Published December 20th, 2021 at 4:24 PM
Last December, a sobering U.S. Census survey found that millions of people struggled to pay their rent and utilities. Some had racked up as much as $5,000 in late payments.
At the same time, climate change is causing harsher summer and winter weather. Climate scientists and community leaders are voicing concerns about climate equity — in other words, how the climate crisis connects to rising utility costs.
While the pandemic raged, many utility companies paused shut-offs and implemented payment-plan options during the first COVID winter through spring of 2021.
But now those companies are beginning to pass along those costs to their customers. Spire Missouri recently estimated natural gas bills in Kansas City would increase by 40% this winter. Kansas Gas Service and Black Hills Energy customers in Kansas also are facing higher natural gas prices.
Take a look at what Flatland has reported on regarding the climate crisis, utility costs and other related stories. Then, send us your questions, concerns or what you think is important when discussing climate and utility equity.
Vicky Diaz-Camacho covers community affairs for Kansas City PBS.