The Cold Weather Rule, designed to help Kansans who are behind on their utility payments avoid disconnection during the winter months, begins today and remains in effect through March 31.

Any residential customer with a past due balance will qualify for payment arrangements under the rule. It is the customer's responsibility to contact the gas or electric company to make those arrangements.

Payment plan conditions to maintain or restore service require that customers agree to pay 1/12th of the total amount owed, 1/12th of the current bill, the full amount of any disconnection or reconnection fee, plus any applicable deposit. The remaining balance must be paid in equal payments over the next 11 months, in addition to the current monthly bill.

The Cold Weather Rule applies only to residential customers of electric and natural gas utility companies under the Kansas Corporation Commission's jurisdiction.

For more information, visit http://kcc.ks.gov/consumer-information/cold-weather-rule, contact your local utility company or call the KCC's Office of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at (800) 662-0027.