Flexibility With High Utility Costs

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky (WBKO) -- The Kentucky Public Service Commission issued a letter to all electric and natural gas utilities, asking for flexibility when assisting their customers who are struggling to pay their monthly bill.

Bowling Green Municipal Utilities is one of many local utility companies not governed by P.S.C., however, the company has received the state wide letter and is responding to their customers on a case-by-case basis.

Many customers have noticed an increase in their bill.

"Yeah it has been quite a bit higher just (from) keeping the heat on. I wouldn't say $100, but close to it," said Lane Embry, BGMU customer.

Employees do use the temperatures as a factor when deciding the fairness of a bill.

“About forty percent of your bill is determined by temperatures and how you heat and cool your home. Twelve percent is water heating and eleven percent is lighting," said Christy Twyman, BGMU Customer Relations and Communication Manager.

Calendar dates are also taken into consideration, along with the accuracy of the meter.

"We try to work with the customer. We offer three day extensions, past their cut off date, if they need one and if they qualify. If there are other extenuating circumstances, then customers can come in and our supervisors and customer service will do our best to work with them," said Christy Twyman, BGMU Customer Relations and Communication Manager.

The utility company says they do offer payment plans for those having difficulty paying their bill.

"A lot of that depends on pay history and what we feel is going on in the customer's life at that time," said Christy Twyman, BGMU Customer Relations and Communication Manager.

Salvation army also assists Atmos Energy customers through their Share the Warmth Program.

"Customer's just come in with proof of income, identification and their past due bill. We sit down and determine what we can do. We decide if we pay a portion of it or all of their bill,” said Heather Gordon, Salvation Army Director of Social Services.

The P.S.C. says there is also assistance available from the state, through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. Hope Harbor and Community Action also provide assistance. Click on the provided links to learn more.

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