Expect high utility bill in September

Hillsboro and Marion residents haven?t seen the end of high electric bills.

Larry Paine, Hillsboro city administrator, said the billing cycle that residents paid in August is from June 15 to July 15, which doesn?t include the sustained triple-digit temperatures experienced from mid-July until now.

?Electricity will be higher for the bill due in September,? he said, ?and usage will probably be up for most residents.?

The same story exists in Marion, said Doug Kjellin, city administrator.

Usage in Marion jumped 21 percent from the July 2010 compared to July 2011 period. In Hillsboro that jump was about 16 percent in usage.

Part of the reason for the increase in Marion?s usage, Kjellin said, is because of the new meters, which are more sophisticated than the old ones.

As for paying utility bills, Hillsboro does offer some latitude, but in Marion there is a ?no tolerance? policy.

Unlike Westar Energy customers who are allowed payment options during these above-normal temperature periods, Kjellin said the city cannot afford that luxury.

In Hillsboro, the city will allow residents two times in the year to make payment arrangement for a 30-day period.

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