Since each city charges different rates and every sprinkler system is different, that question is tough to answer. The question you should ask yourself is, “Do I want to keep my lawn healthy and green?” If the answer is yes, then using a sprinkler system is the most efficient way of doing that. You will use just enough water to keep your lawn healthy and green, while using hoses and sprinklers will waste a lot of water and never really get the job done.
A couple things you can check yourself is whether there is power where the controller is plugged in (try plugging in a device you know works) or if your system has a rain sensor, it may not have dried out enough to allow for sprinkling.
Most new controllers have a built-in 365-day calendar, which allows you to set it for odd or even days only.
Most manufacturers will have manuals available to download on their respective web sites.