The Kansas Cold Weather Rule ends March 31, and Kansans who are delinquent on their electric and natural gas utility bills are subject to having their service disconnected. The rule, in effect Nov. 1 through March 31 each year, provides protection to residential customers having difficulty paying their utility bills from companies under the Kansas Corporation Commission’s (KCC) jurisdiction, but that protection ends Thursday.
The KCC wants to remind Kansas customers they still have time to contact their 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.
Under the rule, utilities must provide a payment plan of at least 12 months to residential customers who are unable to pay their current or past due bills in full. 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 the utility. The balance will be billed in equal payments over the next 11 months in addition to the regular monthly bill.
“Companies recognize that some customers face financial challenges and do want to help them stay connected to their service. Contacting your utility company to relate those challenges and making payment arrangements before March 31st is the key,” said KCC Chairman Thomas Wright.
The KCC adopted the Cold Weather Rule to protect customers from utility service disconnection during the cold winter weather while providing a reasonable and organized method of paying past due and current bills. More information about the Cold Weather Rule is available at: http://kcc.ks.gov/pi/cwr_english.pdf <http://kcc.ks.gov/pi/cwr_english.pdf> .
For more information about the Cold Weather Rule, contact the KCC’s office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at (800) 662-0027 or firstname.lastname@example.org.