On Nov. 1, Missouri’s Cold Weather Rule went into effect and runs through March 31, 2020.

The rule was designed by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to help customers with heat-related utility bills, Nov.1 through March 31, annually. According to Kevin Kelly, spokesperson for the PSC, the rule has been a part of the Commission’s rules and regulations since 1977.

“The Cold Weather Rule applies to natural gas and electric utilities under PSC jurisdiction that provide heat-related service. Municipally operated systems, cooperatives and those that provide propane delivered by truck are not under PSC jurisdiction,” Kelly said.

The Cold Weather Rule prohibits utility companies from disconnecting heat-related service when the temperature is predicted to drop below 32 degrees during the following 24 hour period, it provides more lenient payment terms, allows customers to budget payments over 12 months, and requires customers be notified by mail 10 days before the date the utility intends to shut off service, an attempt be made to contact the customer within 96 hours before the shutoff, an attempt be made to contact the customer right before the shut off and that notice is left at the home when service has been shut off.

For more information on the PSC’s Cold Weather Rule, please see the Commission’s website at www.psc.mo.gov or call the Commission’s Consumer Services hotline at 1-800-392-4211.