Utility companies are preparing to begin enforcing penalties for late bills, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Penalties were largely suspended at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, but in St. Louis many providers will resume in early August.
That includes Ameren, Spire and Missouri American Water.
As pandemic unemployment checks end this month, experts are worried the situation could cause wide-spread utility disconnections.
Gentry Trotter, founder of Cool Down St. Louis, an energy assistance program, said applications for the program tripled in June. Regulators are still considering how exactly to handle overdue payments.