Lake area residents having trouble paying for their heat-related utility bills could soon catch a break with the Public Service Commission’s Cold Weather Rule taking effect on Wednesday. The Cold Weather Rule, which has been around since 1977, applies to natural gas and electric utilities under PSC jurisdiction. Specifically, the Cold Weather Rule, among other things, prohibits service from being disconnected if the temperature is predicted to drop below freezing during the following 24 hour period and provides more leniency in the way of payment terms. Municipality-operated utilities are not covered under the Cold Weather Rule. More information, you can link onto the PSC’s website, www.psc.mo.gov.