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Laclede Extends “Cold Weather Rule”

(Flickr, Tim)

Laclede Gas announced Wednesday that it will honor Missouri’s Cold Weather Rule for an extra month.

State law prohibits utility companies from turning off customer’s service if the temperature dips below 32 degrees within a 24-hour period.

Ordinarily, the rule is in effect from Nov. 1 through March 31.

This winter has been so cold, however, that Laclede decided to extend the rule through April.

"We know our customers have been struggling this winter because it’s been so bitterly cold," spokeswoman Jenny Gobble said.

She said the rule also allows eligible customers to stretch out their payment plan if they’re behind on their bills or have had their gas turned off.

"This is really going to help customers who are eligible to continue or restore gas service by making an initial payment and then beginning a 12-month payment plan," Gobble said.

The initial payment can be anywhere from 12 to 80 percent of what’s owed, depending on the customer’s situation, according to Gobble.

About 40,000 Laclede customers use the cold weather rule payment plan annually.

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Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.