08/09/2013

New BPU program helps residents experiencing financial hardship meet utility payments

(KANSAS CITY, Ks.)The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) in cooperation with the United Way of Wyandotte County have created a new utility assistance program that will help area residents avoid potential disruption, or provide for the restoration of, utility services when they are experiencing financial hardship due to unforeseen events.

The goal of the program is to help Wyandotte County residents offset a portion of their utility expenses (up to $500 annually) for specific hardship causes, including a health emergency, a change in employment or income status, a change in family composition or marital status, or unforeseen documented expenses. To be eligible, an applicant must lack the funds to make their payment for BPU utility services due to one of these causes.

Applicants may not have had more than one late/missed payment in a 12-month period. Allowable expenditures can only be applied toward BPU water and electric utility services – and do not cover deposits, connections or reconnection fees. BPU will refer customers to the United Way of Wyandotte County who will be serving as administrator of this program.

Applicants must also provide proof of eligibility, including proof of income or lack thereof, a verification of expenses, as well as verification that the applicant is a resident of the address listed on the utility bill.

“As a not-for-profit community owned utility, we understand that unplanned events do occur and that at times our customers may have difficulty making ends meet,” stated Don Gray, General Manager of BPU. “The new BPU hardship payment service program will help those who have trouble meeting their utility expenses with a one-time hardship assistance payment to ensure continued utility service.”

The BPU Customer Hardship Payment Service Program is only available to Wyandotte County residents, but stands to help hundreds of customers that may find themselves in financial trouble due to unforeseen circumstances.

Interested applicants should contact BPU Customer Service for more information.

About BPU

BPU’s water department was originally created in 1909, and its electric utility was operational in 1912. The purpose of the utility, then and to this day, is to provide the highest quality electric and water services at the lowest possible cost. Today the publicly owned utility serves approximately 63,000 electric and 50,000 water customers, primarily in Wyandotte County, Kansas. The mission of the utility and its employees is “to focus on the needs of our customers, to improve the quality of life in our community while promoting safe, reliable and sustainable utilities.” BPU’s Web site is www.bpu.com
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