The Kansas Cold Weather Rule ends on March 31, and Kansans who are delinquent on electric and natural gas utility bills will be subject to disconnection of service. The rule, in effect Nov. 1 through March 31 each year, provides protection to residential customers who cannot fully pay winter utility bills from companies under the Kansas Corporation Commission’s (KCC) jurisdiction. That protection ends Saturday.
The KCC would like to remind Kansas customers there is still time to contact your utility company to set up a payment plan, but cautions that failure to make arrangements or failure to adhere to an already established payment plan could result in service disconnection. Reconnection may require payment in full.
The Cold Weather Rule requires utilities to set up 12-month payment plans for customers who cannot afford to pay their full bill. As part of this arrangement, the customer must make an initial payment of 1/12 of the overdue amount, 1/12 of the bill for current service, the full amount of any disconnection or reconnection fees, plus any applicable deposit owed to the utility. The balance will be billed in equal payments over the next 11 months in addition to the regular monthly bill.
“Utility companies recognize that managing energy bills can be stressful during these difficult economic times,” said KCC Chairman Mark Sievers. “They want to help customers stay connected to their service. The best way to do that is to contact your gas or electric company to make arrangements.”
The KCC adopted the Cold Weather Rule to protect customers during cold winter weather by providing a reasonable and organized method of paying past due and current bills. The Cold Weather Rule applies only to residential customers of electric and natural gas utility companies under the KCC’s jurisdiction. For a complete list of utilities regulated by the KCC visit: kcc.ks.gov/pi/jurisdictional_utilities.htm.
More information about the Cold Weather Rule is available at: kcc.ks.gov/pi/cwr_english.htm. Kansans may also contact their local utility company or the KCC’s Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at (800) 662-0027.