JEFFERSON CITY — November's arrival means Missouri's "cold weather rule" is in effect, protecting many residents from having their heat cut off when it's freezing outside.
The rule applies to natural gas companies and electric utilities regulated by the Public Service Commission.
It bars shutoffs of heat-related gas and electric service whenever the temperature is expected to fall below 32 degrees in the following 24 hours.
The rule also requires utilities to offer more lenient payment terms for reconnections, and to give residents plenty of notice before service is disconnected for unpaid bills.
The cold weather rule is in effect from Nov. 1 through March 31. It does not apply to electric co-ops, municipal utilities and providers that deliver propane by truck.