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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Public Service Commission prepared Monday for the start of its "Cold Weather Rule" on Tuesday.

The regulation prevents investor-owned utility companies, such as Ameren Missouri, from disconnecting electricity or natural gas service if the forecast temperature is 32 degrees or below. The agency has no jurisdiction over municipally-operated systems, cooperatives, and those businesses providing propane by truck.

Carol Fred handles customers with utility issues or complaints for the Public Service Commission. She said the regulation is in place to help people. "The Cold Weather Rule exists to keep the heat on for families that may not be able to pay their electric or natural gas bill during the winter months."

The rule also allows for more lenient payment terms that allow for reconnection of service for customers more quickly during the colder months, among others. The organization has a list of other exceptions and regulations on its website.