From time to time, you may have questions about our services. Below, we've listed answers to the questions asked most frequently about those services. If you cannot find the answer to your question here, please call us at (253) 502-8000 or email us at

Utility bill payment options

Understanding your utility bill


What is Budget Billing?
Budget Billing is a plan to help residential customers level out their utility bills throughout the year. Learn more about Budget Billing.

Can I pay my utility bill using a credit card?
Yes. If you're a residential customer, you may call (253) 502-8608 to pay your residential utility bill over the phone. You can use your Visa, Discover or MasterCard debit or credit card. You'll need to provide your account number, the last four digits of the primary account holder's Social Security number and your debit or credit card number. You will receive a confirmation number after the transaction has been completed.

Can I pay my utility bill online?
Yes. The City of Tacoma and Tacoma Public Utilities offer a program called Internet Self Service. It allows you to view and pay your bill online. You can pay by either automatic draft from your checking or savings account or by a Visa, Discover or MasterCard debit or credit card using MyAccount.

Can I change the date my bill is due?
On many accounts, TPU offers an alternate due date option of the 10th, 20th or 30th of the month. Please contact Customer Services at (253) 502-8600 for more information regarding your account.

Where can I pay my utility bill?
There are several options: You can pay your bill by mail, at local Pay Boxes, online, over the phone and in person. Learn more about your payment options.

What can I do when I can't pay?
To make arrangements on your utility bill, you can call our automated line at (253) 502-8608. If the arrangements are outside of our general guidelines, your call will automatically be routed to a customer service representative who will discuss other payment options to assist you. Learn more about our credit policies.

When is my payment due?
Utility payments are due 15 days after each bill is mailed. Need an extension? Call our automated line at (253) 502-8608.

What are the customer charge, energy charge and delivery charge on my electric bill? 
The monthly customer charge covers administrative costs, like reading and servicing your meter, preparing and mailing bills, and maintaining and updating billing records and applicable franchise fees. The energy charge reflects the costs of producing electricity. The delivery charge reflects the costs relating to poles, lines, transformers, etc., associated with delivering electricity from its source to your home. Learn more about the charges on your bill.

Can I read my own meter and call in the readings?
No. We want to ensure your meter is accurately read. With more than 180,000 customers, we cannot answer the volume of calls this would create.

Do I have to pay a deposit?
Applicants might be required to pay a deposit for electric, water and/or commercial solid waste. Security deposits may be waived for property owners and for customers who have established a satisfactory payment history with Tacoma Public Utilities. Learn more about our deposits.

How do I read my electric meter?
Reading your electric meter is a great way to track how your home is using electricity. Read all the dials from left to right. Record the smaller of the two numbers on either side of the pointer. To figure out how much electricity you have used, subtract the previous meter reading from your present meter reading. Most residential meters have signs that read "multiply by 10." This will give you the number of kilowatt-hours of electricity you have used since the last reading.

Do I need to be present to have my service connected or reconnected?
In most cases you do not have to be present when your service is connected or reconnected.

If my trees are growing into power lines, will you cut them?
If your trees are growing into the transmission or distribution power lines, please call Tacoma Power's Tree Trimming/Removal line at (253) 502-8729. Tacoma Power will not trim trees on private property that are between the utility pole and the home. Learn more about tree trimming.