WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The Cold Weather Rule ends on Friday.

Kansans who are behind on their utility bills need to make payment arrangements with their utility providers, or they can face disconnection. Friday is also the last day you can apply for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program.

The program is administered by the Department of Children and Families. LIEAP applications must be received by 5 p.m. on Friday, March 31.

Failing to make payment arrangements ahead of the end of the Cold Weather Rule means your past-due balance becomes immediately due. Under the rule, you can establish a payment plan with your utilities.

The payment plan requires an initial payment of 1/12 of the overdue amount, along with the full amount of any disconnection or reconnection fee, plus any applicable deposit. The balance is then billed in equal payments over the next 11 months in addition to your regular bill.

The rule only applies to utilities subject to Kansas Corporation Commission regulations. Co-ops and municipal utilities are not subject to the Cold Weather Rule, but many offer their own program.

To see if your utility is regulated by the KCC, click here. For more information on utility assistance programs, contact your utility provider or the KCC Consumer Protection Office at 800-662-0027, or visit their website.