The Heat Is On: When the Electric Companies Can't Turn Off Your Power

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - The heat is on and if your air conditioner isn't on, it probably will be as soon as you get home.  But for some, especially the elderly, cash supplies can be limited and the last thing someone wants to worry about in the summer months is having their electricity shut off.

We may be able to settle that fear for you.

Both states that are in Region 8 have guidelines and laws that prevent electricity from being shut off for 24 hours when the National Weather Service forecasts temperatures of 95 or above.

In Arkansas, the Arkansas Public Service Commission has many rules (all of which you can find at the associated link to this story, check to the right of this story) that are there to protect you.  One such rule is the hot weather rule:

An electric or gas utility cannot suspend service to a customer who is identified as 65 years or older or handicapped if the National Weather forecast predicts a temperature of 95 degrees Fahrenheit will occur during the next twenty-four hours. For gas utilities, hot weather protection is limited to those customers with gas-operated air-conditioning units only.

But not all electric providers fall under the Public Service Commission.  One such is Jonesboro City Water and Light and Paragould City, Light, Water and Cable.  So what about them?

We spoke with Ron Bowen of Jonesboro CWL and he told us that they voluntarily follow the same guidelines of the Public Service Commission.  Paragould's electric company does the same.

A recent law passed by the State of Missouri echos similar guidelines, only for all companies.

Multiple other rules are in effect that may protect you, the consumer, in other situations.  For more information, click the link or call the Arkansas Public Service Commission at 1-800-482-1164.