The Kentucky Public Service Commission is asking electric and natural gas utilities to work with customers who are having difficulty paying higher heating bills in the wake of this harsh winter.
The agency that regulates the state's utilities sent a letter to chief executives of the utilities urging the electric and natural gas providers to "be as flexible as possible in avoiding disconnections and in allowing customers to make arrangements to extend their payments."
PSC Chairman David Armstrong says the higher monthly bills could come as a shock to many customers. The Commission says assistance is available from the state through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program known as LIHEAP. A number of utilities have also announced increase corporate contributions to their assistance programs.
Bowling Green Municipal Utilities and the Tennessee Valley Authority are asking customers – both businesses and residential – to assist in conserving power today. Temperatures are expected to remain frigid through Friday, further taxing the electric grid. Shelley Lowe with BGMU says homeowners can take easy steps to save energy.
“It can be simple things like at home, not running your appliances. If you can wait a few days – that would be great; lowering your thermostat to 60 degrees and reducing the usage of lights and unplugging things that aren’t in use,” said Lowe.
Lowe says this “emergency load curtailment” request may be lifted on Friday as temperatures gradually warm. The National Weather Service predicts highs in the mid-20s by Friday and upper 30s by Saturday.