My gas and electricity utility company has not billed me for any of my use since I moved in to my apartment 6 months ago. To this day, I still have not gotten a bill. If they decide to bill me in the future for all of the past months that I have not been billed, am I legally obligated to pay? How long can they go without billing me before I don't have to pay their eventual bill if any? I am in California and the utility company is a public utility company called SDG&E.

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    Are you sure gas / electric aren't included in your rent? I'd think after this much time of non payment you'd be disconnected. And check your rental contract, you may be obligated to keep gas / electric service while you live there.
    – Andy
    Jan 30, 2017 at 0:29
  • It could also be the case that the bill is going to a former tenant who was not changed out of the account who either isn't paying (in which case you may be shut off) or is autopaying without realizing that the autopay while that person lived there was not turned off. I'd call them and ask who is paying the bill. Sooner or later, if you're obligated to pay you will, or it will be shut off.
    – ohwilleke
    Jan 30, 2017 at 7:53
  • I set up an account myself with the utility company for my specific apartment, and that was required of me for renting my apartment. I'm extremely confident that it is not included in my rent. Also, I check my online account frequently and there has never been any balance in it, so I'm extremely confident as well that they aren't billing me without me noticing. I have not enrolled in autopay either. Jan 31, 2017 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


The statute of limitations for enforcing a written contract appears to be 4 years. Any debts older than that are unrecoverable.

  • That's what I thought, but I read an article recently from The San Diego Union Tribune and in it Mindy Spatt, communications director at The Utility Reform Network, a consumer group based in San Francisco, said that according to California regulation, utility customers cannot be “back-billed” beyond three months. I was just wondering if there was any factual basis in this claim. Jan 31, 2017 at 2:04

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