Westar Customers Prepare For High Energy Bills

By: Jared Cerullo Email
By: Jared Cerullo Email

  Westar's "Care Stations"  are scheduled for:

· July 27 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Community Access, 315 W.
   Sycamore, Independence.

· Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Salvation Army, 340 N. Market,

· Aug. 2 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at United Way, 203 N. Cedar, Abilene.

· Aug. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Labette County Emergency
  Assistance Center, 301 N. 30th, Parsons.

· Aug. 5 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Department of Social and
   Rehabilitation Services, 410 N. Haverhill, El Dorado.

· Aug. 9 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Salvation Army, 208 W. 6th, Newton.

· Aug. 30 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Buck Run Community Center, 735
   Scott Ave., Fort Scott.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hundreds of Westar Energy customers are facing huge electric bills this month. With air conditioners running at maximum capacity, some residents are also in danger of being shut-off because they can't afford it.

It's definitely a tough situation to be in. Either wallow in the heat or go ahead and keep running the air conditioner and hope for the best. But Westar is now setting up what it calls "Care Stations."

If you didn't see our story a few months ago about servicing your air conditioner, you might be feeling the wrath of that little inefficient devil now. Westar Energy is now setting up customer care stations across the state to offer people tips for keeping their utility bills as low as possible. "Just to kinda meet with them, maybe budget their bills, get on payment programs if they are available. Maybe run through some energy efficiency tips that customers can do throughout their homes," Westar Energy spokesman Nick Bundy said.

For Molly Bailey's family near Augusta, the electric bill pain might turn out to be $800 for a single month. Their bill last month was nearly $600. The Bailey's get their power from Butler Rural Electric. We found their A/C unit working hard in the bright sunshine.

"It's enough for right now. We try to keep our house pretty dark on the inside so nothing much is coming out, and then we just keep doors closed and windows shut and try to seal everything off," Bailey said.

Bundy said Westar Energy is setting up the "Care Stations" to help customers keep up with their energy bills. "We don't want customers behind any more than we wanna come out and knock on their door and ask for that past due amount," Bundy said.

Nearly all of the increase in your electric bill during the summer can usually be attributed to your air conditioner. "If you look at your bill during the summer months and compare that to your usage in March and April, most of that difference if you haven't made other changes in your household, most of that is going to be air conditioning," Bundy added.

Just think...only four more months until November.

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