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Kansas - State of Emergency

The Governor has declared a state of emergency because of record setting frigid temperatures which are forecast to continue through mid-week. Due to high demand and well-head freezing occurring at delivery points, we are also experiencing record setting natural gas prices. As demand increases, usage varies, causing pricing to vary. Therefore it is not possible to pinpoint an exact impact on your utility bill. However, our natural gas management agency is telling us to expect an increase that would cause your bill for this time of the year to increase by 10-20 times normal. As I am certain you will see a significant increase in your billing for this period, please take measures to conserve your natural gas usage immediately. When possible, use electric heat and other sources to subsidize your natural gas usage to blend your expenses and lower your natural gas expense. Only do so when economically feasible and safe. We anticipate extreme high pricing during the next 5-7 days until temperatures begin to rise. We will continue to update the public through all media outlets as they become available. Please share this information with those people who may not have access to typical media sources.

Governor Laura Kelly Issues State of Disaster Emergency Due to Wind Chill
Warnings and Stress on Utility and Natural Gas Providers

Feb 14, 2021

TOPEKA –At 4:40 p.m. today, Governor Laura Kelly issued a State of Disaster Emergency due to wind chill warnings and stress on utility and natural gas providers. 

The state has experienced bitter winter temperatures and below zero wind chills for more than a week, which has put stress on utility and natural gas providers across the state. The declaration authorizes the use of state resources and personnel to assist with response and recovery operations in affected counties that meet certain criteria.

“As the extreme cold temperatures continue to affect the region, we are urging Kansans to conserve energy in order to help ensure a continued supply of natural gas and electricity and keep their own personal costs down,”Governor Kelly said.

Because of the sub-zero temperatures which causes an increased energy demand and natural gas supply constraints, utilities are currently experiencing wholesale natural gas prices anywhere from 10 to 100 times higher than normal. Those costs will eventually flow through to consumers, and increase monthly natural gas and electric bills.

Customers can keep these costs down by reducing their natural gas and electric usage at this critical time.

Here are some things each household can do to help in the conservation effort and slow down the increases in energy bills due to high usage:

Keep warm, not hot. When possible wear additional layers of clothing, consider turning down your thermostat and check your programmable settings.

Seal leaks around doors and windows. Apply weather stripping or caulk to seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors to stop air leaks and prevent energy loss. If that is not an option, you can also cover windows with towels, sheets or plastic to help keep the warm air in your house.

Reduce the temperature on your water heater. Set the temperature on your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or put it on the “warm”setting. If your home will be vacant for two days or more, set the dial to the pilot position for even more savings.

Close blinds and curtains. This helps keep warm air inside, especially if the sun is not shining.

Change or clean filters. A clean filter on your furnace can lower your energy
consumption by 5 to 15 percent. Dirty filters cost more to use and overwork the equipment.

Hold off on doing chores. Doing laundry and washing dishes can both use natural gas to heat the water and your dryer. If you can, wait until the extreme cold weather passes to complete these activities. If you cannot wait, use the cold setting where possible.

Install foam gaskets on electrical switches and outlets. Electrical switches and outlets can account for up to 10 percent of your home’s energy loss .