The city of Columbia plans to update the portal that residents use to pay for utilities this week.

The website will be offline at 6 p.m. Friday for the update, with plans to get back online as quickly as possible, according to a press release from the city.

The Utility Customer Service portal will feature a new layout and interactive dashboard that helps residents use energy efficiently by encouraging them to set goals on energy usage.

The update includes an option to set up automatic bill payment, something that is not currently offered. 

Residents will now be able to see a detailed breakdown of their energy usage on the dashboard.

"The goal is just a better customer experience," said Matt Nestor, spokesperson for Columbia Utilities Department. He noted that technological improvements help residents pay bills more conveniently. 

Nestor said there's no particular reason for the update to happen right now, but the opportunity came up, so the city took advantage. 

  • Fred Anklam manages city and county government reporters. He can be reached at or in the newsroom at 573-882-5720.

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