MISSOURI (KFVS) - Keeping your home warm during the winter months can be a financial burden, but if you live in Missouri the PSC Cold Weather Rule can help.
In order to receive some of the benefits of the Cold Weather Rule, a customer must sign-up or register with their heat-related company.
For more information you can click here or call the Commission's Consumer Services hotline at 1-800-392-4211. You can also contact your local natural gas or electric company.
Natural gas and electric utilities under PSC jurisdiction that provide heat-related service will be required to adhere to the following rules starting November 1.
The Cold Weather Rule:
- Prohibits the disconnection of heat-related service when the temperature is predicted to drop below 32 degrees during the following 24 hour period.
- Provides more lenient terms permitting reconnection of service for natural gas and/or electric customers
- Prohibits the disconnection of registered elderly and disabled customers who meet certain income guidelines who make a minimum payment
- Allows a customer to register with the utility if: 65 years of age or older; disabled to the extent that the customer has filed with the utility a form submitted by a medical physician attesting that your household must have natural gas or electric utility service provided in the home to maintain life or health; or the customer has obtained a formal award letter issued from the federal government of disability benefits.
- Allows customers to budget payments over 12 months.
- Allows customers to extend payment of pre-existing arrears beyond 12 months.
- Does not require a deposit if payment agreement is kept.
- Requires that customers be notified by mail 10 days before the date the utility intends to shut off service; that an attempt be made to contact the customer within 96 hours before the shut off; that an attempt be made to contact the customer right before the shut off; that notice is left at the home when service has been shut off.
- Requires the customer be notified of possible financial help in paying the utility bill.
- Allows for the reconnection of service for less than the full amount owed.
If a customer is faced with a heat-related utility bill that they can not pay in full, it is important that the customer contact the utility company; state an inability to pay the bill in full; provide income information either by month or annual income; make a minimum payment; enter into a payment agreement.