Cold Weather Rule Law and Legal Definition

Cold weather rule or cold weather law is a law or regulation that prohibits public utility companies from disconnecting customers who are unable to pay for the energy used to heat their homes during the winter season. Many of the U.S. states have such rules, including Kansas, Minnesota, and Missouri. The protection provided by a cold weather rule is not automatic. Customers who are financially backward will have to register with their service provider to indicate either a complete inability to pay or to set up a special payment plan. Cold weather rules also help to prevent damage to homes. Wintertime temperatures can freeze water pipes which can cause bursts in the lines as the water inside expands when it turns into ice. Cleaning up after this can lay heavy burdens upon people who are already of limited financial means. Therefore, this rule intends to protect the common man who is financially not sound, during the winter season.