TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — Utility companies are joining together to make sure you’re staying warm during the colder months of the year. That includes people who can’t afford their monthly bill. The cold weather rule states a few things. First, temperatures outside must be 35 degrees or below for more than a day. Second, if a customer was up for a disconnection and couldn’t afford to pay their electricity bill that’s when the cold weather rule can go into effect.
For this to happen, the customer has to call the gas or electric company once they’ve received a notification about being disconnected soon. The agreement states the customer has to pay a twelfth of the current bill plus the full amount of any disconnection fee. The remaining balance has to be paid in equal payments over the next 11 months after you start the rule. That’s in addition to your current monthly bill. But, Jaycee Breese with Westar Energy said workers are available to help.
“We work with non for profits to look at options for financial payments or we have pay agreements like our average payment plan that could maybe help the customer with their bill,” Breese said.
For the payment plan, if a customer was going to be disconnected, utility companies will send out several notices before the electricity gets shut off. Any resident with a past due balance will qualify for payment arrangements under the rule.
The rule will stay in effect until March 31st. For more information about the cold weather rule click here.