Governor Laura Kelly is encouraging Kansans to apply for funds available through the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP) to help pay high electricity bills caused by extremely cold temperatures. Due to the severe cold weather the state experienced in February, Kansans may see higher than usual utility costs.
“My administration is considering every tool at our disposal to ensure Kansans and communities are protected from price surges caused by the extreme weather,” said Governor Laura Kelly. “While LIEAP assistance is available to Kansans experiencing higher than usual utility costs, we continue to communicate with our local and federal partners to address this problem.”
LIEAP is a federally-funded program that helps eligible households pay a portion of their home energy costs by providing a one-time per-year benefit. The 2021 LIEAP application period is from Monday, January 4, 2021, through Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Applications must be received before 5:00 PM, March 31, 2021. To find additional information about the LIEAP program and applications, please click here.
According to Governor Kelly's office, in addition to promoting LIEAP assistance, the following actions are currently being taken to address higher than usual utility costs for Kansans:
- The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) has instructed utilities under its jurisdiction (Evergy, Liberty, Southern Pioneer, Kansas Gas Service, Black Hills, Atmos, and the City of Eskridge) to defer the extraordinary costs associated with cold weather.
- Utility companies regulated by the KCC are now required to submit what costs they incurred because of the storm, along with a plan detailing what steps they are taking to mitigate the cost to consumers.
- KCC is working on a plan to spread extra costs out over several months or more to soften the impact on customers.
- Governor Kelly and the KCC asked the Federal Regulatory Commission to investigate the events that led to a utility shortage and aid the state in protecting consumers from high costs.
According to the Governor's office, the following additional resources are available for Kansans who may struggle to pay their utility bills:
- All KCC regulated utilities are offering payment plans to help customers spread out costs. Kansans should contact their utility provider to explore available options.
- Kansans can find a complete list of agencies and organizations providing assistance in their area here.
- Kansans with questions can contact the KCC’s Public Affairs and Consumer Protection Office at 800-662-0027 or 785-271-3140.