State does not regulate electric cooperatives in extreme heat

State has hot-weather law for utility companies

Residents concerned with lack of electricity

FULTON, Mo. - Several Callaway County residents took to Facebook on Tuesday to voice their concerns after Callaway Electric Cooperative turned off electricity for around 12 residents. 

Several people said it was too hot for animals and the elderly to be without air conditioning for several hours. 

The Callaway Electric Cooperative turned off the electricity for around three hours for regularly scheduled maintenance, in response to blinking lights. 

Thomas Howard, CEO and general manager of Callaway Electric Cooperative said the group did the maintenance during the day to prevent an unexpected outage. 

"We would always rather do that with a planned outage during the day when we have people working on it rather than it occurring during the night during an unplanned time which would take a lot longer," he said.

He said that the night before, the cooperative had contacted residents who were affected and left message on their phones. 

Although temperatures were not high enough today to invoke the law, the Missouri Public Service Commission has a law to prevent electricity from being turned off in extreme heat. The hot-weather law is in effect from June 1 through Sept. 30, and states electric companies cannot disconnect electricity if a customer does not pay if the National Weather Service predicts temperatures will rise above 95 degrees or the heat index will rise above 105 degrees. 

This law does not apply to electric cooperatives because they are usually regulated by a municipal government or board of directors instead of the state.

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