General FAQs

What are your business hours?

  • Monday-Thursday: 7:30 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
  • Friday: 7:30 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.
  • Saturday-Sunday: Closed

How are rates set?

Our Board of Directors sets rates. AUB is a not-for-profit utility, so we do not have a true profit margin on the products we sell. Still, as with any business, AUB has to figure in the wholesale cost of the product, such as what we pay TVA for power or what natural gas costs on the open market, and then factor in the additional cost of operations at our office, treatment plants, and within the field units. Rates are set by considering these things and factoring in an amount that will allow us to continue to maintain and improve the power lines and substations, gas lines and metering stations, treatment plants and service trucks that make up the AUB utility system.


How do AUB rates compare with other utilities?

AUB’s rates for power, natural gas, water and wastewater services are consistent with other utilities in our surrounding area. Our location in the Tennessee Valley has kept our rates lower than the rates in most other areas of the country.


Do AUB employees get special utilities rates?

No. All AUB employees pay the same rates as any other AUB customer.


Why are there three people on a job in the field and only one appears to be “really” working?

Most jobs in the field, whether involving power, water/wastewater, or gas require more than one worker at the site. Safety is a major reason. The utilities business can be a dangerous line of work. Sometimes, while one worker does the hands-on task, another is acting as the safety watchperson. While this person may only be standing, looking into an excavation or up at a lineman in a bucket, he or she is helping ensure that co-workers go home safely. On many jobs, two people are required for parts of the work, but not all of the work. Often, you want a helper there to retrieve and hand tools to the person "in the hole" so that he doesn't have to keep in and out for each new tool, much like when you work under your sink at home (honey, can you hand me that wrench?).  Some jobs involve strenuous physical labor, for which a second or even third worker is needed at some point. Often, different parts of a job require people with different skills or training, sort of like the need for a carpenter and an electrician when building or remodeling a home. Instead of one worker doing his job then calling the other, which could take time at the expense of the customer's utilities being out of service, both skilled workers go to the site together.


Will AUB trim/cut down trees for me?

AUB maintains a tree-trimming program for the sole purpose of ensuring service reliability for our customers. We only trim or cut trees that are threatening the reliability of power service. If tree limbs or a dead tree could hit primary lines if they fell or were blown by the wind, AUB will schedule to trim/cut them. The customer is responsible for keeping tree limbs trimmed away from service lines--the line that goes from the pole to your house. AUB will come to your house by appointment and disconnect a service line free of charge so that you can trim a tree or have it trimmed by your contractor. When AUB trims trees on private property, we will clear as much brush and small limbs as possible, but larger limbs and trunks are left behind after the job. (For more info, check out our tree-trimming section here.)


Why do you have to cut so much from my trees?

When AUB trims trees away from primary lines, we must trim enough so that next year’s growth doesn’t put us right back where we started. Also, AUB tries to follow tree-trimming industry standards that are best for the tree's health, such as cutting a limb back to its originating growth point instead of just lopping off the end and leaving a stub. Not only is "stubbing" unhealthy for the tree, stubs are a growth point for fast flourishing sprouts that quickly get back into the power lines.For more info, check out our tree-trimming section here.)


How do I start or stop service?

To establish for the first time or if you are moving from one residence to another in our service area, you’ll need to come by our offices at 100 Englewood Road in Athens. Be sure to have the following information with you so that the process is as quick and easy as possible:

  1. Picture Identification;
  2. Your Social Security Number;
  3. Complete service address;
  4. Your telephone number; and
  5. A rent receipt from owner
    (if renting; subject to verification)

Discontinuing your service can be done over the phone; you need not come in to the offices. Just call (423) 745-4501. You'll be asked to provide some information that will verify that you have the authority to discontinue the service.


Where can I pay my bill?

Besides by mail or here at the AUB offices, you can pay your bill at the following area banks:

  • Athens Utilities Board Office
  • Athens Federal Community Bank
  • BB&T(Athens and Englewood only)
  • Simmons Bank
  • People's Bank (Niota only)
  • Regions Bank
  • Southeast Bank 

(Banks will not accept past-due payments. These should be made at AUB.)


What if I'm late on a payment?

Like most all businesses, AUB must purchase what it sells prior to selling it. If we do not collect for the product, we begin incurring financial losses. Therefore, a late fee is assessed once your due date has passed. Non-payment can lead to a loss of utility services. If you see that you will not be able to pay, it is best to come to our offices and speak with a Customer Service Representative. Often, we can work out a problem that allows you to keep your services while paying for what you owe.


What is the “availability” charge?

Here's a quick take on the availability charge, but if you want a more detailed explanation click here.


AUB has a cost associated with building and maintaining the infrastructure of our utility systems. Regardless of the amount of electricity, natural gas or water sold, there are fixed operating costs incurred by AUB each month. The availability charge helps recover a portion of these fixed costs. For instance, your mortgage, rent, insurance, etc., is a cost that remains fixed month to month even if your income changes. Some of AUB’s fixed costs include:

  • Maintenance of lines and poles, pipes and facilities
  • Interstate natural gas pipeline “demand” charges
  • Natural gas storage facility “reservation” charges
  • Safety and Inspection Programs for Customers


Do I get a discount for the periods of time my power is out? 

You only pay for the services you use after you use them. Therefore, when the power is out, you use no power and incur no charges.


How can I apply for a job at AUB?

You may fill out an application anytime during business hours at our office, located at 100 Englewood Road in Athens. Applications for employment are kept on file for one year.


Why does AUB charge a late fee?

As a public utility, where every member of the rate-paying public has a stake in our success, maintaining a robust fiscal condition is the right thing to do. As with any business, AUB has to pay a wholesale price for a commodity, such as power, water, or natural gas, and then resale that commodity at a retail rate. Utilities customers get to use our product about six weeks or so before paying for it. With such a lag time, it becomes critical to our business that we receive payments on time to keep the flow of revenues steady within the utility. If lots of payments come in late, we are put in a bad business position regarding cash flow.