Government Finance Officers
Association of British Columbia
Saturday, March 25, 2023

We asked local governments across BC about how they handle utility billing. We had 26% of BC local governments report on their practice. The summary below reflects those responses.

Utility Billing

Discounts offered for prompt payment of Utility Bills:

  • 31% of local governments reporting offer a discount for early payment.
  • Discounts range from 2% to 25% with an average discount of 9.3% and median of 10%.
  • The number of days a discount is offered from the billing date ranges from 15 to 75 days, with the average number of days the discount is offered at 39.5 days and a median of 30 days.
  • An average of 79% of customers take advantage of the discount with a median of 80% and a range of 35% to 95%.

Penalties charged for late payment of Utility Bills:

  • 75% of local governments reported penalizing customers for late payment.
  • Penalties reported a range of 2-10% with an average of 6.89% and a median of 5%.
  • The number of days before a penalty is imposed ranges from 21 to 273 days with an average of 66 days and a mean of 42 days
  • Delinquent payees past the penalty date range from 1-50% of customers, with an average of 14% and median of 15%.

Back-billing Policies:

  • 23% of local governments reported having a policy for back-billing
  • Procedures ranged from current year only to 2 years backdated billing. 

For detailed results for this question or any past question, please contact

Thank you to all who participated in this questionnaire. The online Forumis a great place to continue the conversation. 

If you have a topic for a future quarterly question please contact the office at or (250) 382-6871. 

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