TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNW) — Starting in December, Kansas Gas Service (KGS) customers will notice a new separate fee on their monthly bill that will increase the cost by about $5.

The fee will be labeled “Winter Event Securitized Cost.” In a news release, the company says the fee is connected to the February 2021 winter storm.

In addition to the high demand, the company says it experienced higher-than-normal gas prices. The cost of the gas that is passed on to consumers is not marked up at all from the price the utility pays its suppliers under Kansas law.

As part of a settlement agreement with the Kansas Corporation Commission, KGS was allowed to issue securitized bonds to recover the added cost to the utility. The expense will now be spread out on customers’ bills over the next 10 years.

“Knowing the high cost of gas would have made our customers’ bills significantly more than usual, we worked to find a solution to minimize the monthly impact to customers,” says Jeff Husen, Vice President of Rates and Regulatory for ONE Gas, parent company of KGS in a news release. “Spreading the costs over a longer time frame helps keep customers’ monthly bills lower and more manageable than recovery through traditional approaches to setting rates.”

The monthly fee for residential customers will start at $5.64 but should drop to $5.11 by mid-2023 and will save customers over $36 million over 10 years, according to KGS. The utility has set up a webpage to answer customers’ questions about the new fee at kansasgasservice.com/securitization.