Utility Bills

New Owner Information

Congratulations on purchasing your home!

The following information is designed to provide you with general information about utility bills.  

What is a City of Toronto utility account?

The City of Toronto utility account is set up for each property where water/sewage service and/or solid waste management fees apply.

When purchasing a property, you may be faced with having many utility accounts. If your property has gas service, you will have an account and bill with your gas service supplier. Similarly, the electricity service provider to your property will bill you separately for that service. 

Visit our website for  more information about the City of Toronto Utility Bill.

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Do you have a utility account setup for me?

If the property you purchased already had an active utility account for the previous owner, the previous owner’s account would be closed.  You must contact Revenue Services to set up a new account for you. There is a fee for new accounts and a fee for ownership changes on utility accounts. More information about fees.

Usually, for water metered accounts, the vendor or the solicitor acting on his/her behalf will arrange for the meter to be read on the closing date and will provide a forwarding address for the vendor’s final utility bill.  You should check with your solicitor to see if this was done.

Once the previous owner’s utility account has been finalized, a new account will be created for you.  The final reading from the previous owner will be the starting reading for your account if your account has metered water service.

You may want to take a reading from the water meter when you move in to the property to ensure you know the starting reading for your period of occupancy.

Please be aware that if the vendor does not pay their final utility bill, it may be added the property tax account for collection. For more information about Utility Bill Arrears

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What type of utility bills are issued?

There are several types of utility bills.  We have water metered service, flat rate water service and AMR (automated meter reading) service. Depending up the type of property, utility bills may also contain solid waste management fees. 

For most residential properties with water metered service, you will be billed approximately every 4 months based on meter readings provided by mail, phone or by meter reading taken by a City authorized Meter Reader.  If you have an AMR meter, a meter reading is transmitted daily and you would not be required to read your meter.

Some older properties located in the former Toronto and Etobicoke areas have flat rate utility billing.  Flat rate accounts are based on the number of rooms and water fixtures in your home.  

Flat rate accounts located in former Toronto are billed every 6 months and are due in January and July, while those located in the former Etobicoke area are billed three times per year. However, all residential properties in Toronto will be required to install an AMR meter. Please visit our website to learn more about the Water Meter Program

For flat rate accounts, your real estate lawyer may have requested a utility certificate and can then calculate how much of the flat rate utility bill amount is your share and how much is the responsibility of the previous owner based on the purchase/sale date.  This is usually done on the Statement of Adjustments that is prepared by your lawyer on closing.  

For accounts that have metered service, the lawyer will use the utility certificate to determine if there have been previous estimated bills, and to determine if the account is up to date.  A large number of estimated billings indicates that the actual billing for consumption (or billing for the actual amount of water consumed) may not be billed at the time of closing.  

Outstanding utility bill charges can be added to the property tax account for collection. Be sure to ask your lawyer about the utility bill amount.

Residential condominiums generally have water service provided for the entire building and there would not be individual accounts for each unit within the building.  Real estate lawyers may still obtain utility certificates to determine if the utility bill payments for the building are in good standing.

Some townhouses may have water/solid waste bills for individual units or in some cases, solid waste only if there is only one water account for the complex.

If you purchased a brand new home, you may expect a delay in receiving your first utility bill.  Once Toronto Water has provided the Revenue Services Division with the water meter details, a new account will be set up and a bill mailed once the current meter reading is obtained.

There is a fee for setting up a new utility account.

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How often will I receive a utility bill?

Most residential properties in the City of Toronto will receive three utility bills per year, if the household has a water meter.  The due dates for these bills will vary depending upon the area in which you live.  

If you have purchased a condominium, the utility bills are may be included in your maintenance fees for the condominium.  You may check with the property management, or with your solicitor to confirm if this is the case.   

If the home you have purchased is located in former Toronto and is billed on a flat rate, you will receive two bills per year.  The first bill is for the period January 1 to June 30 and the second is for the period July 1 and December 31.  If the home you have purchased is located in former Etobicoke and you have a flat rate account, you will receive three bills per year.  The first bill is for the period between January 1 and April 30, the second for the period May 1 and August 31 and the third for the period September 1 and December 31.

Commercial, industrial or multi-residential premises may be billed more frequently, depending upon water use.

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Can I pay my utility bill by Pre-Authorized Payment?

The City offers a utility bill Pre-Authorized Payment Program. Visit Pre-Authorized Utility Bill Payment Program for more information or to obtain an application form. 

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Can I pay my bills through the bank or financial institution?

Yes, utility bills can be paid through your bank or financial institution.

If your preferred payment method is telephone or internet banking, most financial institutions list City of Toronto Utility Bill Payments on their lists of acceptable payees.  Most financial institutions list us under “Toronto, City of”.  

You will need your full 20 character utility account number in order to enrol in this payment option with your financial institution.  This number may be found on your utility bill, or you may obtain the number by calling a Customer Service Representative at 416 338-4829.

More information on Paying Your Utility Bill.

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I sold a property and purchased a new one.  Will my payment option transfer to my new property?

Payment options do not transfer to new properties. It is up to you to cancel any pre-authorized payment arrangements prior to selling your property. You must also update any account information with your bank or financial institution if you pay electronically.

If you were previously enrolled through your financial institution for either telephone or internet banking services, please note that you must change your utility account number. If you purchased a new property and did not correct this information with your financial institution, your payments will be credited to your old account and you may end up receiving overdue notices and be subject to penalty charges for outstanding balances on your new utility account.  The City of Toronto cannot make these changes on your behalf.  You must contact your financial institution to update your utility account information.  Please note that there is a fee applicable for transferring payments made through this payment method if they are paid to the wrong account.

If you have moved within the City of Toronto and were previously enrolled in the Pre-Authorized Utility Payment Program (PUP), you may not carry the program over to your new property.  You must cancel your participation in the program for your old property and reapply for the program for your new property.  

More information on the Pre-Authorized Utility Bill Payment Program.

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I have a tenant living in the property.  Can you send the utility bill to them?

Both the owner of the property and the tenant must sign an agreement in order for the City to mail a utility bill to the tenant.  A fee is charged for this service.
Learn more about Requesting a Designate Mailer.

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My Garbage bin/recycle bin is the incorrect size, or I do not have one, what can I do?

The size of your garbage bin will determine the amount of the Solid Waste charges on your utility bill.

Visit Waste Collection or call 311 by phone to arrange for a bin exchange or to request a bin.
More information is available for utility bills for Solid Waste Rates.

Learn more New Owner Information for property tax.

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