The City of Austin charges fees and deposits to start utility service. We provide ways to waive deposits, and we refund them with interest when certain conditions are met.
Fees Required to Start Service
- $20 to start electric or water service
- $15 to start solid waste service
Security Deposits Required to Start Service
A deposit of one-sixth the average annual or estimated billing at the same commercial service address for the preceding 12 months or $300 whichever is greater.
How to Get Your Deposit Waived
Qualifying commercial customers who start new services may be eligible to have their deposit waived if one of the following conditions applies:
- Has a record of satisfactory compliance with customer payment standards on a previous City of Austin Utility account.
- Provides a letter of reference from another electric, gas, or water utility.
Deposit Waiver Eligibility Conditions Explained
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 returned payments.
- No outstanding balances.
- 24 months of consecutive service.
- No engagement in the unlawful use of service or utility service diversion.
Letter of Reference
The City will waive your deposit after it receives a letter of reference from your current electric, gas, or water utility.
Have your previous utility provider fax the letter to 512-505-4035 or email it to Customer Care.
The letter of reference must show:
- No late payments.
- For commercial customers — no record of past due balance and no disconnections for non-payment during the last 24 consecutive billing cycles.
The 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.
How to Get 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 under the following condition:
- 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.
- Learn what you can do to manage your utility account
- Know your confidentiality options and customer rights