It’s still too early to tell how much Johnson Countians’ gas and electricity bills may increase because of February’s record cold snap. Both Kansas Gas Service and Evergy say they’re taking steps to try to minimize the financial impact on customers.
The record freezing temperatures and wind chills in the second half of February brought alarmingly high energy costs for customers in Texas, which has a deregulated energy market. But Kansas customers of utilities Evergy and Kansas Gas Energy should be able to expect a bit more stability.
“Unlike some other utilities, Kansas Gas Service has the ability to work with our regulators to spread these high gas costs out over several months,” Kansas Gas said in an email to customers last week.
The Kansas Corporation Commission issued an order to authorize natural gas and electric utilities “to defer any extraordinary costs incurred associated with ensuring that customers continued to receive service during the cold weather event,” according to the email.
Evergy (previously Kansas City Power and Light) also gave some notice online about its plan to spread out unexpected higher costs over a longer period of time.
“Some news stories have referred to potential dramatic increases in monthly bills,” Evergy wrote. “Customers of regulated utilities in Kansas and Missouri have some protection from those large increases, and get the benefits when fuel prices are lower, because the prices are based on actual costs and are regulated by the state commissions.”
Enroll in Average Payment Plan
Kansas Gas says it is making a plan to minimize the financial impact of the cold weather event on customers over a longer period of time. Customers can spread out gas costs through the utility’s Average Payment Plan, which bases your monthly bill on a rolling 12-month average.
“If you have concerns when you get your bill, we will work with you to help find options for payment,” Kansas Gas wrote to customers. “There are a number of payment options and resources that we offer customers, and we will commit to doing what we can to help you.”
Meanwhile, Evergy says electric rates will stay the same, but customers who use electricity to heat their homes or businesses may see an increase on their next bill.
Evergy also has an Average Payment Plan — click here to sign up for that — that calculates a rolling average of customers’ electricity use and allows customers to have more predictable electricity bills.
Click here to check out other ways to conserve energy and have cost savings on your next utility bills.