KCC orders utilities to continue payment plans, waive late fees during pandemic
TOPEKA – The Kansas Corporation Commission has extended an order that requires utilities to offer 12-month payment plans and waive late fees to help residential and small business customers avoid disconnection. The original order, issued in May, is set to expire on December 31. Today’s action ensures it remains in effect until the COVID-19 pandemic has officially ended. The order applies to all electric, natural gas and water utilities under the KCC’s jurisdiction.
A report, filed by Commission staff last week, shows that payment plans and waiver of late fees appear to be working as intended. With the exception of one utility (Liberty-Empire), customer arrearage balances are falling with roughly 90% of customers keeping up with payment plans. That report can be found on the Commission’s website at https://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx/S202012090922136770.pdf?Id=4e5a01a7-71e7-4ba7-b4b0-875ef644b842.
The Commission acknowledged that some members of the public are advocating for an order reinstituting the suspension of utility disconnects. As a result, Commission staff was directed to file a report and recommendation on whether an additional suspension on disconnects is warranted. That report is due January 8, 2021.
Today’s order can be viewed on the KCC’s website at https://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx/20201215103827.pdf?Id=13d68adb-a6c3-41fa-8bae-b25ee2105a0f.