Billing Policy


CNS current rates are listed at the URL:

The purpose of this page is to describe the basic billing policies of CNS to promote a better understanding of how CNS calculates usage time for billing purposes.  The policies listed here are incorporated into the user program and are applicable to all CNS users.  Users should be aware of these policies and read this page before getting their training and project underway.

Section 1:  Billing and Billing Increments

The rate sheets at the aforementioned URL list the units of billing for each instrument or facility.  Currently all instruments and/or facilities are listed as being billed either hourly, daily, or by 15-minute increments

Instruments billed by the hour:  CNS counts facilities/tools that are billed hourly in increments no smaller than the half-hour.  In other words, time is rounded up to the nearest half hour.  The exception is the LISE Cleanroom, which is rounded up to the nearest full hour.

Instruments billed by 15-minute increments: These instruments are rounded up to the nearest 15-minute increment.

Facilities that charge a per day fee: These facilities use an actual calendar day as the basis for charges. A day is 12:01 am to 11:59 pm. If a User enters a per day fee facility from 6 – 10 am and then returns from 9 – 11 pm, they are charged for 1 day. If a User enters a per day facility at 11:58 pm steps out at midnight and returns at 12:01 am, they are charged for 2 days.

Materials Charges: CNS charges materials costs for a small number of CNS instruments where CNS provides certain materials for the usage (such as masks etc.).  Please consult the rate sheets for additional details.  In addition, CNS reserves the right to bill materials charges for any pass through charges incurred by CNS for a specific user or project (i.e. shipping of samples to remote customer etc.).

Section 2:  Special Billing Cases

Training/Assisted Use:  CNS bills for regularly scheduled training events at the On-Site Assisted rate only (the tool rate is not charged.)  Also, the cost is divided among the available seats for a training event.  For example, if there is a 2 hour training that has 4 seats available to attend, then each seat is responsible for .5 of an hour of On-Site Assisted staff time.  Special requests for one-on-one training are charged as full On-Site Assisted use including the tool time.  CNS does not charge for basic safety training events such as the LISE/CNS Safety Training and the LISE Cleanroom Orientation.

It is considered On-Site Assisted Use if a CNS staff member either operates the equipment for you, is in attendance to observe you operate the instrument, or must remain nearby during your session to monitor operation.

It is considered Remote Assisted Use if a CNS staff member does work for you on instrumentation or in CNS labs at the request of a User who is not on-site.

Section 3:  General Billing Policies

CNS considers an instrument to be in use and billable if it is, or appears to be, in use and therefore unavailable to others. 

CNS bills for all reserved time.  This includes all reservations that are longer than required and reservations that don't match the actual use times.  This policy compliments our policy of billing for all actual use even if not entered in our scheduling tool.  So please plan carefully when reserving equipment. Example:  If you reserve an instrument from 1pm – 4pm but then actually use it from 3pm – 6pm, you will be billed for 5 hours as the earliest start time is the reserved 1pm and the latest end time is the actual use 6pm.

If a User does not show up for the time he/she reserved on a CNS facility or tool on the CNS Scheduling Tool, he/she WILL be charged for the time reserved. This no-show charge is not subject to the monthly cap.

For instruments on the CLEAN interlock system:  Users are required to log-in when starting to use the instrument and log-out when finished.  It is the users’ responsibility to remember to log-out.  If a user fails to log-out of the instrument, they are considered to still be using it and will continue to be billed until they, or another user, logs them out.  New for 2017:  Fee waivers will not be granted for forgetting to log-out events unless there is a verifiable technical malfunction of the CLEAN system or instrument.

Process for obtaining waivers of fees:  CNS has no desire to charge users for instances where an instrument malfunctions or is otherwise unusable due to no fault of the user.  However, due to the large number of both users and instruments there are specific procedures in place to make certain that these instances are properly captured and reflected in the billing review process.

If an instrument malfunctions (or is otherwise rendered unusable) during your usage, a user must complete a CNS User Fee Waiver Form (fillable PDF) within 3 business days of the incident in order for the billing for that time to be waived. The form can be given to either the technical staff member in charge of the instrument OR to the CNS Admin Office in LISE 304 for routing to the technical staff member.  Alternatively, it can be emailed to  Requests made outside of the 3-business day window will not be considered without extenuating circumstances.  Once it is reviewed and signed off by both the technical staff member in charge of the instrument and a member of the CNS Billing Team, the charge will be removed.  If either the technical staff or admin team decides to decline the request, the user will be notified via email along with the reason(s) for the request being denied. 

Important Notes Regarding Fee Waivers:  Verbal or email requests to either the technical staff or the CNS admin office are not sufficient to get a fee waived.  The request must be accompanied with the User Fee Waiver Form.   An entry in the CLEAN system’s log or any other system stating that you did not use an instrument or declaring it malfunctioned is not considered an official request for fee waiver.  The instrument logs are only read by the technical staff in order to better track an instruments performance over time and log entries are not read or considered for fee waivers or modifications by the Admin Office.

Users are required to cancel reservations that they cannot use or no longer need in a timely manner.  Many CNS instruments can be canceled up to the scheduled start time, but there are several instruments with cancelation deadlines up to several hours before the scheduled start time.  Users are responsible for noting the scheduling parameters of instruments that are a part of their project.  This information can be found in the scheduling area of the User Portal.  Any reservations not cancelled will be considered no-show events and billed accordingly.  Any instance where a cancelation deadline or the start time has passed, the only way a reservation will be canceled is if there are extenuating circumstances and an email is sent to describing the reasons.  Please note that a sample not being ready in time does not count as an extenuating circumstance (unless due to a CNS instrument malfunction in a previous step). 

Users will be billed according to the account or purchase order number provided on their CNS User Program enrollment forms, unless a prior arrangement has been made with the CNS Administrative Office. The enrollment forms supercede any entry on the CNS Scheduling Tool. If Users need to change their billing information prior to the annual CNS User Program Renewal date (March 1st of every year), they must complete and submit a Change of Billing Code or Purchase Order No. Form (fillable PDF).


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