FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE10-12
February 4, 2010
Michael Saucier/Mercedes Padilla/Angel Roman (718) 595-6600
DEP Expands Bill Payment Options to Include Direct Debit
Water and Sewer Customers Can Now Schedule Automatic On-line Payments
NYC Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Cas Holloway today announced the launch of an on-line payment feature that will make it easier for DEP’s customers to pay and track their bills. Starting this week, water and sewer customers can now schedule their bills to be paid by direct debit so they can better manage their payments. The service can be accessed at nyc.gov/dep by clicking on “Pay Your Bill Now.”
“Water and sewer customers should be able to pay their bills quickly and efficiently; ideally, they shouldn’t even have to think about it,” said Commissioner Holloway. “This user-friendly feature makes it easy for people to keep current with their bills, particularly those who own or manage multiple properties and customers in payment agreements with DEP. We also hope that it encourages customers to pay their bills within 30 days, which helps ensure that all New Yorkers pay their fair share to supply and distribute the best drinking water in the country.”
Currently, customers can pay their bills by check, credit card and Electronic Funds Transfer but the payments cannot be done automatically or scheduled for a future date. Now customers will have the option of making scheduled payments by using direct debit, which can be drawn from a checking account, savings account, or credit card. Customers receive bill notification in advance of the transaction date and confirmation emails are sent.
The direct debit program is a component of DEP’s ongoing transformation of its Bureau of Customer Services, the bureau responsible for metering water, issuing bills, and collecting revenue. The transformation has included expanded customer assistance and a stronger set of enforcement tools and revenue collection strategies, such as service shut-offs and stand-alone lien sales for customers who do not pay. DEP has expanded call center hours for customer convenience, dramatically reduced customer call wait time, reduced the response time for written customer inquiries, added online bill payment to its website, and is installing automated meter reading technology citywide to provide its customers with more accurate account information.
DEP manages the City’s water supply, providing more than 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million residents, including 8 million in New York City. New York City’s water is delivered from a watershed that extends more than 125 miles from the City, and comprises 19 reservoirs, and three controlled lakes. Approximately 7,000 miles of water mains, tunnels and aqueducts bring water to homes and businesses throughout the five boroughs, and 7,400 miles of sewer lines take wastewater to 14 in-City treatment plants.