For more information contact: Abbie Hodgson, 785-271-3269
October 26, 2009
Cold Weather Rule Starts November 1st
Prohibits utilities from disconnecting service during periods of extreme cold
Topeka, KS- As winter approaches and temperatures continue to drop, the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) wants to remind Kansans that the Cold Weather Rule will go into effect Sunday, November 1st and run through Wednesday, March 31st.
"Many Kansas families struggle each month to pay their utility bills," said KCC Chairman Thomas Wright. "The Cold Weather Rule ensures that these families will be able to stay safe and warm in their homes this winter."
The Cold Weather Rule prohibits utility companies from disconnecting a customer's natural gas or electric service during periods of extreme cold and requires utility companies to offer a 12-month payment plan to allow consumers to maintain or reestablish utility service.
- Utility companies may not initiate disconnection until temperatures are forecast to be above 35 degrees for the next 48-hours.
- Utility companies must contact the customer by phone or in person 24-hours before disconnecting service.
- Utility companies are prohibited from disconnecting a customer's service when temperatures are forecast to be at or below 35 degrees over the next 24-hours.
Payment Plan Conditions to maintain or restore service:
- Customers must contact their utility company and inform that they cannot pay their bill in full.
- Customers must agree to pay 1/12 of the total amount owed, 1/12th of the current bill, the full amount of any disconnection or reconnection fee, plus any applicable deposit to the utility.
- Customers must agree to pay the remaining balance in equal payments over the next 11 months, in addition to their current monthly bill.
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: http://kcc.ks.gov/pi/jurisdictional_utilities.htm.
More information about the Cold Weather Rule is available at: http://kcc.ks.gov/pi/cwr_english.pdf. Kansans may also contact their local utility company or the KCC's Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at 1.800.662.0027 for more information.