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Missouri Public Service Commission enacts cold weather rules

By Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Public Service Commission has enacted its "cold weather rules" for the next 5 months.

Utility companies are not allowed to cut off electricity, natural gas, or other heating service to delinquent customers if the temperature is predicted to drop below 32 degrees during the following 24-hour period.

Public Service Commission Chairman Jeff Davis says the cold weather rules are designed to protect elderly, disabled, and low-income Missourians.

"The price of natural gas has more than doubled in the last few years...consumers can sometimes have difficulty paying their winter heating bills," Davis said.

There are also special provisions for those that can't afford to pay their power bills.

"If you're below 150% of the federal poverty level, and you're 65 or older, or you're disabled, you can register with your utility, and you only have to pay 50% of your outstanding balance or $500, whichever is less," Davis said.

The cold weather rules will remain in effect until the end of March. However, Davis says they can be reinstated if a severe cold snap were to hit in April.

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