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Blog March 2023

What is Utility Billing software?

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Nicole Kelly

Director of Marketing North America (Utilities)

What is utility billing software?

Starting with the basics, utility organizations provide a range of services to its customers, from electricity, to natural gas, to water, to wastewater and sewer, to trash and recycling, to telephone service. Obviously, each utility will have nuances in how they structure their pricing, but utility billing software enables the utility company to bill their customers for their services.

In order to effectively bill its customers, the utility needs to collect usage data to determine how much to charge a particular customer. The level of automation of the billing process within the industry can vary drastically. In some areas, smart meters are deployed to collect usage data. In others, a representative from the utility goes to each meter to take readings. Some utilities can import automated meter readings while others use a billing system that requires a manual import process. Some billing systems only print out paper invoices that need to be collated, put into envelopes, and mailed while other billing software solutions provide portal access so customers can view and pay their bill online without ever interacting with paper or a customer service representative from the utility. As you can see, a utility provider can fall anywhere on the automation spectrum.

What are the characteristics of a modern utility billing software solution?

Billing software has been around for a long time, but there is a huge difference between a legacy billing system and a modern utility billing software solution. Software should enable utilities to reduce the overhead needed to serve its customers while still delivering great customer service. Customers care about receiving an accurate, easy-to-read, and easy-to-understand invoice. Since the pandemic began, a significant percentage of customers want options to be able to view their bills and pay online using a variety of payment methods. A modern utility billing solution provides all these capabilities and more.

From the utility’s perspective, the software should support complex and dynamic rate plans. Additionally, functionality that provides analytics, customer account management, and integration with other back-end systems are critical. And providing an online customer portal, preferably without having to buy an additional third-party product that needs pricey customization and API integrations, is ideal.  And if you are multi-service provider, such as a municipality that offers electric, water, waste and recycling, and sewer services, being able to handle all those services from a single provider is crucial in order to gain an accurate overview of your customers.

The transformative power of technology means that utility companies no longer need to rely on outdated software that doesn’t account for the realities of today’s marketplace or worse, force its employees to perform manual efforts with its hidden costs in time and employee productivity. A modern integrated utility billing software solution, such as the AMCS Utility Billing solution, provides unmatched flexibility and delivers value to both the utility and its customers.

Learn more about capabilities of the AMCS Utility Billing solution or contact us today for a demonstration.

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Resources

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5 Best Practices for Utility Compliance: How to Avoid Regulatory Violations

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10 Simple Steps to Build a Better Utility Asset Management Plan

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Creating a Cost-Effective Utility Asset Management Plan

View other resources

Request an AMCS Utility Billing Demo

Discover how AMCS Utility Billing will guard against revenue leakage while providing a higher level of customer satisfaction and self-service

Request a demo
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