Wellington's City Manager Shane Shields issues a press release on the utility billing statements

Greg Williams
Wellington Daily News
Wellington water tower

The City of Wellington City Manager, Shane Shields, has released a statement on the Utility Billing Statements.

Notice was disseminated in late July regarding the delay in utility statements being sent out. Unfortunately, that delay in the billing statements and readings has continued with the latest billing just distributed. That delay is a contributing factor in the higher costs.

The current billing statements are higher than normal due to several factors.

  1. During the billing period, there has been high usage due to the higher temperatures during the period. Higher usage results in a higher cost.
  2. There is a higher number of days included in this billing period. This is due to the delay in obtaining meter readings. That delay is due to staff shortages in the meter reading positions, as was explained in late July. The additional number of days, on average, is approximately ten. The higher number of days in the billing period results in a higher cost.
  3. The higher than normal usage has also contributed to the delay in the process. The billing system generates an alert in instances where the kilowatt usage seems to be abnormally high for the period involved. In those cases, a second reading or reread is taken off the meter. Staff revisits the location to verify the meter reading is correct. That takes additional time to accomplish before billing statements can be distributed.

Staff continues to work diligently to accomplish a return as soon as possible to the typical billing period in obtaining meter readings.

Good Faith pay agreements continue to be an option for customers who may have difficulty in paying their bills and those who meet eligibility requirements.

If a customer wishes to inquire about an agreement, the customer should contact the Utility Billing Office several days in advance of the penalty date on the billing statement.

Usage is not being estimated. If any specific utility service is estimated, it would be indicated on the billing statement.

Also, a reminder regarding the electric service cost. As reported earlier this year, there is a $.01 surcharge from the Kansas Power Pool on the power we purchase to recoup the higher energy charges due to the enormous costs from the winter storm period in February 2021.

The surcharge will continue for a period of approximately 24 months. www.cityofwellington.net The City of Wellington has initiated Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) for our electrical services. Once all AMI meters have been installed, readings can be obtained automatically without having to physically visit every address.

The AMI system will greatly reduce the risk of delays in the billing process. It may be approximately 18 months until the AMI system is fully operational, although the timeline depends on what supply chain issues regarding equipment may be encountered due to the pandemic.