© 2021 KMUW
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Energy and Environment
Support for KMUW's energy and environment coverage comes from ITC Great Plains and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

Cold Weather Rule Offers Help To Kansans Struggling To Pay Utility Bills

IMG_0245.JPG
Brian Grimmett/KMUW
/
Kansas' Cold Weather Rule prevents utility companies from turning off service if the temperature is forecast to go below 35 degrees.

Overnight temperatures have begun to dip near or below freezing. That can mean increased utility bills, and for many low-income families, increased financial pressure as they try to pay them.

The first thing many people do when the temperature begins to drop is reach for the thermostat. And with Kansas’ Cold Weather Rule, even a person struggling to pay their bill can be sure their heater will turn on. The rule prevents utility companies from turning off service if the temperature is forecast to go below 35 degrees.

Westar Energy spokesman Kevin Gregg says as long as a customer reaches out to let them know they’re struggling, they will do what they can to help them out.

“We certainly want to protect anyone who is receiving electric service and we want to make sure they’re not sitting there with no power when the temperatures get dangerously cold,” he says.

The Cold Weather Rule applies to all utilities that are regulated by the Kansas Corporation Commission, which includes most major utility providers such as Westar Energy, KCP&L, and Kansas Gas Service.

The program runs through the end of March.

--

Follow Brian Grimmett on Twitter @briangrimmett.

To contact KMUW News or to send in a news tip, reach us at news@kmuw.org.