FAQs

Questions

Answers

Utilities

General

Where can I pay my utility bill?

You can pay your utility bill by mailing it to the address on the envelope included in you're monthly bill, or you can pay your bill in person in the Business Office located in the West Building at 12th St. and Denver Ave. You can also pay your utility bill at any one of the following drop box locations:( * Denotes 24 hour payment station)

  • Hastings Utilities* (1228 N. Denver Ave.)
  • Fisher Fountain* / Drive up payment box (1228 N. Denver Ave)
  • Heritage Bank (800 W. 3rd St.)
  • Hastings Federal Credit Union (707 N. Marian Rd.)
  • City Building* (220 N. Hastings Ave.)
  • Pinnacle Bank (E. Hwy 6)
  • Police Department* (317 S. Burlington)
  • Pinnacle Bank (530 N. Burlington Ave.)
  • Juniata Village Hall (911 N. Juniata Ave.)
  • Allen's Shopping Center (1115 W. 2nd St.)
  • Five Points Bank (2815 Osborne Dr. W)
  • Bank of Doniphan (800 N Burlington Ave.)

back to top

Where do I sign up for utility service?

Customers must come to the Hastings Utilities business office to sign an "Application for Service" and to make a deposit. Hastings Utilities requires deposits for residential and commercial services. Deposits are returned after 36 months provided there are not more than two delinquencies during that time. Meters will be read after the business office receives the completed forms and any necessary deposits are made. The first bill at your new address may include a turn on and light appliance fee.

back to top

How is my sewer usage bill figured?

The residential sewer charge is based on the water recorded on the January, February, and March bills. The usage is then averaged for those three months and beginning April 1st., becomes the charge for the next 12 months. For new and transferring customers, the sewer charge can be set in one of four ways:

  • Transfer the sewer base from a former address within Hastings.
  • Establish a sewer base by providing water bills from another city/community. The bills must reflect water usage for December, January, and February of the past year.
  • Pay a flat rate based on the average residential consumption until the sewer base is established.

back to top

Why is my water bill unusually high?

Should you receive a water bill that in your opinion is unusually high, it may indicate that your service line has a leak. Even a very small leak can waste enough water for you to notice the increase on your bill. If you do not have a leak and the bill seems high, did you use more water outside?

  • Did you go on vacation and leave someone else in charge of watering your lawn?
  • Did you recently add an underground sprinkling system?
  • If you have an underground sprinkling system could there be a broken head?

Did you use more water inside?

  • Did you do additional laundry before taking a vacation or after returning from one?
  • Did you have extra company staying with you during the month?

back to top

What is the hardness of my water?

The typical hardness of the water in the City of Hastings is 12 to 15 grains per gallon. If you have a water softener, Hastings Utilities recommends that it be set at 12 grains per gallon and adjusted higher as needed.

back to top

Someone placed different colored flags in my yard, Why?

You may have colored flags in your yard because either you or your neighbor have called Diggers Hotline to have the utility lines located in the area where some sort of construction or digging will occur.

back to top

Wells & Septic Tanks

Where do I get my water or how is the sewer treated?

This depends whether you have municipal water and sewer service. Contact Hastings Utilities for assistance.

back to top

If there is a well already in existence on the property, can I use it?

This depends on availability of municipal water service. If you have more than 2 acres of land, then the well can be used for irrigation. If municipal water service is also provided, a backflow preventer shall be installed.

back to top

Who owns the service lines?

The service line from the resident to the property line is owned and maintained by the homeowner. The service line from the property line to the water main is installed by the homeowner but maintained by the utilities.

back to top

What if I'd rather be connected to the Utilities Water System?

Contact Ron Sekora in the Hastings Utilities Engineering Department by calling (402) 463-1371 or for more details and applicable costs.

back to top

What if I want to abandon my well after connecting to the Utilities Water System?

If you have less than two acres your well must be abandoned and if you have two acres or more and choose not to use it for irrigation your well must be abandoned by a certified well driller. Hastings Utilities will provide financial assistance up to $200 for properly abandoning a well for those customers who are or will be connected to the Utilities Water System. Contact Marty Stange in the Hastings Utilities Engineering Department by calling (402) 463-1371 or . The Little Blue Natural Resource District or NRD will also provide financial assistance up to $300 for properly abandoning a well, regardless of whether or not you are connected to the Utilities Water System. Visit the NRD website for details.

back to top

Are there any frontage fees due for water/sewer?

Contact Ron Sekora in the Hastings Utilities Engineering Department by calling (402) 463-1371 or for more details and applicable costs.

back to top

There is already a septic tank on the property. Can I still use the septic tank if I connect to the Utilities Water System?

This depends on availability of sanitary sewer service. Contact Ron Sekora in the Hastings Utilities Engineering Department by calling (402) 463-1371 or for more details and applicable costs.

back to top

After connecting to the sanitary sewer, what do I do with my septic tank?

The septic tank must be properly abandoned. Hastings Utilities will provide financial assistance up to $200 for properly abandoning a septic tank for those customers who are or will be connecting to the Utilities Sanitary Sewer System. Contact Ron Sekora in the Hastings Utilities Engineering Department by calling (402) 463-1371 or for more details and applicable costs.

back to top

Community Solar Farm

Is there minimum participation length if a sign up?

A customer will need to put down an initial deposit of $50 when they sign up for either option of community solar.  After 1 year of participation, the deposit will be credited back onto your bill.

NOTE: One big benefit is the price stability this project offers. While standard rate for electricity can change over time, the portion of your energy that comes from this project will be fixed for the full term (30 years).

back to top

Is the renewable energy I buy through the Community Solar Farm being delivered directly to my home?

The community solar farm will supply energy directly to the Hastings distribution and transmission system.  While the energy from the solar farm may not be delivered specifically to your home, it will be accounted for in Hastings total city load and have an environmental impact throughout the entire system. The environmental offset will be tracked through the decreased energy that Hastings Utilities purchases from the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) electric region (https://www.ferc.gov/market-oversight/mkt-electric/spp.asp).

back to top

What is Community Solar?

Community solar is when solar electricity is owned and shared by multiple customers while being produced in one location.  A community solar farm primary purpose is to give customers the option to participate in renewables who cannot or don’t want to install the solar panels on their own property.

back to top

What are the options to participate?

Hastings will be offering 2 ways customers can participate; Ownership and Subscription.

1. Ownership gives customers the ability to purchase and own the panel.  The panel will stay in the solar field and be maintained by Hastings.

2. Subscription allows customers to purchase solar shares each month to offset some of the energy they use each month.

back to top

Who can participate?

Anyone who gets their electricity from Hastings Utilities can participate.

back to top

What is the lifespan of the Community Solar Farm?

The lifespan of the farm will be 30 years.

back to top

Where will Hastings Community Solar Farm be Located?

Hastings Community Solar Farm Phase 1 will be located on City owned land west of Hastings Municipal Airport between well houses 34 and 35.  Due to proximity to the airport the land has building restrictions that limit development.  The existing public water supply wells limit what types of agricultural activities can take place on the land.  This makes it an ideal location for a solar farm.  The project has planted a native wildflower seed mix around the panels to establish ground cover and provide habitat for endangered pollinators.

back to top

What are the benefits of a Community Solar Farm?

Community Solar has many benefits for customers wanting to participate in renewable energy. The benefits of community solar include:

You do not have to be a property owner to participate

Avoids building codes and zoning restrictions

Avoids factors than can reduce power output such as trees, adjacent building, and roof configuration limitations

Benefits from economy of scale

All maintenance and insurance requirements are handled by Hastings

back to top

When can I start participating?

Currently the solar field is on schedule to be up and operating by the first part of September 2019.  Pricing is established and Customer Community Solar Service Agreements are now available.

back to top

Can I participate in both?

Yes, customers will be allowed to participate in a combination of purchased panels and solar shares.

back to top

How much can I purchase?

A customer can purchase up to the solar equivalent of 80% of their annual kWh consumption.

back to top

What is the cost of each option?

Panel option

The cost of each panel is $384.00 The monthly maintenance charge is $.0062/kWh.  You will also receive a fuel cost rebate of $.0213/kWh for fuel that was not purchased to generate that power.

Solar Share option

Each Solar share is 150 kWh at $.0301/kWh or one 1 share will cost $4.52 a month. You will also be credited a fuel cost rebate of $.0213/kWh or $3.20 a month for fuel that was not purchased to generate that power. The net different is $1.32/kWh.

back to top

What happens if the solar energy I purchase is greater than my electric bill?

If more energy is generated than used by the customer, the reimbursement will be at Hastings Utilities’ avoided generation costs.  Avoided generation costs are currently $.015 per kWh.  Any credits for a given month will carry over to a future bill.  Accumulated credits will be reconciled at the end of each calendar year.  More information can be found in the State of Nebraska’s Net Metering Legislative Bill 436.

back to top

What is the Fuel Cost Rebate that is associated with the panel and solar share options?

The Fuel Cost Rebate is a rebate back to the customer for the cost of fuel that was not purchased due to participation in the community solar farm.  This rebate is subject to change annually as the cost of fuel (coal and natural gas) changes.

back to top

What is the Solar Maintenance Charge that is associated with the panel option?

The Solar Maintenance Charge is the cost for Hastings to insure and maintain the solar farm.  The maintenance charge is fixed for the life of the solar farm which is 30 years.

back to top

How can I participate in Hastings Community Solar Farm Phase 1?

Simply fill out the Hastings Community Solar Farm Agreement form and return it to Hastings Utilities.  Once all initial payments are made your solar rates will take effect in the next full billing cycle.

back to top

What can I do with my panels/shares if I move or no longer want them?

Solar Shares can be canceled at any time and pricing changes to your bill will take effect the following month.

Panels can be transferred to another HU electric customer by filling out a solar panel transfer form or sold back to Hastings Utilities at the panel repurchase rate given in Ordinance #4596.  Repurchase rates can also be found in the Ordinance link on the website.

back to top

What happens to the renewable energy credits (RECs) from this Solar Farm?

Hastings Utilities will retire the RECs as the energy is used for the participants.

back to top

What happens to these panels in a hail storm?

The solar panels themselves are Tier 1, 72 cell, utility grade products.  To qualify they must withstand a ninety-degree strike of a one-inch steel ball bearing at 55mph.  While that does not seem to represent a large hailstone, the density of the steel and the ninety degree of the shot do represent a worse case scenario.  With a dozen projects across Nebraska and South Dakota, consisting of thousands of panels, GenPro Energy Solutions has only replaced two panels due to hail.  The Lexington and Gothenburg projects have both experienced recorded 90 mph winds along with hail with no ill effects.

For questions regarding any type of damage the panels will be fully insured by Hastings and costs covered through the Solar Maintenance Charge.

back to top

Can I take advantage of the Federal Investment Tax Credit?

Hastings believes customers that are participating in the panel purchasing options may be able to take advantage of the 30% FITC for 2019.  However, Hastings does not offer tax advice and encourages customers to consult a tax professional for tax advice.

back to top

Who can I call if I have additional questions?

Please call 402-463-1371, email , or visit www.cityofhastings.org/solar for more information.

back to top