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Utility Assistance and Payment Options Help BPU Customers Cope

(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — As a not-for-profit utility, the Kansas City Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has been meeting the electric and water service requirements of Wyandotte County for more than a century. As a municipal utility, BPU has a pretty good understanding of the community and its needs, and the unique circumstances it faces today.

Since the start of the pandemic, BPU has worked closely with customers experiencing financial hardship and those having difficulty in making utility payments, offering flexible payment plans, access to a number of utility and financial assistance programs, and more. There are also a number of federal and state programs to help related to income loss, as well as utility and other expenses. These various options and programs include:

  • The Unified Government’s Federal CARES Act allocation provided $9 million in direct aid to local organizations in the community assisting with COVID-19 response, including utility, rental, and food assistance. Administered through the United Way, more than 300 BPU customers have utilized this resource totaling more than $165,000. Additional funding remains in this program for utility assistance, but based on CARES Act funding requirements, these monies must be allocated and disbursed to recipients no later than the December 30th, 2020 deadline or they will be lost – so act now!! Call 2-1-1 and inquire about CARES Act assistance for BPU utility customers.

  • BPU’s Customer Hardship Payment Service Program – A financial assistance program providing eligible participants assistance to offset utility expenses related to health emergencies, change in employment or income status, unforeseen expenses, etc. The program has helped more than 1,500 families and provided more than $500,000 since its inception. In 2020, nearly 300 families received almost $96,000 in utility assistance support. Administered by the United Way for BPU, interested applicants can call the special Hardship Hotline at 913-371-6772 or the United Way directly at 2-1-1 for more information.

  • BPU’s Utility Assistance Program – BPU supports utility assistance programs at various human services agencies throughout Wyandotte County. Funds are disbursed thru the United Way to eight partner agencies including Avenue of Life, Cross-Lines Community Church, El Centro, Catholic Charities, Economic Opportunity Foundation, Salvation Army-KCK, Citadel, Harbor Lights Village and others. Last year, nearly 500 families took advantage of this program, receiving nearly $100,000 in assistance. In 2020, 355 families have received nearly $90,000 in assistance to date. In concert with BPU’s Hardship Assistance program outlined above, this provides another layer of assistance to help keep households in our community stable. For more information or to enroll in this program, call the United Way at 2-1-1.

  • Utility Payment Arrangement Options – BPU is willing to work with customers to assist them with a variety of payment arrangement options. As with any financial obligation, the sooner customers reach out when they are experiencing financial issues, the more BPU and other organizations can assist. Avoid getting too far behind. BPU understands the unique circumstances some customers are experiencing, and will work to assist as much as it can. Residential customers financially impacted by COVID-19 can set up payment arrangements by calling 913-573-9145. All other BPU billing or customer service questions can be answered by calling 913-573-9190.

  • Community Assistance Programs – In addition, there are a number of nonprofits, human services organizations, and programs available that also provide a variety of assistance efforts, including for utilities. This includes the Metropolitan Lutheran Ministries, the Salvation Army, the federal LIHEAP program, and more. A list of these organizations is available on BPU’s website.

  • FlexPay - allows customers to monitor their electricity and water on an “as-needed” basis, with services purchased on a pre-paid basis. There are no deposits and no late fees. Call 913-573-9190 to enroll in this program.

As a critical community partner, BPU will continue working to help the community and assist its customers during these extraordinary times – just as it has for the last 100 years. As a not-for-profit municipal utility, BPU utilizes incoming revenues to offset its operational and capital costs. Unlike larger investor-owned utilities, BPU does not operate with profit margins like larger private sector utilities, which can pass these margins along to shareholders as dividends. Regardless, BPU will continue to provide community assistance and find workable solutions, as residents, the community, COVID-19.

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 65,000 electric and 51,000 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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Kansas City, KS 66101-2930
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