About $8 more per month for the basic service, but none of the other fees associated with traditional, credit-based accounts (such as deposits, late fees or disconnect/reconnect charges).
The new program helps customers who are tight on cash or want to more closely manage their utility costs. The program comes with information that helps customers watch their daily usage and respond; for example, by raising the thermostat in the summertime to save electricity.
"If you maintain a positive balance, you never have to worry," said Christa Foster, customer service manager for Denton utilities.
Customers get an alert when their usage puts the account into the negative. If they haven't added money by the next day, they get another alert, but by about 10 a.m., the electricity gets cut off if no payment is received.
Customers don't have to pay any fees to get the lights turned back on, but the city asks for at least $25 above the negative balance "to make sure you don't just get cut off again," Foster said.
One other wrinkle can affect customers who have old outstanding balances to pay. But even those are pay as you go, Foster said. One-quarter of each payment is applied to past due balances until the debt is cleared.
For more information about the service, call Utilities Customer Service at 940-349-8700.