The Coast News Group

Carlsbad Municipal Water District launches new billing system

CARLSBAD — It has been 20 years in the making, but the Carlsbad Municipal Water District has finally launched a new billing system.

Approved several years ago, the new system makes it much easier to register, sign up for automatic payments and get billing information, to name a few, said Finance Manager Cheryl Gerhardt.

The new system upgrade also includes 24-hour, 7-day-a-week ability to check a balance or make a payment, paperless billing and other features, which went live March 3 to the public.

“It was a long-overdue upgrade to our old system and pretty significant,” Gerhardt said. “Customers will see the online portal has a lot more information on it.”

The previous system was antiquated and relied on customers to drop off or send in physical checks to enroll in autopay. The new system, though, doesn’t require checks and streamlines the process Gerhardt added.

Now, autopay is much easier to execute, while also including a phone-in system with 24-hour access, she said. The new bills also include more information compared to the old method.

“This has been two year’s worth of deciding which system we’re going to go with,” Gerhardt said. “Finally, we got to launch. It’s been exciting and something we were all looking forward to.”

However, customers must re-register with the new system as those logins and passwords from the old platform did not migrate over, she said. It has created some additional work and traffic online to work through the process, but should level out once customers figure out the new site.

Gerhardt said the most noticeable feedback has been regarding the auto-pay with credit cards, noting some customers had called in every month to pay their bill. As for the negative, she said it’s centered on setting up a new login and password.

However, the city cautions to not use an Internet Explorer browser, while Chrome is preferred.

CMWD services most of the city, although residents in the south are part of either the Vallecitos or Olivenhain districts.

In addition to the new system, CMWD  has announced a rebate program through the San Diego County Water Authority for landscape contractors, HOAs and owners of large properties for the WaterSmart Contractor Incentive Program to help improve water-use efficiency and save money through rebates for irrigation hardware upgrades.

Contractors, site owners and site managers must enroll by March 30. This program is being offered for a limited time on a first-come, first-serve basis.