The City recognizes that there are circumstances which result in unintended usage of water. If you have discovered a leak due to deteriorated pipes or fittings and have made the necessary repairs, the Utility Billing Adjustment Committee may review your account for a possible adjustment.
To request consideration for a billing adjustment, please read the Utility Billing Adjustment Policy and then fill out the adjustment form in full.
The Utility Bill Adjustment Process
If the Utility Billing Adjustment Committee or its designee grants a billing adjustment, the amount of excess usage due to the leak will be billed—as required by State law (CA Constitution Article 13D §6(b)(3-4)) —at the Tier 1 rate.
A Customer receives an abnormally high bill, and after doing some research, discovers a service line leak. The leak is repaired promptly and the customer applies for an adjustment. The customer’s prior month usage was 5 units and his current bill with the leak has usage of 32 units. If approved, the adjustment will be on the total number of units billed in Tier 2 (all units over 8, so in this case, 24 units). Those 24 units will be adjusted to the Tier 1 rate and the difference of $1.81 per unit credited directly to the customer’s account. The total credit in this case is $43.44 (24 x $1.81)
When sewer costs are adjusted
Sewer credits are applied uniquely to commercial customers without an irrigation meter as these types of customers do not have a sewer cap. If the customer can demonstrate that the leak was in the irrigation system, the sewer charges would be considered for adjustment.
Advice for Renters
If you find that the fixtures in your residence are not being properly maintained, refer to your Lease Agreement to determine who is responsible for this maintenance and, where necessary, notify your landlord immediately. If you find that you have received a high bill due to improper, incomplete, or ignored fixture maintenance, the City is not likely to offer an adjustment to your account.
If the landlord is responsible for said maintenance, you will need to follow whatever form of recourse you may have with your landlord. In contentious scenarios, please refer to the California Landlord and Tenant Law.
SLO Solutions offers free conflict resolution services to all San Luis Obispo residents. While they cannot speak to tenant law, they can facilitate constructive mediation and conversation to work through conflict.
Cal Poly has also created the Educated Renter's Certification Program which provides guidance to students who may be living off campus for the first time. While the certification portion is only offered to students, the information on being a good renter is still helpful for any resident in the City.