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Independence sets credit for utility customers

By Mike Genet mike.genet@examiner.net

Independence electric utility customers will see a nearly $200 credit on their bills starting Thursday.

The one-time credit is for $193.82, the city said Thursday – more than some residential monthly bills – and will be applied to the outstanding bills of all active residential and commercial customers as of Feb. 2.

The credit does not apply to municipal accounts, private lighting accounts, water or sewer-only customers. No customer will receive a check or refund, as the credit will be applied toward current past due charges.

Last week, the City Council approved the one-time rebate, using $11.2 million from Power and Light’s cash reserves. The $193.82 resulted from dividing those reserves evenly among approximately 56,000 customers.

In January, the council used $10.6 million from those same reserves to pay off some IPL bonds several years early, saving millions of dollars in future interest. 

The credit comes after the city had to delay producing and sending out bills as a precaution following an apparent ransomware attack late last year. By next Wednesday, the city said in a release, all customers will have received a December and January bill, covering 60 to 75 days of usage. The city has waived late fees until further notice, and utility shutoffs for nonpayment will not resume until at least April 1. 

Customers who want to make payment arrangements or have questions regarding their accounts can contact utilities customer service at (816) 325-7930 or email: utilitycustomerservice@indepmo.org.