The Missouri Energy Task Force hears more testimony the possibility of the state having a “Hot-Weather” Rule similar to the Cold Weather Rule that exists for utilities during the Winter months. John Coffman with AARP concedes the biggest problem is not with utilities disconnecting electricity during the Summer months, it is with the high costs of cooling and the inability of many low-income Missourians to pay. Warren Wood with the Public Service Commission says a “Hot-Weather” Rule agrees with Coffman that many of the heat-related fatalaties or illnesses we hear about have nothing to do with utilities cutting off service. Rather, they result from people without air conditioning or those who don’t use the air conditioning because of fear of high costs. Coffman would like to see low-income Missourians provided with vouchers or coupons to help them pay their electricity bills during the very hot weather. Wood rejects that idea. Instead, he suggests informing people of the nearest shelters or homes where people can cool down and ride out the heat wave.
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