A rate increase was approved Monday for Atmos Energy’s natural gas residential customers.
The company had requested an increase that would have raised bills for residential customers about $4.33 per month in the winter and $3.41 per month in the summer, according to a news release from the Kansas Corporation Commission.
The increase that was approved Monday will allow 35 cents more per month in the winter and 11 cents more per month in the summer, according to the KCC. The increase will be a little over $3 a year for average residents.
Parts of Wyandotte County are served by Atmos Energy.
According to the KCC, instead of a net revenue increase, the order calls for a net revenue decrease of $223,953. The slight increase in residential ratepayers’ bills is designed to better align rates between customer classes and reduce the subsidization of the residential class by the commercial sales class, according to the KCC.
The rate case also addressed return on equity and the creation of a system integrity program to accelerate the replacement of aging infrastructure, the KCC stated.
Atmos initially proposed a return on equity of 10.25 percent. The KCC opted to stay with the current return on equity of 9.1 percent, stating the proposed return on equity ran counter to the downward trends in Kansas and nationwide because of lower costs of capital.
The system integrity program was denied, based on the current proposal, according to the KCC. The door was left open for the company to make the recommended adjustments and initiate a new filing with the KCC if desired, according to the KCC.
The KCC’s order is online at http://estar.kcc.ks.gov/estar/ViewFile.aspx?Id=fd4bf519-8109-4591-a339-86922f6bc68f.
Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt today advised consumers to protect themselves against purchasing unlicensed NFL merchandise or falling victim to phone scams involving fake tickets to Super Bowl LIV.
“Like many across our state, I’m proud of the Chiefs and excited to watch them compete for the championship on Sunday,” Schmidt said. “However, Kansans should be sure and take the appropriate precautions against scammers looking to make a buck off the team’s success by selling fake merchandise or tickets.”
Schmidt offered the following tips for making a purchase related to the Super Bowl:
Check the tag: All officially licensed NFL products will bear the league’s shield on the tag. If the tag on the merchandise does not have the shield, it may be unlicensed.
Beware of phone scams: Local authorities have reported phone scams regarding game ticket purchases, with scammers using phone numbers that appear local with a 913 or 816 area code offering discounted tickets sold online. Once the scammer receives the online payment for the tickets, they block the consumer’s phone number to prevent a call back when the tickets inevitably do not arrive. As a general rule, consumers should not answer the phone when it is an unrecognized number and never give personal information or make a payment over the phone or over an unverified website.
Purchase tickets through a verified source: The Chiefs have offered NFL ticket exchange, StubHub and SeatGeek as examples of NFL-approved retailers to purchase or sell tickets to the game.
Door-to-door and ‘pop-up stand’ sales: Kansas law says that for any purchase of more than $25 made at your home, or any location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business or local address, consumers have three days after the purchase is made to cancel the transaction. Kansas door-to-door statutes regulate these sales from, for example, “pop-up” sidewalk stands and tents in parking lots with Chiefs merchandise.
The seller must give written and verbal notice of this right to cancel and contact information if consumers choose to exercise their right to cancel. Consumers who wish to cancel the transaction should do so by certified mail so it can be tracked. Companies are then required to refund the consumer’s money within 10 days of receiving the cancellation.
Kansas law also requires the sales receipt to be dated, show the name and address of the seller, be in a large legible font and explain the right to cancel. The receipt must be in the same language used in the sales presentation.
Consumers who believe they may have fallen victim to a Super Bowl-related scam should contact their local law enforcement, or call the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-432-2310. Complaints may also be filed online at www.InYourCornerKansas.org.
Heating your home during the winter months can create a financial burden. In an effort to help keep Kansans warm this winter, the Kansas Department for Children and Families has begun accepting applications for its Low- Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP).
“Winters in Kansas have the likelihood of bringing frigid temperatures, and we want to ensure families don’t suffer from the cold due to financial concerns,” DCF Secretary Laura Howard said in a news release. “Our staff is prepared to begin processing LIEAP applications, so families have warm homes this winter season.”
LIEAP provides an annual benefit to help qualifying households pay winter heating bills. Persons with disabilities, older adults and families with children are the primary groups assisted.
In 2019, about 33,000 households received an average benefit of $576.
To qualify, applicants must be responsible for direct payment of their heating bills. Income eligibility requirements are set at 130 percent of the federal poverty level. The level of benefit varies according to household income, number of people living in the home, type of residence, type of heating fuel and utility rates.
Applicants need to have made payments on their heating bill two out of the last three months, according to the DCF news release. Those payments must be equal to or exceed $80 or the total balance due on their energy bills, whichever is less.
Applications for the program have been mailed to households that received energy assistance last year. LIEAP applications are also available at local DCF offices and through partnering agencies. They can be requested by calling 1-800-432-0043. To apply online, visit https://cssp.kees.ks.gov/apspssp/sspNonMed.portal. For more information, visit www.lieap.dcf.ks.gov.
Applications will be accepted now through March 31. Income eligibility determination:
Persons Living at the Address – Maximum Gross Monthly Income
1 – $1,354
2 – $1,832
3 – $2,311
4 – $2,790
5 – $3,269
6 – $3,748
7 – $4,227
8 – $4,705
9 – $5,184
10 – $5,663
11 – $6,142
12 – $6,621
+1 – $479 for each additional person
Funding for the Low-Income Energy Assistance program is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Community Service through the Federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.