TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Gas Service told customers Tuesday that higher bills after February’s severe weather and rolling outages are possible, though it’s too early to know how much higher.
As the KGS sent the notice to its subscribers, some Kansans like Winfield residents, who get service from a municipal gas company instead, could face bills costing as much as $3,000, according to that city’s manager. Kansas’ U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran said he is exploring federal aid options for Kansans like those in Winfield possibly facing “unaffordable” bills.
The large charges come from natural gas used during extreme cold that left the state in rotating blackouts. KGS customers could also see bills increase, according to the company.
“Your monthly bill is a combination of the amount of gas you use and the cost of gas. The extreme weather caused many customers to use more gas for heating their homes than they may have in prior years. The higher amount of gas used will be reflected on your bill, regardless of the price of gas. While we do not markup the price of natural gas, these events will have an impact on customer bills. If you conserved energy during the weather event, your bill will most likely be lower than it would have been otherwise.”
Kansas Gas Service
As far as how much bills could increase, KGS said “it’s too early to tell.” The company saw much higher natural gas demand, and subsequently, significantly higher natural gas market prices on some of its supply during the stretch of cold temperatures. However, it also said it has the ability to work with its regulators to spread the high costs out over several months.
The Kansas Corporation Commission has issued an order that authorizes 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. KGS will make a filing with the KCC which includes a plan to minimize the financial impact of the cold weather event on customers over a reasonable period of time.
Kansas Gas Service
The KGS also asked any customers who have payment concerns once they get their bills to contact the company, and explore options like its average payment plan which can spread out high costs to months that commonly see lower bills. The KGS said it also has resources that can assist customers with paying bills.