Single-family residential customers
Utility Reference Letter
A utility reference letter provides written documentation of a customer’s payment history with another water utility provider. To be considered waived of a security deposit, customers must activate a new service in a single family residence and the utility reference letter must: be from a water service provider; be on the utility provider’s letterhead; include the utility provider’s phone number; refer to the same person who initiates the new utility account; cover a credit history dating back less than one year from the date the new utility account was opened; and, meet the City’s good credit criteria. For more information, contact the Utility Account Coordinator at 727-893-7341.
Multi-family residential and commercial customers
Instead of making a cash deposit, full-service multifamily and business accounts can provide a deposit through an acceptable irrevocable bank letter of credit or surety bond. Accounts with less than full-service activity, such as water-only accounts or new construction accounts, are not eligible for Alternative Deposit Coverage.
Bonds are issued by insurance companies. The conditions for obtaining a bond are determined by the issuing insurance company. Customers generally pay an insurance premium based on the amount of bond coverage, but the cost of bonding varies on an annual basis. Bonds must be issued in the account holder’s name and coverage must be equivalent to the account holder’s full-service deposit requirement. The surety bond makes the insurance company liable for payment in the event of a default on the utility bills of the customer who acquires the surety bond.
If the customer does not pay, the city of St. Petersburg will post the bond for payment up to the limit of the bond. In addition, bonds are reviewed every six months to ensure adequate coverage. If an additional amount is required, the original bond is amended by an endorsement to reflect the full coverage required. Each year, a confirmation letter is sent to the insurance companies to ensure continuity of coverage. The Utility Accounts Coordinator is responsible for maintaining obligations. Questions regarding a bond can be directed to the Utility Account Coordinator at 727-893-7341.
The City of St. Petersburg requires surety bonds be on the original city form, which can be obtained from the Utility Accounts Coordinator by calling 727-893-7341 or downloaded below. Once completed, return the original document to the Utility Account Coordinator at PO Box 33037, St. Petersburg, FL 33731-8037.
Irrevocable letters of credit
An irrevocable letter of credit is similar to a bond. Irrevocable letters of credit are obtained from financial institutions (banks or credit unions). The conditions for obtaining an irrevocable letter of credit vary depending on the issuing financial institution. Additionally, some issuing financial institutions will require a line of credit, cash, or certificate of deposit in order to issue a letter of credit. Fees are generally charged on an annual basis. The letter is issued on the institution’s letterhead and must be drawn on a local bank (in Pinellas, Hillsborough, or Sarasota counties). Although no special form is required, the letter should be automatically renewable unless the bank notifies in writing by certified mail 60 days in advance of its intention to cancel. Letters of credit must be issued in the name of the utility account owner and must be for the amount of the full service deposit requirement. If the customer does not pay his final utility bill, the City of St. Petersburg is entitled to submit a claim to the issuing institution for payment of an amount not exceeding the amount specified on the letter of credit. Essentially, the bank guarantees payment of the deposit amount for the final unpaid utility bills. The Utility Accounts Coordinator maintains letters of credit. Questions regarding a letter of credit can be directed to the Utility Accounts Coordinator at 727-893-7341.
The City of St. Petersburg requires letters of credit to be on the original city form, which can be obtained from the Utility Accounts Coordinator by calling 727-893-7341 or downloaded below. Once completed, return the original document to the Utility Account Coordinator at PO Box 33037, St. Petersburg, FL 33731-8037.
Letter of credit