Reno County man shocked by $2,700 gas bill

Published: Mar. 17, 2021 at 11:17 PM CDT
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RENO COUNTY, Kan. (KWCH) - If you had a high gas bill this month, you are not alone. Calls were made for Kansans to conserve energy during last month’s cold snap, but the rising cost of natural gas and the increased use of electricity to stay warm has some Kansans worried they could see a spike in this month’s bill.

On Wednesday (March 17), Eyewitness News spoke with one Reno County man who was shocked to see his gas bill and worries for others also facing costly bills.

Kent McKinnis lives near the small town of Partridge in Reno County. He said it can be hard keep his farmhouse warm in the winter months.

“It was 15 below zero, you don’t have a choice but to run the heater,” he said, reflecting on the February stretch of bitter cold temperatures across Kansas.

From that, McKinnis was shocked to see his latest gas bill, about 10 times higher than normal.

“The gas bill itself is $2,700, quite a bit,” he said.

McKInnis said the city sells him gas and gets it through the Southern Star Central Gas Pipeline.

“...What’s frustrating is the prices went real high just when we needed it,” he said. “I don’t think they ran out, or (had) a shortage, it was just a high demand.”

Southern Star said it doesn’t sell gas and advised Eyewitness News to contact the local energy provider. While McKinnis said he can afford the steep bill, he knows many cannot.

“I worry about a lot of older people in Partridge on fixed incomes that I don’t know how they are going to handle this, and I worry for them,” McKinnis said.

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