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Archive for Wednesday, April 28, 1999

NEW BILLS ON THE WAY TO KPS CUSTOMERS

April 28, 1999

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The changes are meant to address Year 2000 issues and prepare the company for further deregulation of the industry.

Customers of Kansas Public Service soon will begin receiving bills that could throw them a bit.

The company, which provides gas service to about 29,000 customers in the Lawrence area, will begin using a two-sided bill format in the next billing cycle. The change is part of an upgrade to address Year 2000 issues.

The Kansas City, Mo.-based company is launching a new customer information system to handle not just billing, but scheduling of installations, repairs and other information. The upgrade also will bring all the company's divisions onto the same computer system for the first time.

"But the biggest change is the bill format," said Larissa Johns, KPS director of community services.

The new bill will be printed on both sides, with specific charges for various services shown on the front. On the back, customers will find meter readings, average daily energy usage and other service information.

Now, the company's bills are printed only on one side.

"Eventually, they'll get a lot more detailed information about the service we're providing and the options they may choose," Johns said.

As the energy industry continues to deregulate, for example, customers may want to look at pricing of individual segments of their bill. The new format will allow viewing of the actual commodity cost of the natural gas, the delivery service provided by KPS and other factors.

Customers also will get new account numbers.

Also, landlords and businesses that own multiple properties can arrange for a single bill that shows itemized charges for each property, instead of separate bills for each.

Customers should begin receiving the new bills next week.

Kansas Public Service is a unit of UtiliCorp United Inc., which provides electric and natural gas service to more than 182,000 customers in Kansas through KPS, Peoples Natural Gas and WestPlains Energy divisions.

-- Richard Brack's phone message number is 832-7194. His e-mail address is rbrack@ljworld.com.

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