Fees & Deposits

The City of Austin charges fees and deposits to start utility service. We provide ways to waive deposits, and we refund them with interest, providing certain conditions are met.

Fees for Starting Service

  • $20 to start electric or water service
  • $15 to start solid waste service

Deposits for Starting Service

Commercial Customer Deposit

  • Payment of deposit required to begin service
  • The deposit amount is 1/6 of the average annual or estimated billing at the same or a comparable commercial service address for the previous 12 months
  • The deposit is applied to the account after you meet the City’s Customer Payment Standards.

Getting Your Deposit Waived

Commercial customers may be eligible to have their deposit waived with:

  • ​A letter of reference from another electric, gas, or water utility, or
  • A record of satisfactory compliance with Customer Payment Standards on a previous City of Austin Utility account

Letter of Reference

The City will waive your deposit after receiving a letter of reference from your current electric, gas, or water utility. Have them fax the letter to 512-505-4035 or email it to Customer Care.

Letter of Reference must show:

  • No late payments
  • For commercial customers — no disconnections for non-payment during the last 24 consecutive billing cycles

Letter of Reference must include:

  • The utility service provider’s name — the provider must be your current electric, gas, or water utility.
  • The name on the utility account — the name must be the same as that of customer requesting service.
  • Type of account — residential, commercial
  • Service address
  • Service dates
  • Payment history
  • Average bill amount

City of Austin Utility Account History

The City will waive your deposit if you previously had a City of Austin Utility account and the history shows a record of satisfactory compliance with Customer Payment Standards.

Account must show:

  • No disconnections for non-payment
  • No late payments
  • No outstanding balances
  • 12 months of consecutive service
  • No engagement in the unlawful use of service or utility service diversion

Getting Your Deposit Refunded

The City may refund your deposit to your account, including interest earned, when you discontinue service. The City deposit will be refunded in the month after compliance with the following:

  • For commercial customers — the total balance due has been paid before the penalty due date during the last 24 consecutive billing cycles for the same account
Date last reviewed or modified: 5/16/18

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