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

Nov 9, 2017
Originally published on November 21, 2017 6:00 pm

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

Copyright 2017 KMUW | NPR for Wichita. To see more, visit KMUW | NPR for Wichita.