Utilities commission, gas company offer tips to keep winter gas bills manageable – KWCH

WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – Vee Pena has a story similar to many Kansans. The Hutchinson man was shocked when she saw December’s bill from Kansas Gas Service. He shared his bills for December 2020 and 2021. The price of natural gas went up from $4.14 to $7.43 per thousand cubic feet.

“I never had a $200 bill. What’s going on here? It hasn’t been that cold to run it, not for me,” Pena said.

Kansas Gas Service spokeswoman Dawn Tripp said the utility does not set the price of gas.

“We do not markup the price of gas that we deliver to our customers but we’re always doing what we can to get the lowest price possible,” she said.

The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) has been alerting people that gas prices would likely be higher because of increasing fuel costs and below average reserves of gas.

“It’s deregulation, so the KCC doesn’t have the ability to change that. It’s really just a direct passthrough from the supplier to the utility to the customer,” KCC Public Affairs Director Linda Berry explained.

When it comes to saving on your energy bill in the winter, the first tip is that on your thermostat, the temperature should be set where you can keep it warm, but not hot. Seal any leaks around dorrs and windows, then reduce the temperature of your water heater to 120 degrees Farrenheight. It’s also a good idea to have regular maintenance on your furnace, as well as changing or cleaning filters.

“We certainly are sensitive to our customers and anyone who is having difficulty paying their bill,” Tripp said. “We want them to reach out to us and let us know. There are financial resources that are available.

If you have a problem with your gas bill, call Kansas Gas Service first. The utility emphasized the availability of utility assistance programs for those having trouble with paying their bill. You can find further information on available assistance at the links below:

https://kcc.ks.gov/public-affairs-and-consumer-protection/utility-weatherization-related-assistance-programs

https://www.hud.gov/states/kansas/renting/energyprgms

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Utilities commission, gas company offer tips to keep winter gas bills manageable – KWCH

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