The winter heating season has officially begun. The Missouri Public Service Commission’s Cold Weather Rule is now in effect. From November 1 through the end of March the vast majority of utility services in the state cannot disconnect services on a day forecast to be below 32 degrees. Companies also cannot disconnect services during the following 24 hour period after that forecast and must give customers ample notification before disconnecting utilities.
The Cold Weather Rule is designed to help customers with home heat related bills.
"What we’re looking at in the terms of the cold weather rule is that if a person is faced with a utility bill that they can’t pay in full then they need to contact the utility company," said Missouri Public Service Commission spokesman Kevin Kelly.
Last year, 127,000 Missourians received low income home energy assistance funding.
"Those numbers indicate that there have been people who have looked at the information contained in the Cold Weather Rule and have been able to contact the company and get under a Cold Weather Rule payment plan," Kelly said.
The rule does not apply to every utility service in the state. It only applies to utility companies under the jurisdiction of the Public Service Commission. To receive some of the benefits of the Cold Weather Rule customers must sign-up with their heat-related company.