Deputy Utilities Manager – Finance & Administration Robert Westervelt
Officials with the Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities ask customers for patience as they work through the initial steps of deploying utility bills in a new software system.
The processing of utility bills has been on hold since July 1 as a planned, cautious step in moving from one billing system to another.
Los Alamos County changed its Enterprise Resource Planning software July 1 to Munis software by Tyler Technologies, which includes the utility billing system. While the vast majority of utility billing data was converted electronically, staff with the DPU is still working on post-conversion setups, as well as entering data that could not be reliably converted. These activities need to be completed before regular monthly billing resumes.
“We do not want to send bills out until we know that the billing is correct,” Deputy Utilities Manager Robert Westervelt said. When customers do receive their bills, they will have the full 25 days to make payments. “We anticipate that we will be ready to start billing by the end of this week. As we have indicated before, neighborhoods that were billed will be posted on facebook https://www.facebook.com/DPU1968/ and DPU’s website at https://rebrand.ly/DPU-BillingSchedule.”
If customers don’t receive a bill within 10 days of that notice, DPU is asking that they notify the Customer Care Center.
Coinciding with the billing software change, staff also is working through a conversion for its Los Alamos DPU App so that it points correctly to the new software while maintaining history from the previous software. For the moment, customers cannot make a payment through the app nor can they see any online activity post-July 1 on their accounts, including recent payments and account balances. According to Westervelt, the conversion could take up to 30 days.
In the meantime, DPU arranged for customers to be able to make online payments through the Paymentus site at https://ipn.paymentus.com/otp/stde/lacu Customers will need their Customer ID and Account numbers which will be included on the new bills. DPU reminds customers that they also can still make payments through the mail or in person, drop off a payment at the Los Alamos National Bank in White Rock and the townsite or schedule a payment through their personal banks.
Note: Customers who have signed up for automatic payments through the DPU do not need to do anything.
While payments made after July 1 are not registering in the Los Alamos DPU app, they are being processed upon receipt and are credited immediately to customers’ accounts in the new Munis billing software.
“After the conversion of the app,” Westervelt points out, “this activity will be visible to the customer.”
Customers are encouraged to contact the Customer Care Center if they have concerns or questions. The Customer Care Center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and can be reached at 505.662.8333 or CustomerCare@lacnm.us.
“We are expecting higher than normal call volumes, and of course staff is learning a new system,” Westervelt warned. “I want to thank our customers in advance for their patience as we work to answer questions and resolve any issues as quickly as possible.”
The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) operates the county-owned electric, gas, water & wastewater systems under the jurisdiction of the Board of Public Utilities. Board meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. and of course, the public is welcome. The DPU is funded by rates paid for electric, gas, water and wastewater services and auxiliary fees, and has provided the community with these services for more than 50 years. CustomerCare@lacnm.us | 505.662.8333 | www.losalamosnm.us/government/departments/UTILITIES