Energy provider Evergy will continue its moratorium on service disconnections through May 2.
“Back in early December, we announced that we had reinstated our moratorium on disconnection for non-payment,” said Gina Penzig, manager of external communications for Evergy. “At that point, we set a deadline of March 1 saying that we would, as that day approached, that we would take a look again to see if circumstances had changed significantly. As we did that evaluation, the team decided that extension was the right thing to do,”
The company first announced temporary moratorium plans in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which gave many residential and small business customers a chance to keep their electricity running even when their bills were past due.
Penzig said all things were considered by the company’s team when deciding to keep the moratorium on disconnection for non-payment. Options such as the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, otherwise known as LIHEAP, and possible assistance through the next federal stimulus package would allow customers to gain some ground before disconnections resume in early May.
“The disconnect moratorium has been an important help for customers through the pandemic, but through this time customers have continued to use electricity and accrued an account balance,” Penzig said. “So, this is a really good time to start identifying any community resources available.”
The deadline for submitting LIHEAP applications for the Winter Energy Crisis Intervention Program is March 31. Applicants who qualify can be issued up to $800 to be used towards their energy bills. Evergy also offers payment-plan options for up to 12 months.
In a statement released last week, Chuck Caisley, vice president and chief customer officer at Evergy, echoed the same sentiment regarding financial assistance opportunities as the moratorium was extended.
“Over the last year, some customers may have accumulated a high past-due balance, and emergency assistance funds could help them reduce balances owed,” Caisley said. “We encourage customers to seek assistance now as funding is limited and will expire this year.”
The statement also said that in the coming weeks, Evergy will be reaching out to customers whose “accounts may be in danger of disconnect beginning May 3.”