"Cold Weather Rule" Goes into Effect
COLUMBIA - Tuesday marks the first day the Public Service Commission's "Cold Weather Rule" goes into effect. The Cold Weather Rule prohibits publicly-traded utility companies from disconnecting utility services when the temperature is forecasted to drop below 32 degrees. Utilities provided by municipalities or cooperatives are not covered by this regulation.
The rule also helps low-income and elderly customers pay for utilities by setting up a payment plan over a twelve month period. This rule also allows customers who do get disconnected to re-connect for a lower rate.
But organizations that help residents pay for utilities, like Central Missouri Community Action (CMCA), told KOMU the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program is no longer fully funded. CMCA receives funding through the energy assistance program. In turn, the CMCA has been forced to change its application process - residents applying for utility assistance can only do so through the mail now. This means CMCA can no longer help people one-on-one.
If residents want assistance with their utility bills, they must contact their utility company and let the company know.