KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Some area residents struggling to pay their power bills will have a little help this summer, thanks to Kansas City Power & Light.
The area’s largest energy provider announced Tuesday $1 million in funding for its Connections program to assist c ustomers with their summer electric bills.
"This summer, our customers and communities are struggling with extreme heat,” ," said Terry Bassham, KCP&L's president and chief executive officer. “While we are proud that our system has held up well, and we have been able to meet all of our customers' demand for electricity, we know the extreme weather is causing financial hardship for too many families.”
Sometimes, Bassham said, situations arise that make it difficult for customers to pay bills and the expanded Connections program hopes to help them manage their energy costs.
The Connections programs include an expanded range of flexible payment options and a streamlined process for identifying and connecting those eligible to community assistance programs.
"Most assistance programs only help the poorest of the poor," said Mike Montgomery, President of Working Families' Friend, a regional assistance organization. "KCP&L's Family Relief Fund is one of the first programs of its kind to recognize that there are many working families who still struggle to make ends meet. Thanks to KCP&L, thousands of working families in our region will have one less thing to worry about this summer."
KCP&L's new and expanded assistance programs include the following:
• KCP&L will double the match to Dollar-Aide, raising its match from $.50 to $1 for every $1 donated. This program lends a hand to area residents who need help paying their utility and water bills. Since 2007, KCP&L and our employees and customers have given more than $1.2 million in Dollar-Aide assistance. The program is administered by the Mid America Assistance Coalition. To contribute to Dollar-Aide, please visit www.kcpl.com/dollaraide
• The new Family Relief Fund will provide families who qualify with up to a $150 credit on their KCP&L bills during the summer months. For more information, contact the local Salvation Army at (877) 566-2769, Ext. 416.
• KCP&L also launched Reconnection Relief, a new program that helps reconnect customers who were disconnected prior to the Hot Weather Rule taking effect. For more information about this program, please contact KCP&L at (800) 526-3348.
• KCP&L has made a request to the Missouri Public Service Commission to extend the current Economic Relief Program through the end of the year. This program, which was scheduled to expire in September, provides a monthly credit of $50 to individuals and seniors who qualify. For more information, contact the local Salvation Army at (877) 566-2769, Ext. 416.
"We have just begun our third month of extreme heat and drought, and families across the metropolitan area are feeling the impact," said Cindy Circo, Mayor Pro Tem of Kansas City, Missouri. "I thank KCP&L for understanding the financial pressure this summer has created on seniors and families, and I encourage every company and citizen who is able to take advantage of KCP&L's offer to match contributions and make a donation to Dollar-Aide today."
Beginning this month, KCP&L will also host a series of Energy Resource Fairs at locations throughout its service territory, where KCP&L employees will:
• Answer customers' questions
• Set up payment arrangements, and
• Provide referrals to local resources, including the Salvation Army, United Way 2-1-1 and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
"Our goal is to meet face-to-face with our customers, to answer their questions and connect them with community agencies that can keep them from falling behind on their bills," added Bassham. "We want to help the customers and communities we serve. I encourage customers needing assistance to please attend these fairs."
Additional information about the Energy Resource Fairs, assistance options, as well energy saving tips and videos, are available at www.kcpl.com/connections
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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