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Facing a Westar Energy Shut-Off Notice? You Can Get Help!

Facing a Westar Energy Shut-Off Notice? You Can Get Help!

Like many people, you may be struggling to pay your Westar Energy Bill. You should know that you’re not alone and there are options to help you pay your bill. You can avoid shut off!

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Westar Energy offers helpful payment arrangements. 

The average payment plan is an option that will make it easier for you to know how much your bill is going to be each due date. The plan is designed to average how much electricity you use each month. Westar reviews your usage on a yearly basis. They will make adjustments to the average based on what you used making your bill lower, higher or the same each year.

When you receive an unexpectedly high bill, you may find that you’re unable to pay it. Westar Energy has payment arrangements available to you so you can divide your bill up over 12 months. As long as you pay 1/12th of the total amount up front, they will generally be able to work with you on a payment arrangement.

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If you want to take advantage of the Kansas Cold Weather rule that allows you to be immune from disconnection under 35 degrees, you will need to be prepared to make payment arrangements with Westar Energy.

As long as your account is 30 days or less overdue, Westar may be able to help you by giving you an extension. Westar does not have specific criteria for payment extensions. They look at each extension case by case.

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Need Help Paying Your Westar Energy Bill? We Found Help!

Westar offers Project Deserve for customers who are unable to pay their bill or who may be struggling to make sure they are current on their bills. Those who are over 65 may qualify for up to $300 applied toward their bill. Those who are under 65 can qualify for $100 toward their bill. Westar has income guidelines you must meet. You can only apply for the program once per year and the company uses a 12-month rolling calendar to determine whether you can get help again. The amount is applied to your bill only once per 12 months.

The Kansas LIEAP benefit is for people who are low-income. You must apply for the program through your local assistance office. If you are in need of immediate relief, the program has an emergency application which you can complete. LIEAP can pay for part or all of your bill. The benefits are handed out once per year. They are determined based on your income, your family size and your inability to pay bills. Some residents may only qualify for LIEAP during certain seasons of the year.

The Good Shepherd Thrift Shop has funds available for those who are in need of help paying their utility bills. The company works hard to collect donations and has limited funds available for those who are in need. You must apply through their program. If you qualify for LIEAP, you will automatically qualify for the program. The amount they can provide toward electric bill help is based on what you already have coming in. They are only able to provide a supplemental program to those who are in need.

Get Free Home Improvements To Lower Your Westar Energy Bill!

The weatherization program is for people who are in need of updates to their home to make it more energy efficient. The program is administered by the same program as LIEAP. You will need to apply through your local assistance office. You can qualify for help upgrading your home. The program may be able to help you get better insulation and doors that are less drafty. In addition, they may pay for appliances that are certified to save energy. The program generally spends into the thousands to help homeowners and renters make their home better able to withstand the elements.

While Westar does not offer any rebates or incentives for light bulbs or energy saving appliances, they do have a free do-it-yourself energy audit that you can do in your home. The audit is free and it will tell you whether your home is energy efficient or not. By using this tool, you can learn more about your energy usage. You can also take small steps, like purchasing affordable draft stoppers for your doors and windows. The energy audit can give you an idea of what you’re doing to make your home less energy efficient. It will show you where to start to make it more energy efficient.

Changing your usage times may not upgrade your home, but it can certainly lower your payment. Westar’s Time of Use Rate is calculated based on the time of day you’re using energy. The amount you pay for each kWh can be around 10 cents lower if you are using your electric during the off-peak hours. You must sign up for the program through Westar. Hours can vary, but are generally between nine at night and eight in the morning. The program has requirements, like not being on the average payment plan.

Westar even assists with scholarships, recreation and more!

Beyond being a utility company, Westar is prepared to give back to the community in the way of scholarships. They award yearly scholarships to those who are interested in careers in the electric sector. They have awards for those who are interested in going to a traditional school as well as those who are interested in becoming linemen. The company has 12 scholarships they give out each year and they base them off of need and merit.

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The Kanza Education and Science Park is a free activity you can do any time of the year. It is open to the public every day, but there may be special educational programs or demonstrations going on at different times during the year. You can see a wind turbine up close, look at the substation from a distance and enjoy the pavilion and walking paths that lead visitors around the education center.

Avoid Shut Off With These Resources

The Hope Center can provide help paying your utility bills. They require you have a shut-off notice to get help. Since they only work with people who are at risk of having their electric shut off, they make sure their process is quick.

Through Wichita, you may be able to use the Share the Season program. Community members contribute to help other community members. The organization uses these funds to help people who are low-income. They may be able to help you pay your electric bill if you have a shut-off notice.

The PACA Lighthouse provides many community services. They have different options you can use if you are in need, but they have utility assistance to those who have received a shut-off notice. They work on an emergency basis and will often rush your application if you are at risk of having your electric shut off.

In addition to the other community services Lasting Life Ministries provides, they can help pay an electric bill. They are able to do this once per year and you must show a genuine need for having your bill paid. They will generally not be able to cover the entire bill. You should be prepared to show your shut off notice and give them information on your income and household size.

Save Even More on Your Westar Energy Bill!

You don’t have to keep having high energy bills. If you take these steps, you can save a lot of money on your bill. A lower bill will not only be easier to pay but will make you feel better about the positive steps you’re taking toward energy saving.

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Elizabeth Starks

Thursday 23rd of August 2018

Hello- My husband is disabled and I am his caretaker. We moved to get closer to his doctors and Westar Energy combined the bills. We owe them 580 and were on a payment plan but now they tell us that we have until the 25th to pay the entire amount. We can't afford to drive to Wichita to fill out papers for relief-we also bring in less than 2,000 per month with rent at 700. He has an electric heart monitor machine as well as an electric sleep apnea machine. I am at a loss as to what to do. Any advise you could give me would be appreciated.

Nicole Thelin

Thursday 30th of August 2018

Oh my goodness, Elizabeth! That is very stressful.

The first time I would do is visit this website and find your local Community Action Council. Contact them immediately and let them know what is going on. They may be able to intervene and help you. Sometimes, Community Action programs will reimburse your travel expenses if it is a burden to you.

The next thing I would do is contact a doctor and get a statement about how a shutoff could adversely affect your husband's condition. I would also find some sort of evidence of your previous payment plan. Write a formal letter that explains (a) your husband's condition, (b) your financial hardship and inability to travel, (c) your previous payment plans and (d) asks that they provide you with a reasonable payment arrangement. I recommend suggesting a payment arrangement that would work for you but is slightly lower than you can actually afford in case they try to negotiate upward.

If they fail to respond, I would contact Kansas Legal Services for free legal assistance.

I'm very sorry that you are experiencing this. I hope this information is helpful to you!

Ashley

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

They are going to turn off my electric off single mom with 3 sons

Nicole

Wednesday 27th of June 2018

Hi, Ashley! Were any of the resources in this article able to help you?