, which is measured by winter water consumption. Rates are $76.26 for those that use 5,000 gallons of water or less, $79.11 for those that use 6,000 to 15,000 gallons, $87.01 for 16,000 to 19,000 gallons, $99.20 for 20,000 to 25,000 gallons, $129.97 for 26,000 to 39,000 gallons, $149.67 for 40,000 to 59,000 gallons, $158.86 for 60,000 to 79,000 gallons, $182.03 for 80,000 to 99,000 gallons, and $216.03 for 100,000 gallons or more.
  • Irrigation Accounts: Accounts are billed monthly (April-Nov). For all accounts, any water usage will be billed with the water rates listed above..
  • State Testing Fees: The State charges Golden Valley to test its water for impurities. This $2.43 fee is set by the Minnesota Department of Health and sent to them as a pass-through.
  • Recycling: Part of Golden Valley's weekly curbside recycling program is funded by Hennepin County. Your $16 quarterly fee covers the remainder of the program as well as the City's Spring Brush Pick-Up and Fall Leaf Drop-Off.
  • Storm Drainage: This $25 quarterly fee is based on acreage and type of property use (typical residential lot is 1/3 acre). It covers the cost for water quality ponds, storm drainage, street cleaning, projects included in the City's surface water management plan, and improvements made to the City systems that coincide with the pavement management program.
  • Street Lights: Residents who directly benefit from a standard street light are charged for half the cost of operating the light (tax revenue covers the rest). Fees are $12.42 per quarter for ornamental lights and $8.56 per quarter for overhead lights.
  • Cert: This administrative fee is charged annually to residents who aren't paying their utility bills. The fee is then certified to their property tax bill.
    Commercial and multi-family housing customers are billed monthly.

+Understanding Meter Readings

  • Current Reading: Your meter measures the water you use in thousand gallon units. If your current reading is 1200, that means you have used 1,200,000 gallons of water since your meter was installed.
  • Previous Reading: The difference between your previous reading and your current reading is the amount of water you have used during the billing period.
  • Estimate Read: This only shows on the bill when the City is unable to get an actual read.
  • Read Date: The date that the read is taken on the meter.
  • Meter #: The meter number is the actual serial number of the meter.
  • Usage: This is the amount of water you have used in the three-month billing period (measured in thousand gallon units). For example, usage of 15 units equals 15,000 gallons of water.
  • Other Consumption: This is reserved for businesses; most homes won't have any other consumption.
  • Total Consumption: This is the total amount of water you used during the billing period.
  • Total Water Consumption: This is the actual number of 1,000 gallons the user is billed.

Enterprise Funds

The City's water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, and recycling funds are handled as enterprise funds. This means the amount you pay for those utilities covers the cost of providing the service, maintenance and repair of each system, and any improvements to the system. Taxes do not fund anything related to those utilities.