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Independence Power & Light will spread fuel-adjustment increase from February over 6 months

Independence hires auditor to review utility bills
Posted at 1:02 PM, Apr 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-06 14:02:21-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Independence Power & Light customers should expect to see a fuel cost adjustment beginning next month on their utility bills, the city announced Tuesday.

Record-breaking, extremely cold temperatures in mid-February caused a spike in energy consumption, which drove up fuel costs throughout the Southwest Power Pool.

Independence Power & Light usually budgets $2-3 million per month on fuel costs, but the total bill for February was $11 million.

High demand coupled with a tight supply and grid failures, especially in Texas, caused temporary controlled power outages during the cold snap.

The accompanying spike in fuel costs has been expected to drive utility bills higher.

Rather than hike payments on April’s bills, Independence will spread out the fuel-cost adjustment over the next six billing cycles, resulting in an average increase of $9-10 each month.

“While peers in the Midwest are applying these increased costs in a single bill, we know there are many challenges at this time and have made sure this will be spread out as much as possible to minimize increases to monthly bills,” the city said in a release about the cost adjustment sent Tuesday to customers.

The adjusted charge will be itemized on the second page of customer bills.

Customers with questions or who would like to make payment arrangements should contact Independence Power & Light Customer Service by calling between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

The lobby at the Independence Utilities Center, 17221 E. 23rd St., currently is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays with expanded hours expected later in April.

Other cities and public entities, including Kansas City International Airport, also have been saddled with sky-rocketing bills since February.