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Energy Rules, Programs Keep Ozarks Warm in Winter

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- When temperatures are fall, energy costs rise and that can be a big concern for families already finding it tough to pay the bills.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- When temperatures fall, energy costs rise and that can be a big concern for families already finding it tough to pay bills.

A Missouri Public Service Commission policy went into effect Friday to ensure that no one will lose power on the coldest nights.

"City utilities has a policy that runs from Nov. 1 through March 31, which is considered severe weather time for us. We will not terminate services if the temperature dips to 32 degrees or below in the next 24 hours," Pat Dierking, Springfield City Utilities spokeswoman, said.  

Dierking said residents can set up payment plans to avoid the risk of losing power.

Related Link: OACAC-CAA.org

Additional help is available for those in need through the Ozarks Area Community Corporation.

Tommie Trammell runs the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for OACAC. She said more people are applying early for OACAC's Energy Assistance and Energy Crisis programs.

"Last year we were able to able to help over 23,000 households with energy assistance, energy crisis, project share, private donations -- we were able to help that many people and keep them warm. It was a good year," Trammell said. 

This year, OACAC mailed out about 15,000 applications in October and already about 6,000 have been returned. On Friday alone, as enrollment began, hundreds more applications were submitted.

Trammell said she and her team will keep working to help people in need.

"We've had funding cuts for our programs, but we try to help our people the best we can and just to keep them warm.

For more information, visit oacac-caa.org, or call 417-864-3460.
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